Many people will tell you that your ego is your worst enemy, it’s with you wherever you go and whatever you do. It’s not an outside stimulus that you can avoid or escape from, but something within. And pride, is another internal factor that can be detrimental to you if you allow it to be the driving force behind your actions. There are many reasons why both ego and pride can be your worst enemies. Let’s unpack some of these and hopefully prevent these from negatively affecting your life.
What is pride?
Intrinsically, pride is the absence of humility, and being humble is hence the opposite of being proud. When someone is proud it can be described as an exaltation of self. Having an unhealthy belief in your own abilities and power is the foundation of pride. You can say that pride essentially, is what you look to for answers, and by looking at yourself to fix all our problems you could be heading for disappointment. Seeing life through your eyes, your pain, your ideas, or your perspective isn’t always the best way to look at things. Pride makes you believe that you’re perfect, that you can do no wrong, and that your ways are always best. By thinking outside of self, is where you can get to a place where you’re humble and realize that others׳ opinions and points of view, can be of help. Being humble is not a process that happens over night though, it’s something that you have to work at and be intentional about.
What is ego?
Ego can be confused with pride, so it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two. Where pride is primarily about feeling good about yourself and your abilities, ego is about feeling good when you compare yourself to others. When someone is proud, they feel confident in themselves, whereas when your ego leads you, that confidence becomes arrogance. So much so, that your self-inflated opinion of yourself leads you to being controversial and always seeking to be better than everyone else. A person that’s egotistical only aims to prove that they’re right, and that they should be listened to and respected because they know best. Not allowing others to voice their opinions and their ideas will paint a picture that you’re unapproachable and as a result you alienate people and could eventually be left without any real friends.
Your ego can become your enemy in that it clouds your perception of reality because you’re not open to receive constructive criticism that could help you. As a result, you create unrealistic expectations of yourself and it creates a sense of entitlement. By doing so, you miss opportunities to improve and connect with others.
Putting your pride and ego aside is not something that comes naturally, so it will take some effort to move away from that wherever possible. When you start seeing the positive effects of such actions, it will help motivate you to continue putting self aside more and more. That’s not to say that you as an individual aren’t important, it’s just to say that others are important too and their opinions can be valuable to you too. Put pride and ego aside and you’ll achieve much more than you could possibly imagine, and you’ll create deeper, long lasting relationships in the process.