Ego vs confidence
Ego vs confidence
Such similar meanings yet they can have such different outcomes. The difference between becoming a well rounded and successful person or burning out and having hatred towards the world. This argument of ego vs confidence has been discussed many of times before and I think its time to add my two cents in.
But first, what does the internet say? The internet says that ego is your sense of self esteem or self importance and for confidence it means, a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of your own ability’s and qualities. Can you understand why there is a misconception that ego and confidence are the same thing? I believe the difference is that confidence is “arising from an appreciation of your own ability’s and qualities.” It’s based of a measurable factor such as your abilities.
On the other hand ego is a desire, it’s not based of anything. We all have an ego according to Freud who explains that we use our ego as a defence mechanism from our true desires, in context I believe that ego is confidence gone to far, it’s when you become arrogant. So what are these desires? Well I believe when it comes to ego your desires are when you to want to be liked, it operates on self interest and seeks approval, I love what Gary Vee says on this podcast he states that ego is insecurity with makeup on, he’s right! We all want to be loved and accepted, it’s wired into our D.N.A but ego is when you take these desires to far, when you look to blame others instead of holding yourself accountable.
Your ego is normally constructed of your experiences, beliefs and impressions of who you are and where you’ve come from. Unfortunately your ego comes from what you think you are and not actually what you are, this can lead to an inflated ego and you thinking you are better than everybody else.
Ego is like a spoilt child, it wants to get its own way over anyone else, it has no empathy towards others Including yourself. Ego needs to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility.
According to Ryan Holiday in his book ego is the enemy he explains the ego becomes prominent in 3 key places in life, when you’re aspiring, when you have success and when you fail. But before we look deeper into these 3 key events let’s look at the story of Ryan Holiday.
Ryan Holiday had extraordinary success at an early age, he became the director of marketing at American apparel at the age of 21 and was the best selling author of 4 books at the age of 29 with all this success he has got to witness the destruction of unchecked ego. Ego is such a destructive mindset and can stop you from becoming successful, so much so that Ryan has this tattooed on his arm “ego is the enemy”
Aspiring: When you were a child, like most you was showered with words of how great and special you was and as you get older you still seek this approval, you want gratification for everything you do, you talk more than you do and you start to procrastinate about everything you do because you need someone to say well done or good job every step of the way, you require validation from others for you to get off your ass!. Your ego will be asking you how long is it going to take to become successful , 10,000 hours, 20,000, this is wrong, it’s going to take however long it takes, it’s all about them small improvements.
Success: If you’re reading this blog, you’re more than likely interested in self improvement and how to be successful but success can become intoxicating and can prevent us from going further and becoming greater. You succeed in one goal and your ego can paralyze you. It ignores the fact that you don’t know everything and your not the best. You reject education and improvement to better yourself as you think you don’t need it, you forget that you have to be a student to gain information instead of thinking you know it all. Ego makes you ignore constructive criticism and you become arrogant believing you know more than everyone else becoming self absorbed bizarrely thinking you are some higher being.
Failure: Ego has the ability to lift our plans up and then smash them to pieces, ego doesn’t like being told its wrong, nor does it like failing. Failure is what helps you improve, it’s what’s you learn from. Yet ego doesn’t want you to improve it just wants the rewards. Don’t let success go to your head or failure get to your heart.
How to destroy your ego
Well having an ego can help you to understand what motivates you so you don’t want to destroy it and according to Freud you couldn’t even if you wanted to however you should keep your ego in check.
Not me, myself and I: Your ego tries to make everything all about you, it tries to prove that you’re right and everyone else is wrong so you need to stop this, try giving credit to others for what they have done, even if you did something but they helped just a little bit give them the credit, we spoke about sharing credit in our win friends and influence people blog which you can read about here. By not focusing all the attention on you, it will not only help you achieve things quicker it will also help you build connections with people.
Ditch the defense: When and if someone criticises you don’t take offense and try and come up with a better comeback or hurl abuse at them instead, take in what they said, process it and rationally see if there’s any truth behind what they are saying, look at things from their perspective, if you still believe it’s unjust, accept what they have said and move on, the only person growing from it is you. A trick that I use to improve is asking people to tell me two of my qualities and to things I could improve on, it’s helped me become a better person.
Better not bashing: It’s quite easy to sit back and pick apart someone else or their ideas and determine ways in which they could potentially fail. Instead of judging the actions or decisions of others, offer your expertise and do what you can to help improve it and mitigate risk rather than making it worse. Giving your time and talent freely and without reserve, judgement or expecting anything in return will help alleviate the pressures to feed your ego all of its desires.
What is confidence?
Confidence is a great attribute to have, it can make us more attractive, more successful and much much more. Unlike your ego, confidence doesn’t use screaming to be heard It’s a statement, confidence comes from within it doesn’t care for the approval of others because it has evidence to base it of , it doesn’t need to talk a good game if you play a good game. Confidence is when you have an unwavering believe in your own ability. If you would like to learn how to be more confident you can read one of our first blogs, the keys to confidence.