We all have an ego. It is the thing that drives us to succeed, the thing that makes us believe that we can achieve and progress. It has driven human evolution moving us out of caves and into skyscrapers. We need it, yet it can also be our biggest enemy.
If you don’t keep your ego in check, or understand when to unleash it and when to reign it in, it could well be your undoing.
Humility is a trait I treasure in people, yet something that is often lacking. I believe that a mixture of ego and humility will see you progress and will be more likely to get you to whatever goal you are persuing.
Let me explain using an example from my own life. When we first started the band, my ego was out of control. We would roll into venues thinking we were the dog’s bollocks and behaved accordingly. Of course, in hindsight I realise that this was borne out of an insecurity; an attempt to mask our inadequacies. It half worked.
It was only once I stopped drinking and realised how rude and obnoxious I had been to people that I purposely made a change. No longer was I going to be that person. Yes, I still needed a certain amount of ego to actually get on stage and perform, but I was also now incredibly grateful to be given that opportunity in the first place. I wasn’t owed it, I didn’t take it. I deserved it. Net result was that the band progressed faster than ever.
Bluff and bluster will get you so far. It may well get you several rungs up whatever ladder you are attempting to climb but, in the end, you will have pissed so many people off you will stall, perhaps even lose ground.
Ego also gets in the way of basic communication. It stops us reaching out, asking questions, admitting fault or mistakes, asking for help, apologising. I used to think I knew it all. Clearly I didn’t and I knew a hell of a lot more once I started to ask for information and help.
People like to help. People like being given the opportunity to be nice to others. Give those that can help you a reason to do so. Be nice, be humble, admit your weaknesses and never be afraid to confess to a mistake. Combine this with a positive outlook, drive, ambition and eagerness then watch yourself soar!