We have all seen the person who is so proud of him or herself. This is a person who suffers from an overinflated ego. We often term this person as "cocky". He or she has a false belief about the abilities that are possessed. Often this person believes that nobody can be as good as he or she. Whatever someone else is or does, this person is better. Truly, we have a person without any faults or weaknesses. Whatever occurs, this person is in a class above everyone else.
Of course, to excel in this arena, one must be adept at playing the blame game. Since perfection, or as close to it as humanly is possible, is a part of this person's makeup, when something goes wrong, it is always someone else at fault. At the same time, our model of excellence is incapable of learning because all information is already possessed. A person of this ilk loses one of the most valuable teaching tools in the world: personal mistakes. Success can elude cocky people for this one simple reason.
"I Am A Loser"
There is another side to the cocky coin and that is the "I am a loser" viewpoint. While the cocky person believes him or herself superior to everyone, a person who suffers from this believes the exact opposite. Instead of superiority, inferiority to everyone is the viewpoint. While the cocky person is the best, our lovable loser is the worst.
Make no mistake, this is another example of a warped ego. People who have poor self esteem tend to inflate their worthlessness. Like the cocky person, this is just as delusional. Reality is that few are the best and even less are the worst. Trying to get to either extreme is an example of the ego at work.
Staying Within Yourself
If you watch professional athletes, you will realize that they approach their craft in a manner that fits their abilities. These people get in trouble when they try to be like others which does not fit them. For example, some basketball players are able to operate in a "high flying, athletic manner". Others are "blue collar" types who do the dirty work like rebounding and diving for lose balls. Each of these individuals knows what he or she brings to the team.
People with ego problems look at themselves through unclear glasses. Because their self perception is so askew, they cannot adequately size up what they are able to do. Therefore, it is crucial that someone step in to compensate for the weaknesses.
Using our two examples, we see how this will affect success. A poor self esteem is exhibited by both parties even though one is showing it. When someone has to tell you how great he or she is, that person believes deep down that he/she has little worth. Those who truly feel worthy do not have to advertise it to everyone. So, the ego interferes with the ability to succeed.
A person who is the "worst" is unwilling to try anything new. If he or she is put in this position, failure ensues because the mind is already made up. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy when one has pre-determined that he or she will fail. This person, due to an inadequate self esteem, does not approach those areas where success will ensue.
At the same time, our cocky individual will be involved in everything. There is nothing this person cannot accomplish. Of course, any practical minded person knows this is an impossibility. Nobody can be good at everything. There simply is not enough time in the day to become adept at all things. Knowledge is usually a trade-off in proportion to time invested. Since there is only so much we can focus upon, there is only so much we will be adept at. Yet our arrogant friend finds it impossible to stay within him or herself.
Success requires interaction with others. There are people who are ideally suited for every task. While there are tasks that you are exceptional at, there are also ones which you fail miserably. This is part of being a human being. A successful person knows when to forge ahead utilizing his or her talents and when to step back and let someone else take the reigns. This is where success is put ahead of ego. For example, in the medical field, it is not uncommon for terrific doctors to defer to a specialist. Here, the first person puts his/her ego on hold for the benefit of the patient. Successful people in all walks of life do this.
Therefore, the next time you find yourself mired in failure, ask yourself, "am I putting my ego ahead of my success?". You will be surprised how often the answer is yes.
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