In other words, does your ego need Spanx?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “ego” is “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” There’s nothing wrong with a healthy ego as this is what allows you to feel good about yourself, to feel capable of succeeding. But when your ego is out of whack, it’s not only highly irritating to others, but it also holds you back from becoming the strong, resilient (and much more likeable) person that you can be.
Here are a few clues that your ego may be just a bit inflated:
- People quickly turn the other way, or suddenly remember ‘important’ appointments when they see you coming.
- You feel it absolutely necessary to voice your opinion on each and every subject, regardless of whether or not you know anything about the subject matter.
- You get very jealous when someone else succeeds or does well, and you take great pleasure in pointing out their flaws or how you would have done things differently.
- When things don’t go your way, it’s always something or someone else’s fault (especially that sneaky ‘technology’).
- Everyone knows all about you (because you’ve told them), but you haven’t bothered to find out about anyone else.
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Do you recognize yourself? If you do, then it’s time to take stock of your ego.
A healthy ego is a positive. Believing in yourself is a good thing. It’s when you are of the opinion that you are so far above the rest of the world that you don’t need to behave with any sort of consideration for others (or even acknowledge the fact that you are wrong) that the issues begin.
At this point, you may not be able to see yourself through that lens . . . but chances are, that even now, there’s a quiet little voice inside of you saying, “That’s me.” If you hear — and listen to — that voice, then you are ready for positive change. It doesn’t take much for you to turn around your attitude, so that you move beyond an ego that really is holding you back.
- Make sure to pay attention to those around you, especially your family and friends (well, considering your ego problem, you may not have too many of these at this point, but it’s never too late to start to appreciate the people closest to you).
- When you receive praise, appreciate where it’s coming from, but don’t believe it absolutely.
- If you are truly are capable of doing something, don’t doubt yourself, but do not place yourself and your capabilities above all others.
- When you don’t know something, it never hurts to ask. Asking does not mean that you are stupid; it means that you are smart enough to know your limitations and smart enough to look for ways to learn.
- Be adaptable and willing to move outside your comfort zone. This gives you a chance to find out more about where your strengths lie, where you can shine, and what you should avoid. If you fail, then you have had an opportunity to learn (and failure is great for helping to build humility, something you, as a know-it-all, aren’t all that familiar with).
- Do not take offense whenever someone does not agree with you. Chances are it’s not personal. And… that person may really have an inflated ego (not like you, who are a wonderful, humble, loveable, intelligent, and caring individual).
Troy Media columnist Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications.