It may be time to take stock of your overinflated ego
The Oxford Dictionary defines “ego” as “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” There’s nothing wrong with a healthy ego: it is, after all, what allows us to feel good about ourselves and to feel capable of succeeding. But when your ego is out of whack, it’s not only highly irritating to others; it also holds you back from becoming the strong, resilient (and much more likeable) person 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 overinflated ego.
A healthy ego is a positive. Believing in yourself is a good thing. It’s when you think that you are so far above the rest of the world that you don’t need to behave with any consideration for others (or even acknowledge the fact that you are wrong) that the issues begin.
At this moment, you might not readily identify with this perspective, but there’s a good chance that even now, a subtle inner voice within you is whispering, “That’s me.” Acknowledge and heed that inner voice and you are poised for meaningful 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.
Here are six tips to help you curb your inner ego:
- Pay attention to those around you, especially your family and friends (well, considering your overinflated 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 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 allows you to discover 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 offence whenever someone does not agree with you. Chances are, it’s not personal. And that person may really have an overinflated ego.
Faith Wood is a professional speaker, author, and certified professional behaviour analyst. Prior to her speaking and writing career, she served in law enforcement, which gives her a unique perspective on human behaviour and motivations. Faith is also known for her work as a novelist, with a focus on thrillers and suspense. Her background in law enforcement and understanding of human behaviour often play a significant role in her writing.
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