11/08/2014 11:10 BST | Updated 08/10/2014 06:59 BST

Keep Your Ego in Check

The A-Z Challenge: E is for Ego. Shift negative to positive alphabetically.

Feeling good about yourself is one of the essential keys to sustaining your self esteem. But thinking you're the best, well, that's ego! If you would like to put ego aside, then shift it with humility.

Ego Hurts: When criticism comes your way

Ego enables us to see shortcomings and weaknesses in others, but not in ourselves. And when we do see our weaknesses, ego hides them and claims to the world that we have none.

How do you know when your ego is at work? If you feel insulted, if a criticism hurts, if you get defensive, lose confidence.... it's your ego reacting! Now, nobody likes to be criticised. After all, who wants to hear negative stuff about themselves! But let's face it; we are not as perfect as we think we are, so some of the criticism is probably valid. When someone lets the air out of your ego, tap into your humility.

  • Humility knows the goodness that is within but it's also honest about the faults and flaws.
  • Humility knows not to take it personally, because it's not your whole character being criticised.
  • Humility is willing to learn and as a result, it will welcome the chance to polish the rough edges of your character.

So use criticism as constructive feedback to improve yourself. Take useful suggestions from the criticism and filter out the rest.


I the Ego: From Me to We

Ego thinks in terms of 'I' and 'Me'. It says, 'I am better than...' But it also says, 'I am not as good as...' Ego makes us both arrogant and insecure. Value your skills, talents and achievements without the need to brag. That doesn't mean you'll miss out on recognition. With humility, you become more, not less. How?

  • Humility understands that desiring recognition interferes with performance.
  • Humility doesn't mean putting yourself down or downplaying your own value.
  • Humility means to value yourself and others. Everyone's valuable but no one's better than the other.

When you're arrogant, other people are less likely to help, contribute and be part of whatever you're working towards. If others are not co-operating with you, check your ego. Turn 'me' upside down, and go from 'me' to 'we.' By embracing a broader perspective, you're able to leverage your personal talents and collaborate and engage with others to accomplish something altogether better.

Check your Ego at the Door

Ego has many faces. Start recognising the many faces of your ego. Putting ego aside isn't as easy as saying, 'Ego, go!' It requires attention, reflection and inner work. Here are 3 ways to give your ego a break.

  • Bossy Boots: Humility is not motivated to impress or dominate others. Be who you are and let others be who they are. Defending ideas often turns into defending yourself. Share ideas confidently and listen to ideas with interest. Express yourself without being bossy. Ask rather than tell others what to do. Offer suggestions rather than give orders.

  • Share the Praise: Enjoy success without the need to boast or gloat over your achievements. Appreciate the contributions of others and understand how you fit into the picture of making the task successful. Praise others for their accomplishments and share the credit for group efforts.

  • Please Help: Are you able to ask for assistance without hesitation or do you feel uncomfortable? When you need help, be ego-free and ask for help.

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