Imagine that it is the wedding season, and you have been busy going to weddings. You notice that every next one is more opulent than the last. You know a couple of families who seem to be competing among themselves with each outdoing the previous one’s reception. You have even heard about event planners being hired specifically to out-do the other events. We see such competitions all the time, don’t we? It can be about looking better than your friends, having the fanciest party for your child, or owning the biggest house.
What is the problem? Competition is good, right? Competition is healthy when it has boundaries to it. For example, athletic competition is healthy when players play by the rules. Companies encourage their employees with bonuses for doing the most business. However, if someone competes by hurting others, that is unacceptable.
We all have this innate drive to be better than others, and this drive comes from a part of human mind often referred to as ‘ego’. Ego is a term used to describe that part of you which talks to you in ‘me, myself, and I’ terms. Ego pushes you to compete and compare yourself to others, and it encourages you to notice how you stand out – how you are better or different.
Many people think that the ego is the same as self-esteem. In fact, it is quite different. Self-esteem is having a belief that each human being has worth. Having a healthy sense of self-esteem means you respect yourself, appreciate your qualities, and are okay with appreciating others, too.
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