In Latin, the word ‘Ego’ actually means ‘I’. It’s the core of who you are; the central collection of beliefs you have about yourself. When in balance, ego is a healthy part of being human. When met with external pressure and expectations that tell you you’re either too good, or not good enough, ego starts to warp and spin out of control. Here are some signs yours may be getting out of hand:
1. You NEED to get things done. You tend to use unconditional words and phrases like “must”, "need to", ”absolutely have to” when describing your seemingly ever-growing list of responsibilities. To you, everything is critical. You refuse to prioritize because you’re convinced it ALL must be done. You’re seemingly always stressed, short on time, and overloaded, yet you’re not willing to let anything go.
2. You can’t let go. Even when it’s clearly time to move on, you need to prove to yourself that you can handle the situation; That you’re not a quitter. So you'll stick it out in a job you hate, remain in a relationship that's long past its expiration date and shoulder exhausting workloads that compromise personal and family time.
3. You’re the problem solver. Because you need to remain in control, you’re the designated problem solver. Whether it’s mediating a disagreement, getting repair estimates, resolving financial issues, planning events or managing tough situations, you’ve got all the answers. At times, you resent this role and lash out, but it secretly makes you feel needed. Besides, your ego convinces you no one else can handle the problem better than you, so you remain the dutiful captain.
4. You resist help. It bothers you when you can’t solve something yourself. You view asking for help as a weakness that makes you appear less capable or necessary. You tend to develop ideas in secret and resent constructive criticism or advice.
5. You fixate on your impact. Whether posting on social media, gathering with colleagues or planning a party, you focus on the reactions you get and the impact you make. Job reviews either irritate you or stress you out because you feel your performance is under scrutiny and you don’t want to be criticized.
6. You keep score. Even when you’re clearly ahead, you can’t resist comparing yourself to others. The car, home, children’s school, job, income, appearance, are all up for scrutiny. In social gatherings, you find reasons to discuss your accomplishments and secretly compare notes. You are your biggest fan and your harshest judge.
If you recognize some signs, don’t worry. It just takes a few conscious adjustments. Download these 3 free guides to becoming a happier, more productive you!
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