In a day and age where you can find a multitude of excuses to fail, the last thing you need is your own pride becoming one of them. We used to live in a society where we were responsible for our own failures and success, but here today, is a society where many of its inhabitants feel self-entitled and quick to pass the blame. To avoid this, do one thing; check your ego at the door. Your ego is a powerful tool, which in small doses can be instrumental in boosting confidence or sparking a competitive nerve, but too much of it wages far different results.
The ego shares the same office with pride; they both reside in an internal division located at the top floor of your mind – and not your office building. Defined by Freud as a defense mechanism designed to protect and serve one’s basic instincts while also determining reality, the ego can also become a prideful attitude that’s both counterproductive and damaging. Often times, ego leaves many in life focusing on what they are not receiving, rather than what they can give. In this lifetime, everything we want depends on what we’re willing to work. Simply put, life gives back to you what you put in.
Even though the purpose of the ego is to protect and defend, far too often it’s all for the wrong reasons, especially in business. Colin Powell once advised: “Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.” This is often exactly what happens when ego interferes with a smooth-running relationship, whether in business or the private sector, creating irreparable damage and triggering the ultimate failure of all involved.
We’ve all fallen victim to ego in some form or fashion, and it’s understandable, considering how difficult it can be to manage. On one hand we are to trust it, as it defines our reality, but on the other hand, a well-fed ego leaves a distorted reality, confusing us as to what’s real and what isn’t.
As human beings, one of our most difficult tasks in life is to find that perfect balance between letting our ego serve us, and serving our ego. One will get you everything you’ve dreamed of, and the other will cost you everything you’ve worked for. Choose wisely, and remember that “Ego is not the master of its own House.” Don’t give it the keys to yours.
Written by G. Villa