Why Does the Concept of the “Ego” Have a Bad Name?
“Oh my God, she has such a huge ego!”
Have you ever found yourself saying these words about someone? Or maybe someone has said them about you? Either way, there is a major misunderstanding out there about what exactly an ego is and whether or not having one is a good or bad thing.
What is Your Ego?
To get the conversation started right, we need to start working off the same definition. Here is what it says in the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
‘he needed a boost to his ego’
1.1. Psychoanalysis The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
Let’s look at the first definition first: A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
Well, by that definition, we ALL have egos. We all have an inherent sense of self-esteem, some high and some low. But there is no judgment or sense of superiority attached to the definition.
How about the second definition: The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
That’s a little more complex, but it essentially means that your ego is your sense of “self.” Which, again, we all have.
So why is having an ego a bad thing when we all have one?
What People Really Mean By Ego
When people say that someone has an ego, what they are actually trying to say is that someone is arrogant. That they have an over-inflated self-opinion. That they believe they are better than everyone else, for reasons either real or imagined. They are narcissistic (and often can be poisonous in personal relationships).
Now, I wouldn’t suggest that any of these are virtues. Having an inflated sense of self is NOT something to strive for in life. But they have nothing to do with having an ego!
Rehabilitating the Word “Ego”
Having a healthy ego does not mean that you are arrogant. I mean, it’s right there in the word, “healthy.” It’s healthy to have an ego!
If you have a healthy ego, then you have a strong sense of self. You know what you want out of your life. You know your abilities and current limits, and constantly work to push beyond them.
Working to develop a healthy (or strong) ego is something that we need to thrive in our lives. If our ego is weak, if our sense of self has been beaten down by events or people in our lives, then thriving can feel impossible. By healing the ego, by building ourselves up again and reaching for our true potential, THAT is how we can thrive in life.
But How Can We Do This?
Well, it’s easier said than done, I’m not going to lie.
When you are feeling down on yourself, when your ego is weak, it can be difficult to build it back up again. In fact, if your sense of self is currently damaged, you might not even feel like you want to.
I know where you’re coming from. It can be such a challenge to lift yourself up from a place like that, which is why I believe that we all need support.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of having a tribe. Well, having a tribe is one of the ways that we can build up our ego. When we are a member of a tribe, we feel the support all around us. Not only do we feel like we belong, we feel like we want to contribute. By joining in conversations, giving feedback, and simply supporting fellow tribe members, you may start to discover that your ego is healing itself!
But to do that, you first need a tribe. And that is one of the main reasons why I started the Time to Thrive program. Not only will you be getting professional coaching, you will also be surrounded by people who are just like you. People who want to develop strong egos. There is no arrogance or superiority here – just support and help.And if you want in, you can visit this page to sign up. There, you will find lots more information about the Time to Thrive program that will help you decide whether or not it is for you. I hope that you will join us on this healing journey!