Ways to keep your ego in check
Ego is false confidence, self-respect is true confidence – Naval Ravikant
Ego is a very integral part of our lives and identity. While some have a healthy ego, others are destructive.
Most people and scholars liken ego to self-esteem. While self-esteem is confidence in oneself and self-satisfaction, ego is interpreted differently. Ego is a perception of one’s abilities, self and talents. The Latin word for “Ego” is “I”.
We can say Ego is a conscious reflection of how we see ourselves and what we see ourselves as. It is always about “I” and not about “We” , for an egoistic person.
Being egoistic could stem from financial capacity, a recent promotion, fame and power.
An egoistic person is overconfident and has a high opinion of himself. These kinds of people like to be noticed and would walk the red carpet alone.
Ego creates a sense of entitlement and makes it exhausting for family members and even the people that work with us.
They do things to satisfy their selfish desires and needs without thinking about other parties involved and how it could affect their wellbeing. Egoistic people perceive their views on ideas or opinion as the best.
They see themselves as highly intelligent, skillful, talented, and extraordinary beings.
No matter what you do or how well you perform, you’ll never receive credit or a congratulatory remark from an egoistic person or boss. A person full of ego seeks for praise and accolades no matter the cost without being willing to give it back to others.
The issue of ego is rampant in professionalism and almost every aspect of human life. The idea that you can always get what you want with this attitude is not always true. This is because being driven by ego can make you lose out on important things that matter.
I have been a victim of my own ego; I have let it consume and control me. Allowing my ego take charge led me to making bad decisions that left me unhappy and regretful.
Although, ego is not a bad thing. Too much of it could affect you and your career. Excessive ego is unhealthy. It makes you self-centered and arrogant.
The need to be heard, feel superior against all odds and shut people up against their will- that’s ego.
When your ego exceeds it bounds till you no longer become appreciative, aware of your environment and in touch with reality, your ego becomes your enemy.
The ego is your enemy, not your friend. It is the ego that gives you wounds and hurts you. It is the ego that makes you violent, angry, jealous, competitive. It is the ego that is continuously comparing and feeling miserable – Osho
Truly, whatever habits stop you from growing and improving is your enemy. Ego blinds and stops you from seeing the need to grow, shine, improve and impact lives positively.
It is a voice constantly speaking to you and saying you are already better and perfect. It inhibits true success by allowing you detach from the world and reality.
Most people with unhealthy ego are that way because of a terrible past, humiliation, failure and the need to revenge.
A short summary of a college student who was constantly bullied for lots of reasons. Though she wasn’t a bad person, friend or student. She was constantly mocked and laughed at. She swore to treat others with resentment and strive to be a boss. The kind of boss filled with unhealthy egoism.
She actually became her dream kind of boss and made a bad decision to be self-centered. She is despised by a lot of important people. And has missed job offers and opportunities because of her arrogance and egoistic behavior.
According to Robert Half, ego trip- a journey to nowhere.
Your ego can either take you to important places, elevate and cause you to improve in your goals. It can also result in your downfall, sabotage you and cause a stunt to your personal growth.
Importance of a healthy ego
All of us have ego, big or small. This is not deniable. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a healthy ego and how it influences our life. It is necessary to know the importance of ego, so instead of suppressing and destroying it, we find a balance. Finding a balance can impact us positively.
- Ego protects you from hurt, negativity, feelings of failure and rejection.
- Ego helps to build confidence when we are uncertain about things.
- Your ego motivates you work harder and achieve your goals
- Ego convinces you of your importance, that you are loved and good at what you do
- A healthy ego makes you vulnerable, making you learn and grow. For instance, saying I am sorry.
- An unhealthy ego leads to exhaustion.
How do I know I am controlled by my ego?
You know your ego is unhealthy when you do the following. Below is list of 10 actions that prove you are egoistic.
- Always craving recognition, reward and credit
- Desiring fame and spotlight to showcase yourself
- Constantly criticizing and underestimating the opinions, ideas, skills and abilities of others
- Always wanting to be right and win during arguments
- Comparing yourself to others
- Constantly needing validation from people including press coverage and social media
- Always resistant to feedback, advice
- Always satisfying your own desires and agenda
- Feeling jealous of others’ success
- Eager to suggest an idea but slow to accept from others.
