- Anya Szumowski
The Joy of Checking Your Ego
Our ego is a crucial part of our personality, shaping our identity and how we perceive ourselves in relation to others. It's our sense of self-importance and self-esteem. A healthy ego allows us to have confidence, adaptability, self-assurance, and awareness. However, if we let our ego over-inflate, we become arrogant and entitled, thinking "I'm right and you're wrong." The truth is, we've all been there, whether we like to admit it or not. But just like any other part of our personality, our ego can sometimes get a little too big for its boots. That's where the joy of checking your ego comes in.
Before we start challenging the ego, I think it's important to acknowledge it's function; safety. Our ego is wired to protect us from harm, whether that be physical or emotional. It's the part of us that tell us to avoid risks and stay in our comfort zone. While this can be helpful in certain situations, it can also hold us back from moving forward. When we let our ego take over, we may resist change, ignore feedback, or put up walls that prevent us from forming meaningful connections.
By recognizing when our ego is getting in the way of healthy relationships and personal growth, we can take steps to keep it in check. This doesn't mean abandoning our confidence or identity, but rather acknowledging our own limitations and mistakes, and being open to learning from them.
Here are some ego red flags to be aware of:
Feeling the need to always be right, even when it's not important.
Reacting defensively to feedback or criticism.
Talking about yourself excessively in conversations.
Bragging or boasting about your achievements or possessions.
Constantly seeking external validation and approval.
Putting down others to make yourself feel better.
Blaming others for your mistakes or shortcomings.
Refusing to apologize or admit when you're wrong.
Feeling superior or entitled to special treatment.
Becoming angry or hostile when you don't get your way.
Holding grudges or seeking revenge.
Refusing to listen to others' perspectives or opinions.
When we check our ego, we open ourselves up to learning and growing. It allows us to see situations from multiple perspectives, remain humble, and prioritize relationships over our need to be "right." So, now that we know why it's helpful to check our egos, how do we actually do it? Consider the tips below...
Practice self-reflection: Take a moment to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Are they coming from a place of self-importance or selflessness? Acknowledge your ego and try to understand its role in your behavior.
Listen to others: When engaging in conversations or discussions, try to actively listen to what others are saying without interrupting or immediately dismissing their viewpoints. Respectfully consider their perspectives and opinions, even if they differ from your own.
Accept constructive criticism: Instead of feeling defensive or attacking the person providing feedback, take a step back and try to see things from their perspective. Consider the feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a personal attack.
Practice humility: Recognize that you are not always right, and that others may have more knowledge or experience in certain areas. Be open to learning from others and consider their input.
Celebrate the success of others: Instead of feeling threatened or envious of others' accomplishments, celebrate their successes and recognize that their achievements do not diminish your own value or worth. There is room for all of us to succeed.
So, next time you notice those red flags creeping up on you, take a step back and ask yourself: is this really serving me? Is it benefiting my relationships? Am I allowing space for growth? If the answer is no, don't be afraid to check your ego and make room for something greater.
Checking Your Ego • Self-Reflection • Self-Awareness • Personal Growth • Emotional Intelligence • Mindfulness • Healthy Relationships