In today's society, it's all about "me". It's arguable there has never been a time where entitlement, individualism, and egocentrism have been more dominant. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Wrong.
First, let me emphasize, there is a huge difference between a healthy level of self-confidence and an oversized ego. To be successful in anything in life, it is crucial that you have a healthy understanding and strong sense of confidence in your capabilities. These traits are what will propel you beyond the status quo and keep you moving forward; but let that confidence cross the bridge to an inflated ego and you can plan on your demise.
Yes, it is a fact that there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Just like everything else in life, the key is moderation. So how can we keep ourselves in check and make sure we are walking that fine line? Here are a few things you can do to make sure your confidence stays at a healthy level.
- Realize it's natural for your ego to, ahem, enlarge... and that you will have to make a conscious decision on a regular basis to work against it.
- Don't confuse the size of your ego with your actual intelligence level. The smartest people in the world realize they don't know everything and keep eyes and ears open for new and valuable information rather than thinking they know it all.
- Gather information about your ego from trusted family, friends, and associates. Objectively acknowledging your tendencies and addressing them appropriately opens the door for exponential growth.
- Consider other's standpoints. Force yourself to take the time to explore positions other than your own.
- Take time to chill out and reset. When you allow the wheels of your mind to run off without stopping, your thoughts and ego can take you down the rabbit hole.
- Get over it- you're not perfect and neither is anyone else. Quit being afraid of looking like you don't know what you're talking about or a failure. The truth is, you are these things at times just like everyone else- and it's not the end of the world. It's called being human.
- Keep a running assessment of how you're doing. Egos are like weeds- you don't just pull them out once and have a perfectly beautiful flower bed. It requires regular maintenance and attention to keep under control.
At the end of the day, nobody likes a know-it-all. Not your clients, not your coworkers, not your family or friends. Some practices are universal for success, and humility is at the top of the list.