How to keep your ego in check with quotes to back you up.
To be more successful, loved and respected, we must carefully analyze our ego and tame it. Choosing to put our ego aside and eliminate it can turn us into beings with no confidence and self-esteem. Nobody, not even myself wants that.
The best thing to do is keep a check on your ego and create a balance so it affects the people around you positively and let you age healthfully. Read on to know how to tame your ego.
- Accept That Others Are Responsible for your Growth
To be honest, everyone that gained popularity and success has people to thank for it.
Whether family, friends or colleagues, you have people who contributed and supported you. Accept that you did not do it all on your own.
You cannot achieve anything without the help of others, if truth be told.
- Reflect on your Shortcomings
As humans, we are most likely to make mistakes. We all have flaws and shortcomings. Take an honest look at the things you’ve done wrong, the hurt you have caused, the wrong decisions made and evaluate them.
Take time to correct and learn from these mistakes. A good leader, boss or employee with a healthy ego never accepts they are correct all the time.
When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become kind, infinite and beautiful- Yogi Bhajan
- Invest in Others
Egoistic people never want to invest time or effort in others. Pay honest attention to other people’s needs, desires, goals and help them work towards achieving it.
This will help you build strong and trusted relationships, make good friends, and put others in the spotlight. For once, try to give others and stop making things all about yourself.
The self-confidence never needs to degrade the confidence of others in order to grow. If it does, its not confidence at all…..its ego- Charles F Glassman
- Respect People and their Opinions
- At work, learn to listen to your colleagues and their suggestions before contributing yours during a meeting
- Also, ask for permission before giving advice. Say “excuse me, I’d like to say something”. Believe it or not, whatever you plan on saying will be heard, appreciated and thought about
- As a boss, appreciate and compliment the opinions of your employees. If they are wrong, try to paraphrase and still let them take the glory
- At home, take time to appreciate the good deeds of your family members
- Stop blaming them for their excesses, correct and speak to them with love
- Appreciate their point of view. It will enhance peace, productivity and push away disagreement.
- Practice Courtesy
There is nothing wrong in being vulnerable and accepting your faults. Saying “I am sorry” shows you value the relationship.
Though you might view it as being weak, consider the relationships you could save and improve by swallowing your pride.
Saying “thank you” for the new things you have learned shows that your personal growth is important. Open up your heart, develop new habits, apologize when you are wrong and always practice courtesy.
No one has learned the meaning of life until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow men- anonymous
- Nothing is Permanent
people might be intrigued about your achievements but that can fade away. Nothing is permanent. Fame is temporary, so stop boasting about the things you have now.
It’s cool to give praise, be proud and happy about the things you have today, but it wouldn’t matter tomorrow.
The ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything- Richard Rose
- Have True Friends
To keep your ego under control, you need to surround yourself with people that will be honest about your personality.
A true friend wouldn’t want you to mess up. You will also find it easier to listen to their opinions as well. People you trust will always tell you the truth. Treasure and keep such friendships safe.
- Be more empathetic and compassionate by putting yourself in the shoes of others.
As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You’re not thinking about loving, you’re just being love, radiating like the sun- Ram Dass
- Stop Accepting Praises and Flattery Completely
most times, over flattery and appreciation can boost your ego and make you feel over important. Always be thankful when someone complements or appreciates you, but never accept or believe it completely.
Believe you can always do better and you are still growing. Always remember that success is earned and you need to strive to keep it earning it.
Real beauty is modesty and the absence of ego- Senora Roy
You can’t work with others if you are blinded by ego. The truth is you can’t even build sustainable relationships, real success, great respect from your family, boss, friends and even colleagues.
Being egoistic is the same as being locked in a cage because you constantly need validation, comments and praise from people around you.
As a boss or business owner, ego can destroy all you have worked hard for. When you refuse to listen to advices, opinions because you feel you are better off or refuse to accept your very own mistakes and shortcomings because you feel too perfect and flawless, your entire business and professional life is affected.
By controlling our ego, we attract ideas, opportunities, build trusted relationships with people and become happy with ourselves. This happiness can make us more productive, creative and healthy.