Tough question, and kind of hard to answer, isn’t it? I’d say having a big ego, or simply having an ego can be both good and bad, as there are positive as well as negative effects of having an ego—depending on its size. I am sure you can think of many well-known personalities who have a large ego.
People with a big ego, on one hand, do manage to accomplish a lot in life and reach their goals. On the other hand, many of them just can’t seem to have enough attention, praise, and adulation to ever be happy. In such cases, that ego can be the source of a lot of challenges and perhaps even lead to the person’s downfall.
So, coming back to our initial question: is having a big ego good or bad?
Basically, it boils down to what is important to you—what matters to you.
Let’s begin by looking at the advantages of having a big ego.
- Having a big ego can result in great success. You do need a big ego to rise to the top—as a national level politician or a CEO of a large organization, or to succeed in any highly competitive field. That ego plays an important role in wanting to outdo the competition and is an invaluable force when the competition is tough.
- Having a big ego can help in overcoming obstacles. People flaunting big egos are so happy with themselves that they don’t let minor obstacles come in the way of their accomplishments. They believe they can do anything. So why should they look at any hindrance as an issue worth considering?
- Another advantage of having a big ego is that it lets you set huge goals and makes you believe you can achieve them. The confidence overload that comes with this is a major asset.
Now let’s look at the disadvantages of having a big ego.
- You are caught up with what others think most of the time. While some people with big egos couldn’t care less about what others think, others are literally obsessed with other peoples’ opinions. And this can result in major pain for that ego when it is not as appreciated as much as it thinks it should be.
- You are never ever satisfied. Your ego is eternally hungry and insatiable. Your ego always wants more. It can be more of power, money, attention, praise—and it can just not get enough of it. As a result, having a big ego can mean never experiencing peace.
- Having a big ego can be harmful to those around you. And this is one reason why people avoid egotistical people. When someone with a big ego is always focusing on themselves, others are simply a means to an end.
- A big ego can blind you to the truth. It can lie to you. You cannot see things as they are because your ego comes in the way of how you perceive situations. People with big egos lose sight of life’s bigger picture.
- Your ego makes you afraid of failure because it just can’t take it. A large ego wants to protect itself all the time and makes you uncomfortable when you want to try something new. It tries to stop you from stretching out of your comfort zone, for fear of failure.
- An unhealthy ego can result in arrogance.
As you can see, having a big ego can be good or bad depending on the situation. Ego can make us sensitive to failure—or it can make us overconfident of our abilities. Our ego can drive us to be successful, but at the same time, it can hurt those we care for.
What can we do about balancing our ego?
It is important to be aware of our ego and how it affects our behavior and goals. According to a study, healthy doses of ego boost your willpower, which means, it might help you stick to a diet or focus on a major project, for example. It can also help you stay resilient when things go wrong. Used properly, ego can help us grow.
When it goes out of control, even though the ego can make you successful, at the same time, it can also make you miserable. The trick is to find the middle ground—the balance—where your ego is just enough to make you feel confident, but also keep you happy without thinking someone made you king.
Finding the level of confidence and ego that works for you is the key.
What are your views on this?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verses, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions, and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.