“The ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything.” Richard Rose
Ego and self-respect are the two sides of a same coin or two extremes of a single line. To comprehend the difference, we need to get acquainted with the two often confused feelings — Ego and Self Respect.
Ego is a negative feeling. When you deliberately compare yourself with others, a feeling of restlessness brings forth the negative hues of your personality. As a result, you tend to compare yourself with people smaller or weaker than you in terms of money, power, authority, appearance. Your need to feel superior makes you fall back on ego which is a manifestation of your false-self and a cover up for your insecurities. You reject other’s opinions which is counterproductive for your progress. Ego narrows down your vision, thought process and perspective, whereby you reject some great ideas and advice.
One big challenge in managing ego is not to hurt our self-esteem. Ensure that your ego does not obstruct conducive thinking and positive point of views. When you have an unhealthy attachment to self, you will be resentful and negative while facing a contrasting opinion. With ego at the forefront, you intimidate to make your idea stand out. You are not prepared for criticism and rejection of your ideas. Your sense of self- importance hinders your far sightedness and gives a myopic vision. Let go this self-attachment and ego will also be gone.
Self-respect is a positive feeling of taking pride in what you are and who you are. It’s all about confidence and self-assurance, while ego is about insecurity and fear.
When a young child criticises you, it is taken with a pinch of salt. You do not take it on your ego because you are confident, and self-assured in front of a child. However, when the same criticism is doled out by a colleague, you are hurt because your confidence is shaken. Your self-esteem suffers. The differentiator between your responses to these two criticisms is the level of confidence. When you are confident, you take criticisms with a healthy perspective as an exercise in self-improvement.
Self-respect brings with it a feeling of assurance and confidence. You accept and respect other’s viewpoint with grace. You are not insecure or scared of any negative comments. Of course, if someone insults you or passes derogatory comments while undermining your efforts, then it is an attack on your self-respect. In this situation we take a stand for our own opinion.
However, remember that ego always leads to argument, anger, pain and hurt. Whereas, self-respect leads us to stability and progress.
How to manage Ego
Stop the unhealthy attachment with the self that does not let us to appreciate other’s point of view. It’s important to respect your own idea but also be attentive to other’s point of view. Embrace yourself without falling in the pit of destruction- Ego.