Ego-Check (Pt.2)

[4 min read]

As promised, here’s the ‘flip-side’ to yesterday’s post.

So you selected your top 3-5 characteristics that you think best define you. Congrats. Those will be so beneficial in your life. But the point of this exercise was not to simply see the good in you, but learn to combat how even your good characteristics can lead to your downfall.
Every ‘good’ that we do can lead to a negative and potentially dangerous/damaging outcome when it isn’t controlled and handled properly. The same is true with your character. Here’s the list that I posted yesterday of 27 characteristics:

  1. assertive
  2. analytical
  3. flexible
  4. charismatic
  5. committed
  6. decisive
  7. dedicated
  8. directive
  9. passionate
  10. dependable
  11. optimistic
  12. open-minded
  13. discerning
  14. loyal
  15. trusting
  16. strong-willed
  17. pragmatic
  18. self-confident
  19. straightforward
  20. alert
  21. diplomatic
  22. determined
  23. courageous
  24. innovative
  25. disciplined
  26. smart
  27. independent

Now, when you let your ego get in the way, here is the negative aspect of it. This is the risk of it all. Not having a proper balance of yourself- being too defensive, too comparative, too competitive, looking out for ‘me’ instead of ‘we’- will lead to this. And this is what others will most likely be able to define as great weaknesses in your leadership (Find the numbers the you chose above, and follow it through this next list):

  1. pushy
  2. pessimistic
  3. pushover
  4. manipulative
  5. overbearing
  6. hasty
  7. stubborn
  8. dictatorial
  9. overzealous
  10. rigid
  11. unrealistic
  12. indiscriminate
  13. judgmental
  14. blind
  15. naive
  16. inflexible
  17. uninspired
  18. self-absorbed
  19. inconsiderate
  20. anxious
  21. political
  22. stubborn
  23. reckless
  24. impractical
  25. restrictive
  26. know-it-all
  27. detached

Let me give you some time to digest that…

Basically, when we don’t keep our ego in check, we can quickly move our positive characteristic to these negative ones, which hinder growth and progress and communication. And we probably don’t recognize it when we do. We hide under the positives of our strength, then we use that as a cover when people might tell us otherwise.
For my 5, my ‘egotistical risks’ are being pessimistic, judgmental, restrictive, a know-it-all, and detached. Harsh…but I see it as being true issues at times. One thing that I ‘pride’ myself in is my analytical and discerning characteristics. I am very capable at looking at details, being realistic, and seeing things logically. But when I put too much weight on my own abilities and research and knowledge, I tend to stunt growth by not being open to change, basing potential purely off of past experience, and not being able to trust. I was somewhat aware of it, but seeing the direct link between my strength and weakness helps me keep a strong eye on when I ‘showcase’ those characteristics.

The point of this is not simply to recognize where we are weak. We need to take this knowledge and start making change. Evaluate yourself in conversations and decisions over the next week. When you look at yourself with an open-mind, do you see yourself displaying your strengths? Do you notice how quickly it can (or did) turn into a risk, especially if you felt your ‘ego’/character/self being challenged? Write down your 5 strengths, and their corresponding weaknesses, and keep it with you. Put it up somewhere you’ll be constantly reminded of it. And learn to keep an eye on both aspects of it. The more control you have of this, the more beneficial you’ll be in your work and in relating with those around you.

So what were your 5? If you let me know (and leave an reply address), I could give you a bit more info on what are the potential rewards/risks of your strength and weakness combo.