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Is Having an Ego Good or Bad?

By Dr. Jacqueline L. Knight

This is a challenging question. There is a perfect example to demonstrate both the positive and negative effects of having a significant ego. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, is well known for having a large ego.

On the one hand, he did manage to become a billionaire and the president. On the other hand, he can’t get enough attention, praise, or adulation to ever be happy. His ego has also caused him a lot of challenges.

So, is having a big ego good or bad? It depends on what’s important to you.

There are several advantages to having a big ego:

  1. A big ego can lead to big success. You’re unlikely to ever become a national level politician, a CEO, or succeed in any highly competitive field without a big ego. Big egos love to outdo the competition. So, an ego can be invaluable when the competition is fierce.
  2. A big ego can be helpful in overcoming obstacles. Those with big egos are so often so pleased with themselves that they don’t allow silly obstacles to stand in their way. They think they can do anything, so why would an obstacle be a significant issue?

A big ego can allow you to set huge goals and believe that you can achieve them. The unreasonable level of confidence that often accompanies a big ego can be an asset.

However, the news isn’t all positive.

There are also disadvantages to having a big ego:

  1. You’re often too concerned about the opinions of others. While some people with big egos couldn’t care less what others think, others are obsessed with the opinions of others. A big ego can suffer big pain when it’s not appreciated as much as it thinks it should be.
  2. You’re never satisfied. An ego is a hungry beast that’s never full. You can’t do enough to satisfy a big ego. It always wants more. Whether it’s power, money, attention, or praise, it can’t get enough. Those with big egos never experience peace.
  3. It can be detrimental to those around you. Your ego can harm the people around you, which is the biggest reason why many people avoid egotistical people. When you’re focused on yourself and satisfying your ego, others are just a means to an end.
  4. Your ego can blind you to the truth. Your ego lies to you. You can’t see the truth, because your ego greatly influences your perception.
  5. Your ego can make you afraid of failure. An overactive ego likes to protect itself. It’s your ego that makes you uncomfortable when you want to try something new. It’s your ego that tries to stop you from talking to the beautiful woman or the handsome man.

Your ego can be a good thing, or a negative thing, depending on the situation. Your ego can make you sensitive to failure or overconfident in your abilities. Your ego can drive you to be successful, but it can also harm those you care about the most. Be aware of your ego and how it influences your behavior and your goals.

An out of control ego can make you very successful, but it can also make you miserable. There’s a middle ground where you have enough of an ego to have some confidence in yourself, but you can also be happy without becoming the emperor of the universe. Find of level of confidence and ego that works for you.

You Can Do It!

Copyright © 2019 Dr. Jacqueline L. Knight

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