The ego is a powerful and dangerous thing. While people with big egos may look very confident on the outside, it is the insecurity inside that makes them behave in such a selfish manner. The fear of how one appears to others, the sense of entitlement that those with large egos have ultimately causes their downfall. Oxford Dictionaries defines ego as “A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” Self-esteem is a very important trait in a person but self-importance can be detrimental. When one thinks only of oneself, there is no room for inclusion.
This is an important matter in the business world, where many leaders and CEOs have a heightened perspective of themselves. And why shouldn’t they? After all, many of these folks have worked extremely hard to achieve such great success.
It takes a shrewd and capable mind to climb the corporate ladder. And, once a leader achieves success, others around him/ her feed into their egos with constant praise. This can make keeping one’s ego in check very difficult.
But there is a fine line between having healthy self-confidence and being egotistical. Self-confidence implies that one is comfortable and secure in their own abilities. They believe they have enough intelligence and competence to prosper and make their businesses succeed.
However, those with large egos think only of themselves. There is no one more important or “right” than they are is the belief of those who suffer from over confidence. This attitude may work in the short term but, ultimately, it will come back to bite you.
Having an over inflated sense of self may have been perfectly fine 20 or 30 years ago but in today’s world, the average person is not impressed by this behavior. Customers are looking at companies and leaders who take a wholistic approach to conducting business. This means being more inclusive and including measures such as social issues and values when calculating return on investment.
There are ways in which you can keep ego under control.
1. Listen to those who applause you but take it with grain of salt. In other words, stay humble and grounded when others are singing your praises and you won’t get caught up in the ego trap.
2. Look at things from a different perspective. When egos get out of control, it means that we are seeing situations from just our point of view. Just as everyone has an opinion, everyone also has their own background and unique experiences and may not see things exactly the way you do.
3. Learn from criticism. It is human nature to become defensive when someone is critical of us. But we should take a minute and really think about what is being said. The harsh words may sting at first, but there is guaranteed to be a learning experience hidden somewhere in the midst of the negativity.
Keeping a balance between self-confidence and outright selfishness takes time and practice. But it is worth noting that when we begin to view others from a different perspective, it opens up avenues for self-growth and reflection.
Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC)
Weaver, Thinker, Doer