Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Pride has many shapes and sizes. Our egos have the strength and power to sustain the momentum needed to achieve goals. What is this force that drives us? Is it self-fulfillment? Are you looking to prove yourself by a “Hey Ma, look at me” sort of thing?
The ego is everything. Whether you consider your life normal or you are a person who needs to control everything, your self-image compels you.
Table of contents
What Is Self-Confidence And Is That Part of Our Ego?
Your self-confidence is a mirror of your mindset. Is your self-confidence reflected by a title, an expensive car, the size of your home, or the current fashions you wear? Plenty of people have these things whose lives are shallow and miserable. I know them.
Humility is a valued attribute. Being pompous and prideful among the incredible people put into our lives is counterproductive. These folks are a part of our journey put here to quell out-pourings of conceit. That is very good.
Pride resides in my heart, a deep, destructive nasty ego wanting to dominate everyone else. Everyone is a competitor; in my soul bodes a desire to crush them all.
Maybe you feel that way as well.
If you do, here is a counter-thought:
As creators, we can balance out all that pride. The first is to compare ourselves to those who have gone before us. By taking a closer look at the accomplishments of others, we can question how much we bring to the table.
Let’s not beat around the bush:
Do you have teachers and at least one mentor? What are they attempting to reveal to you? Are you hearing what they are saying and listening, really listening?
As we progress with what we are learning, the core value of professionalism develops more and more. Each new creative work is another step up the ladder. All facets of our creative outlets are like spokes in a wheel. Each new skill we develop reinforces the others. The wheel becomes more robust and more resilient.
As much as our egos want us to exemplify perfection, the actual achievement is often elusive.
My creations could be better, but each project is another step toward higher aspirations.
Relationships To Others
Everyone of us, in all conscious moments, are in a struggle to move away from problems and toward solutions.
Even if we consider ourselves at the pinnacle of evolutionary progress, we are still primates. We may have access to all the advantages of modern technology and a Twenty-first-century lifestyle. However, we still live in small groups and measure our successes against the accomplishments of others. The question is: by what criterion do we measure ourselves?
All of us have different values by which we measure ourselves. One person may desire financial success; another may want better health. It all comes down to personal valuations. To better understand your priorities, you need to know how to measure yourself.
Making Decisions With Your Ego
Remember the Vanity Press? It still exists and is evidently dominated by major publishing houses. The term Vanity Press is considered a contemptuous statement; those that use it may not be considered worthy of publication, therefore the work is considered ego-driven.
Thanks to Marija Zaric for this photograph
Facebook selfies take up a ton of its content. What on earth drives people to take selfies? Is it a form of narcissism? Does the habit display some form of insecurity? How on earth is a person’s life improved by this habit? What makes people think the rest of us are concerned about anyone’s life but our own? Can someone explain this to me.
Our Ego Can Be Used A Useful Tool
If you are a writer who can self-publish, there isn’t much need for the Vanity Press. All sorts of stuff come out these days on all kinds of subjects. Satisfaction can be gained by publishing your work with minimal help. That’s good for the ego.
Life is fluid; funny how it sometimes happens to get in the way of the best-laid plans and courses of action. Many times, the path of life leads to annoyance and exasperation. Frustrating circumstances, those walls that are in the way, and the doors that won’t open, often lead to changing values. Re-evaluating your game plan can help you have greater peace of mind by looking at the bigger picture.
The beauty of being a person who is self-effacing is constantly questioning and confronting the brutality of the answers. You have to stare your failures in the face while maintaining belief in yourself.
Who makes your decisions? Do you, or are you letting others’ opinions do it for you? If you always believe what other people say, you may never come to your own conclusions. Listen as much as possible to what other people say, but ensure there is the correct data to back their point of view. If you can’t come to a decision, then trust your feelings.
The Ego As A Filter
Using our ego entails control; we are always choosing. Controlling our circumstances may be beyond our abilities. But we know that we manage how we react to those circumstances. We interpret the meaning of every moment and occurrence.
Challenges come and go. The difference between whether the challenge is painful or powerful is how we choose to deal with it. It comes down to the realization that we are responsible for everything in our lives.
Thinking this way might be a tough pill to swallow. At the very least, you can give the good fight, having gone down swinging. Ultimately, the difference may be from being the victim in your life to being the victor.
The Results Of Ego Driven Situations
I have a long-time friend, let’s call him Jack. We go back, like, decades. When I first met Jack, he was a kid who had suffered abuse of the worst kind, as bad as it gets. Because he didn’t know any other life, Jack made decisions that hurt those he loved and people he didn’t know, both mentally and physically.
Jack’s decisions and the actions he took toward others resulted in incarceration. He spent almost seventeen years paying for his actions. When Jack was released, he changed his behaviors and worked on himself. All these years later, he is happily married and holds down his job.
What motivated Jack? His ego would not allow him to fall back into the destructive path his teenage years dictated he was treading.
The Winning Deck
Photograph Courtesy of Amanda Jones
We are all dealt a different deck of cards. Some of us get a Royal Flush and Aces. Most don’t. It’s natural to feel cheated when the cards do not pop up in our favor. That’s how Jack initially decided to respond to the shitty cards life dealt to him.
Jack suffered the consequences of his actions which gave him time to analyze where his life was going. Jack’s self-esteem would not allow him to continue down the destructive path. With the worst cards possible, he made better choices about his behavior, allowing him to come out ahead.
That’s how life can be: it’s not necessarily being dealt the winning hand but what you do with the crappy cards.
How is your ego going to motivate you into action?
Ego And Knowledge
The world of things is indeed often subject to diminishing returns. But the world of ideas is not. The more knowledge you generate, the more you can generate.
Photograph Courtesy of Kenny Eliason
Reconciling our egos will lead us to understand living in the present moment. It is a place of revelation when comprehending that no change ever happened in the past, nor will it in the future. When you were in the past, that was now. When the future arrives, it will also be now.
Actions that we take are always in the present. If our ego rejoices in what we once were or lives in anticipation of what we will be, then time and energy are wasted. The only thing that matters is the present. The activities we do today shape what promise tomorrow will reveal.
The most sensible and realistic course is to accept the way things are and use the present moment to construct our desired prospective outcomes.
Ego And Self-determination Theory
No man is an island,” as the saying goes. As no other plants and animals exist in isolation, neither do we humans. Plants and animals need to interact in order to survive. We have multiple interconnections with each other throughout the course of any given day. Our egos guide us through these.
In biology, this is called Organismal Interaction. In psychology, the related premise is the Organismic Dialectic. Just as organisms rely upon the biological interactions of one another, we rely on the psychological connectivity we have with those around us. But I already said that, only in a different way.
If I need to correct this, reach out and correct me. I would love it.
The Power Of Ego
Self-determination Theory supposes that we actively pursue growth, dominating our environment and facing the challenges it brings. Our egos drive us to survive and control the world around us as much as possible. Along with these things, we combine our life experiences to define whom we believe we are. We naturally form connectivity with those who share similar elements of our personality.
A complete over-simplification courtesy of Moi.
Do you want to take a deeper dive on Self-determination Theory? Follow the link.
Is Ego A Bad Thing?
How do you measure yourself by the self-esteem you have? What external and internal sources motivate you? How do you allow social and cultural forces to affect the direction of your life? These are tough questions when based on legitimate data points.
When self-evaluating, we consider these things compared to those around us: our competence in life, relationships, independence, and self-governance.
These judgments can be a brutal or reassuring reality, especially from whatever vantage point your life can be at. You get to decide.
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