Is your ego getting in your way?

May 14, 2009          Comments (3)

Ego, as I’ve written about before, is simply the story you tell yourself about yourself.

If the story you tell yourself about yourself is that you’re a worthless piece of shit and you don’t deserve success (whatever success means to you) then you’ll probably never obtain success. On the other hand, if you believe your destined for greatness, your chances for ‘greatness’ certainly increase.

I believe that having a healthy ego is critical for success. In fact, I don’t know one ‘successful’ person who doesn’t think somewhat highly of themselves.

As I wrote in this post, if you don’t expect things of yourself before you can do them, then you will never, ever, do them.

So the question then becomes how do I get a healthy ego?

Well, expecting things of yourself comes from self confidence. And I believe the best way to gain self confidence is to actually do the things you really want to do.

I see this week after week with new clients. Sometimes even after the first few days, but usually after the first week or so, they’ll always tell me how amazing they feel. Besides the consistent healthy eating and exercise, I know a huge part of that comes from my clients keeping the promises that they make to themselves.

But ego can also hurt us greatly. Going back to my definition of ego (the story you tell yourself about yourself) if someone says anything that conflicts with your story, you’re most likely going to be upset because they are attacking your perceived sense of self.

But the problem with those who have enormous egos is that they’ll go to great lengths to protect and defend it. Too bad they can’t just let go of their ego for a second. If you really think about it, it’s amazing how many tiffs are simply about people defending their ego.

Do you care what people think of you?

Or do you care what you think about yourself more?

I think the answer to this question is whether or not you’re more extrinsically or intrinsically motivated.

After all, it’s nice to have positive things being said about you. But if you’re striving for remarkable in your life – negatives things will be said too. Not everyone will love you.

How much do you believe in yourself? Well, if you don’t believe in yourself you can have other people boost your ego. But the problem with relying on other people to constantly boost your ego is that you become in need of praise constantly.

Having both is ideal; however, it’s important to not rely too much on external praise.

Your ego can also limit your opportunities. Maybe you think your God’s gift to the world. Maybe you think you can do everything by yourself.

It’s the people with robust egos that aren’t nearly as self-aware as they should be that you should watch out for. How well do you know yourself? Can you laugh at yourself?

It’s amazing how often I see ego getting in the way of people getting into shape. The first step to getting in the shape you want to be is admitting to yourself that you aren’t (yet)!

The second step is realizing that you might need some help. Some people can’t even get past the first step. Many will never get past the second.

Ultimately, I believe you must have a healthy ego in order to succeed but it’s important to not let your ego get in your way. I also believe everyone cares how others view them. However, it’s those who care more about what they think about themselves than what others think about them that have the greatest chance for success.

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  1. Great post. I think that ego gets a mad rep and like anything its about moderation. Great observation

    Bert Gervais
    Author, “Who’s in my Top Hive?”

    Comment by Bert — June 1, 2009 @ 11:55 am

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