There are many reasons why both ego and pride can be your worst enemies. Let’s unpack some of these and hopefully prevent them from negatively affecting your life.
Your ego is with you wherever you go and whatever you do. It’s not an outside stimulus that you can avoid or escape from, but something from within. And pride, is another internal factor that can be detrimental to you if you allow it to be the driving force behind your actions.
What Is Pride?
Basically, pride is the absence of humility, and being humble is hence the opposite of being proud. When someone is proud it can be described as an exaltation of self. Having an unhealthy belief in your own abilities and power is the foundation of pride. You can say that pride essentially, is what you look to for answers, and by looking at yourself to fix all of your problems could lead you to disappointment.
Seeing life through your eyes, your pain, your ideas, or your perspective isn’t always the only, let alone the best way to look at things. Pride makes you believe that you’re perfect, that you can do no wrong, and that your ways are always best. By thinking outside of self, is where you can get to a place where you’re humble and realise that others opinions and points of view, can be of help.
Being humble is not a process that happens over night though, it’s something that you have to work at and be intentional about.
What Is Ego?
Ego can be confused with pride, so it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two.
Where pride is primarily about feeling good about yourself and your abilities, ego is about feeling good when you compare yourself to others. When someone is proud, they feel confident in themselves, whereas when your ego leads you, that confidence can become arrogance. So much so, your self-inflated opinion of yourself may even lead you to being controversial and seeking to be better than everyone else.
A person that’s egotistical only aims to prove that they’re right, and that they should be listened to and respected because they know best. Not allowing others to voice their opinions and their ideas will paint a picture that you’re unapproachable and as a result you could alienate people and even eventually be left without any real friends or workforce!
Your ego can become your enemy if not under control, in that it may cloud your perception of reality because you’re not open to receive constructive criticism that could help you. As a result, you create unrealistic expectations of yourself and it creates a sense of entitlement. By doing so, you could open yourself up to missing opportunities.
Putting your pride and ego aside might not come naturally, so it may well take some effort to adjust. Just remember, others are important too and their opinions can be valuable to you also.
Got you thinking, or know someone with a huge ego?
Read or send them Ego Is The Enemy, by Ryan Holiday. It is filled with cautionary tales of those who let their egos run amok and who were eventually undone by the resulting damage, as well as stories of those who practiced restraint and sobriety, and found success in their endeavours.