We, as a society, want people to know their value and not hesitate to be appreciated for their gifts. However, there can be a fine line between having healthy self-esteem or merely being someone with a big ego. One can help you be successful thanks to believing in yourself while the other will lead to self-sabotage as you try to overvalue yourself and refuse to learn from your flaws. How can you tell the difference between having a good degree of self-esteem and when you could be veering off the metaphorical cliff of having a huge ego? Here are some simple tips to make sure you don’t cross that line.
You Believe in Yourself But Know Your Limits
Someone who has healthy self-esteem has the confidence to do what they know they are capable of, whereas someone with a big ego thinks they know everything about whatever they are trying to do and are unwilling to accept any criticism or suggestions. Having a healthy degree of admiration for yourself but knowing what your flaws are is the key to being a well-balanced individual as opposed to someone who’s egotistical and unable to recognize your defects and limits.
You Can Handle Failure and Rejection
Someone with healthy self-esteem knows they will not always succeed and, therefore, can handle those times they do not, “win,” at something or otherwise face rejection are shown they are not necessarily the best. However, a person with a huge ego will find themselves alternatively outraged or distraught at the idea they are somehow not the be-all-end-all. A person with a big ego will blame others for their failure, refusing to admit that maybe they were not ready, well-trained, or good enough to do something. Having healthy self-esteem means you learn from these failures and work to be better; having a big ego means you refuse to face the facts of why you failed in the first place.
You Have Self-Confidence, but Not Over-Confidence
Self-esteem and self-confidence often go hand-in-hand, with one fueling the other. Just as someone confident in their abilities will have healthy self-esteem, someone who is over-confident will be someone who has a big ego as opposed to healthy self-esteem. Having a healthy degree of self-confidence while avoiding being overconfident works wonders for also keeping one’s ego in check for that reason.
You Respect Others
At the end of the day, when we have a healthy degree of self-esteem, we know that others are doing that same thing–working to have a good degree of self-confidence without giving-in to the urge to have a big ego. However, egocentric people will care little for others, thinking they are the best, and everyone else should give them respect without them having to return the favor. The paradox in all this, of course, is if you do not respect others, they will be much less likely to think they should bother to pay you any kindness as well, resulting in a vicious cycle of the egocentric person treating others with disdain.