Tuesday, April 16, 2024


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Illustration: Eleni Kastrinoyannis

The Ego is an important element in your progress, but if it “swallows” you it can put stumbling blocks on your path. How can you control it and use it to your advantage?

It doesn’t just happen to famous athletes, renowned doctors and celebrities featured in weekly magazines and websites. There are professionals in all fields with an ego that “swallows” them , puts them in trouble and turns out to be greater than their value and contribution.

To some extent the Ego is an important factor in a man’s progress. It can make the difference between being ‘good’ at something and being ‘great’. The “healthy Ego” is based on self-confidence and leads to a constructive life attitude .

However, if left unchecked it can backfire. For example, focusing too much on your individual worth and need for affirmation can lead to a lack of focus and attention. This type of Ego is based on arrogance and leads to destructive behavior, as evidenced e.g. in the case of perhaps the most famous golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods.

As John Baldoni (executive coach and leadership educator) writes in the Harvard Business Review , “it’s OK if others think you’re God, but you have a problem if you start to believe it yourself.”

Cultivating a healthy Ego

You definitely have to believe in yourself, in your abilities. We could say that the Ego affirms your ability to take responsibility for an action. On the other hand, Ego control shows your ability to take responsibility for yourself . How can you do the latter? Through the cultivation of humility.



Illustration: Eleni Kastrinoyannis


– Indulge, in moderation, in all praise

In the chaotic world of the internet I came across the following information: when a general returned victorious in ancient Rome, he was accompanied in the procession by a slave who had to remind him that his triumph would not last forever. “Memento mori,” said the slave. In other words, “Remember you’re going to die.” Even when they were having a good time, the Romans seem to have reminded each other of their mortal and imperfect nature .

Regardless of how well this story “stands”, the lesson remains and is a great reminder for anyone who succeeds. Most of the time success is earned, not given. Therefore, it is good not to put yourself on a throne and think that no one and nothing can bring you down from there.

– Ask the opinion of people you trust

The relationship between people who know and respect each other is valuable. Friends, partners, colleagues who are not afraid to express what they really believe can help you take steps forward. You need people you trust to tell you the truth .

Feedback is a vital process, as it is a source of information . Of course, if you want her to be productive, you need to maintain an environment yourself that encourages her and everyone involved is able to separate feelings from opinions.

A necessary component of productive feedback is, of course, active listening, really listening to what you are being told . If your behavior shows the opposite, then soon the people around you will stop sharing their point of view with you.

– Consider your weak points

It’s important to take the time to be honest with yourself and have an open conversation with him. This process is difficult, but extremely beneficial, as it helps you gain perspective . Admit and accept your mistakes in decisions and behaviors. Admit and accept that they can become your best teacher. No need for lies and excuses. Apologize and that humility will open a path to self-awareness and connection with others.

– Get over your need for control

Maybe you’re constantly tripping over other people’s feet, getting too bogged down in the details of their work and thinking that’s how you’re helping. In reality, this micromanaging is an Ego trap, reinforcing a sense of control at the expense of others. Relinquishing control promotes a sense of trust and fosters a culture of respect.

Try also to remember that you are not your Ego, nor your work, nor your achievements. If you allow the Ego to control your life, you will never be at peace or happy. Once you lose one of the things you identify with, then the rest will fall like dominoes. Show trust in those around you. Take risks.

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