Everyone has an ego and some are more positive than others. Yet, having an ego isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I could drop a Freudian bombshell and start talking about Id, Superego and Ego, but I’m not a psychologist.
Neither am I a psychoanalyst or a professional behavioral detection specialist. I just happen to be self aware enough to know when I’m fucking up.
I’ll keep this post short and to the point by sharing a bit about my own experience.
However, first I’ll share the definition I found for ego after a quick search online. This is just to ensure we’re all approaching this topic from the same angle.
A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
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.
It’s great to have a high self-esteem and self-importance. However, there is still a need to be humble. Ego plays a role in everyones life.
That’s not to say it’s always bad, but if you find that some relationships are strained or your work isn’t meeting your desired level of satisfaction keep reading. A bit of self awareness goes a long way.
Jagged Little Pill
I’m gonna make this personal real quick. This is a lesson I learned many years ago as an aspiring graphic designer in my early years of college.
I had just graduated from a small high school where I found myself being one of the more “creative” students.
What I mean by that is I was very adamant about the arts and found creating came naturally to me. I was highly motivated and enjoyed working on the projects.
It was very typical for me to spend large amounts of time ensuring the piece I was creating was exactly how I wanted it. Or at least close to my vision. I also found good grades relatively easy to gain (in art classes, math not so much).
• Enjoy what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life!
Fast forward to my second year in design school and I had developed somewhat of an ego. As much as it pains me to say, it’s true. I believed that to some extent I could work a bit less and still achieve a desired grade.
• You can learn the most from the hardest lessons
I’m sharing this lesson learned because it was a jagged pill to swallow, but well deserved. Just because you can slack off a bit doesn’t mean it’s the right decision.
Hard work and perseverance
So… the lesson. Well, my friend Dan was also an aspiring graphic artist fresh outta high school and in the same art program as me. He was good at what he did and also a hard worker.
In my mind I believed I had developed my creative abilities further than him. Not only is this highly subjective, but it’s a cold reminder of a garbage ego I developed.
Fast forward to the second year. Dan and myself were both submitting work to a bigger commercial design competition in our region. He had his idea and was consistently working to develop it.
I on the other hand had some ideas, but wasn’t giving it the same amount of time. Not only had I allowed my sense of self importance to become inflated, but I allowed it to impact my work… and relationship.
At some point in time I began to think I would be able to achieve high caliber work with less effort. I was wrong.
Dan ended up winning an award at the design competition and I earned a big piece of humble pie. It was one of the best lessons I learned in college and it wasn’t even on the syllabus. Fun fact, Dan has continued to grow and develop into an amazing designer and continues to motivate me.
I was very fortunate to receive that lesson early on in my creative development. It’s what allowed me to become more self aware with myself and develop more in the following years than I may have otherwise.
It’s really easy to get caught up in your own world and it’s not always easy to admit where you can improve. However, if you really want to develop and make positive changes in your life it will be really beneficial to face this one head on.
If you’re feeling intimidated with identifying aspects of your ego that could be improved check out my blog on patience. If you’re still feeling intimidated check out my blog on consistency. It’ll get you headed in the right direction.
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