If someone receives criticism (depending on who you are) the ego is most likely the first thing to react, which puts the mind and body in defensive mode. That can be extremely hurtful for personal growth. This usually happens after receiving a judgement or a different opinion. the ego will block any attempt at learning and make you feel you’re right, even if in actuality you are wrong. Sometimes there’s a gray area and neither person is right or wrong. Both people are standing their ground and that’s not a bad thing. It’s when the ego automatically kicks in and deflects any truths, acceptance, or understanding. That’s when the ego is controlling you.
I’ll admit whether I like it or not my ego is sometimes in control without me being aware of it. Everyday is full of challenges, and these hurdles can either be food to feed your ego (I am right- they’re wrong), or opportunity to grow (maybe they’re right?). I’d choose the latter, but we don’t always have a choice because the moment an issue arises we’re taking in new information so quickly there’s not enough time to stop and think. Is my ego in control?
Next time you witness something that seems wrong; take a step back and remember that your ego likes to judge and make quick assumptions. Look at the whole picture. Why did x cause y? Maybe you’ll see the problem in a new way and it’ll present an opportunity to a solution. An opportunity you never would have seen had you not looked at the problem in a different way. That’s what I’m referring to with how the ego can interfere with personal growth.
An overinflated ego causes irrational decisions. This is usually the result of over confidence mixed with quick and rapid success. Let’s tie it in with stocks. Let’s say stock trader Joe noticed a chart pattern for company A, read some news on company A, and based off some metrics and intuition decided to quickly buy stock in the company. One week later and joe nearly tripled his money. A major win! Joe rides his shares “to the moon” and becomes overly optimistic.
The victory boost his ego to the point of overconfidence and, you guessed it, he takes another large sum of money and tries to do it again. He researches Company B, which has a similar chart pattern as Company A before it spiked. Joe reads up on some news and does some analysis. Still feeling elated over his previous win; Joe’s overconfidence (inflated ego) causes him to make irrational decisions and assumptions. He decides to invest and only 2 days later the stock’s way down. He’s lost so much money that now his portfolio value is break even with last week. This is the inflated ego at work, and it can be cruel.
I also don’t want to confuse the over inflated ego with regular confidence. Confidence is necessary for success. The key difference between these two is how one chooses to interact with people and make decisions. The inflated ego can causes stubbornness and makes you feel your ideas are better than everyone else’s. A confident person looks at all angles, and accepts other’s ideas and solutions because they make sense. Confidence is crucial to success. Just don’t let some big wins make you irrational. Mindset and self awareness are a big player here. Don’t fall in the inflated ego trap.
A concept that is just as important as confidence is failure. It’s no secret. Failure is how we learn. An unhealthy ego doesn’t accept failure and tries to blame others or outside conditions. It comes up with unrealistic reasons and false scenarios. When this happens the ego mind is in a trap. Decisions making is close minded. Instead of learning or finding solutions to a problem all it cares about is itself. Taking a step back the point I’m trying to make is don’t let the ego stop you from better solutions and opportunities to grow.
Sometimes the ego wants to steer clear of failure, and that’s a hindrance to creativity and productivity. Why should you let the fear of failure stop you from accomplishing a goal? Sure that’s easy to say, but even harder to face when you actually set a plan in motion. More importantly, I think failure is better than not trying at all.