The only thing that’s between you and the life you want is…
If you’re a man, your ego stands in your way more often than a road construction sign when you’re late for a meeting. Society has told you to fake it until you make it and act invincible because this will get you a promotion and protect you from emotional hurt. But the success is superficial.
You’ve seen men with hugely inflated egos that seem to have “made it.” The cocky playboy, the arrogant entrepreneur, the narcissistic fitness model. It seems great on the surface, but ultimately, your ego’s fears will keep you stuck.
You’re afraid of getting hurt, so your ego closes you off – making deep and meaningful relationships impossible.
You’re afraid of not being worthy without a good job, so your ego pushes you to work harder – making unconditional love for yourself impossible.
You’re afraid of losing your masculinity and status, so you act like a macho man – making it impossible to process your experiences better and express your authentic self.
Your ego is the sum of your experiences. All it wants to do is protect you. But that isn’t always best for you in the long run. As Tim Ferriss said:
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
Your ego is a master of manipulation. Instead of succumbing to its fears and getting stuck, become aware of how it holds you back. Then, you can set yourself free and live the life you truly want.
Your Ego Would Rather Win Than Do the Right Thing
You often have to choose between doing what feels good and what feels right.
On my last family visit, I got into a big argument with my grandma. We both can teach a mule a few things about stubbornness, so neither of us wanted to cave, not even on my last day. There was only one problem: My grandpa was getting old.
I knew that the only opportunity to see him before I left was to let go of my anger toward my grandma first. My ego told me not to, but I swallowed my pride, made peace with her, and had a great chat with my grandpa. A few weeks after I left, he passed away in his sleep.
Had I listened to my ego, I would not have seen him one last time but instead lived with life-long regrets.
Your ego loves to win, whether it’s in arguments, relationships, or at work.
It feels good to be right or to do the project your way – you’re the boss.
But this is delusive and only feels good in the moment. When you realize what you’ve done the regrets hit you like a Mike Tyson liver punch. So do the right thing.
Winning doesn’t mean shit. There’s no reward for how many times you were right.
Instead of insisting on having the upper hand, imagine your 80-year-old self looking back at the decision you’re about to make.
Then, ask yourself: “What feels good – and what feels right?”
Your Ego Doesn’t Turn You Into a Great Man, It Just Makes You Feel Like One
The moment you think you know it all is usually followed by the realization that you don’t.
A few years ago, I bought a monster on two wheels. I’ve always loved motorbikes, so it was only a matter of time. My mum told me to be careful – and I told myself I will be.
But I got cocky. My ego made me feel like I was Valentino Rossi himself, cutting corners like Gordon Ramsey cutting chicken thighs. Then, I got humbled.
All I remember is leaning into a corner and waking up next to the guardrail, an arm’s length short of a cliff. Upon looking around in a haze, I noticed I had knocked a cyclist off his bike. Luckily, no one suffered any serious injuries – but I’ll never forget the fright and year-long feelings of guilt.
Your ego loves to make you feel invincible and like you know it all.
Many men would rather burn their steak, get lost trying to read a map, or run their company and relationship into the ground instead of admitting they need help.
But that’s what keeps you stuck.
Nobody is born as superman. Society expects you to have it all figured out, but there’s no shame in admitting you aren’t the biggest, best, or smartest in the room. If you want to become the best man you can be, you have to be humble and admit you aren’t there yet.
That’s the only way to learn.
Put your ego aside and ask yourself: “Do I want to act like a champion, or do I want to become one?”
Your Ego Thrives on External Validation Instead of Internal Self-Worth
The most successful people aren’t always the happiest.
High school was effortless for me. I could play video games for ten hours a day and still be top of the class. But not everything was unicorns pooping rainbows.
I quickly learned that good grades got me praise and love, bad ones a stern look and the instruction to do better.
My performance didn’t come from a deep love for myself, but the fear of not being enough.
Society puts a lot of pressure on men. Make tons of money but also spend time with your family. Be vulnerable and sensitive but also invincible and strong. Crush all the “manly” tasks like fixing sinks and changing tires, regardless of whether you like them or not. But that’s not even the biggest problem.
As men, we often tie our self-worth to our achievements. The shiny car, hot girlfriend, and big biceps become part of your identity. That’s why the male ego is so fragile.
We are conditioned to base our self-worth on our performance, shown through the symbols of status we earn.
It’s a race you can’t win. There will always be more. Even Jeff Bezos’ $400 million yacht wasn’t enough, so he ventured into space.
You have to understand that you are worthy as a human being, no matter your performance, achievements, or bank statements.
Strive to become the best man you can be. But instead of letting your ego fuel you with fear, act from a place of love for yourself. Do it because you are worth it.
The next time you feel like you have to meet society’s expectations, ask yourself: “Do I act out of fear or from a deep love for myself and others?”
The 3 Questions That Will Help You Put Your Ego Aside
Your ego isn’t all bad – but there are two sides to every medal.
It gives you a sense of self and identity. It makes you you. And it protects you from potential harm.
However, these efforts are often misguided. Wanting to win instead of doing what’s right. Acting like you have it all figured out, depriving yourself of the opportunity to learn and grow. Basing your self-worth on your performance instead of your inherent value as a human being. It’s like a heat-seeking missile distracted by flares, causing collateral damage.
Instead of blindly following your ego, ask yourself these questions before you act:
- What feels good – and what feels right?
- Do I want to act like a champion, or do I want to become one?
- Do I act out of fear or from a deep love for myself and others?
“A bad day for your ego is a good day for your soul.” – Jillian Michaels