Ever have those voices in your head, while you’re working or trying something new?

That ego. The voice that tells you, whispers softly, cruelly inside of your mind: “You aren’t good enough. This wasn’t very good. Why did you bother? You’re not in shape enough. You should go to yoga class, but it’s not going to help.”

We all have variations of these voices, this chamber orchestra that tells us what we’ve done wrong and harps on our inadequacies. Our inclination is to yell back at it, right? “Shut up! You might think.” And” God, I need to get better at controlling these voices.” We work harder to perfect our minds, to erase those voices, to quash them.

But there’s another way to think about it… what’s the light side of our ego? What’s the benefit? [tweetable hashtag=”@skooloflife @sarahkpeck”]Just as our light sides all have a shadow; our shadows sides might also have some light.[/tweetable]

Perhaps we don’t need to be so cruel to our ego. Perhaps our ego did what it needed to do—it got us started. It got us in the door. It brought us somewhere, and we grew. That pesky little voice spurred something, and while it wasn’t always kind, it brought us here.

Last week I had the honor of digging into these questions and conversations with Srini Rao as a guest on his podcast, The Unmistakeable Creative. This is a different interview than many I’ve done before—and whether it was the nine hours of yoga I did in advance, the glass of wine I had, or the fact that it was late at night, somehow we started digging into stories in a way that I haven’t shared before.

We talk about swimming, fear, why being miserable might actually be okay, and what it takes to make things happen.

I’m delighted to share it with you.

Take a listen over on The Unmistakeable Creative podcast.