Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 6, 2010

Ego Beware

Ego Beware

      We all have an ego. When supported by positive healthy self-esteem ego can be nurtured and be good for us and others. However, when the ego becomes egocentric it becomes self-centered and ultimately destructive.

Labor Day Morning – The Knob at Pilot Mountain

People with good self-esteem care about others and make them better. Self-esteem is earned and obtained through hard work. It allows us to have a positive reflection on ourselves. The resulting ego can be a positive.

When the ego goes too far it becomes egocentric and cares only for itself. People who are egocentric do things without regard to the effect on others, and many times at the expense of others. Egocentric occurs when ego goes to your head. As the old saying goes, “You become a legend in your own mind.”

Athletes have to be aware of their egos. Of course we like to compete, but if we start only measuring ourselves in terms of wins and losses our ego can go too far. Rather, we are better loving competition as an avenue or means for personal betterment. Part of that betterment is encouraging and supporting others along the way.

Unfortunately many of us spend a lot of unproductive time defending our egos. Defending our ego leads to destructive activity. Ego actually becomes a defense mechanism that ends up insulating and isolating us from others.

Egocentric tendencies come from fear. This fear ultimately becomes the fear of always having to prove ourselves right. We also fear losing control. It is that fear itself that drives us to be egocentric. Conquer the fear which frees us from protecting ourselves and it is amazing how much we can accomplish.

Ego can trap us in a vicious circle. We fight for superiority in order to avoid inferiority. We bang our chest with pride in order to avoid a sense of worthlessness. We proclaim our successes because we are so afraid of failure. Fortunately, we can overcome these negative emotions and escape the paradox of the ego trap. When we transcend our own ego we find that people are more attracted to us even though we no longer try to impress.

Psychologists and theologians throughout the ages have supported the notion that love and respect for others can protect us from our own ego. Ego should never come between us and our relationships. When we listen, compliment others, support and encourage, we necessarily avoid being driven and also trapped by ego. What results is a strong family/social anchor which increases the likelihood of a lifetime filled with fulfillment and satisfaction.

The best way to avoid being trapped by ego is to stay outwardly in awe. We can be in awe of all sorts of things around us in our daily lives. We can be in awe of others, in awe of nature, and certainly in awe of our family and friends. Being outwardly in awe of others and our surroundings creates positive energy that comes back to us fulfilling us with positive self-esteem.

Avoiding the insular island of egocentric behavior opens us to the joy through the success of others which ultimately makes it more likely that we achieve our own successes.

Fighting the ego,

David

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  1. […] brings with it a humility that prevents folks from straying toward that dangerous ground of egocentric behavior. We are united to other likeminded people through our faithfulness. This unity applies to […]


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