Published: 01st May 2021
E-Canteen Fundas: Pride and ego aren’t the same thing. Fact!
Pro Tip: Be proud of who you are and what you do in a self-respecting way that aids your growth. Be wary of becoming arrogant and egotistic which can stagnate your growth
Akanksha’s paintings are really good na?’ ‘Yes,’ said Rahul. ‘But she’s full of herself. Not sure if it’s pride in her work or ego.’ ‘I get confused too,’ said Rinku. ‘Sometimes when I do good work I hold myself back from appreciating myself thinking I should not be proud because it leads to a swollen head. Should we take pride in our work or not, bhaiyya?’ ‘Let’s first differentiate between healthy pride and unhealthy ego,’ said Rakesh. ‘Taking pride in ourselves or our work simply means we’re proud of who we are and what we have achieved and are still open to learn and grow. It indicates a respectful relationship with ourselves and our work where we express satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment for having done our best. It’s a realistic acknowledgement and celebration of us, our capabilities and achievements.’ ‘Hmm, and how’s ego different, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘Ego is an insecure reaction that makes us feel superior to others the moment we perceive a slight advantage,’ said Rakesh. ‘We have an inflated and delusional opinion of ourselves, become arrogant, compare, demean others and go into self-admiration, self-important mode. The kind of stuff that leads to a fall.’ ‘But what’s wrong in thinking we’re the best?’ asked Rahul. ‘Having a good self-image and self-esteem is important for our growth, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘But when we become delusional and arrogant and fool ourselves into thinking it’s healthy self-respect, we’re in trouble. Once our ego comes in the way of receiving feedback and our learning stops, we’re heading downward.’ ‘But how to differentiate between self-esteem and ego, bhaiyya?’ ‘Self-love, self-esteem and self-respect come from being compassionate and supportive of yourself and, in turn, of others,’ said Rakesh.
‘Ego comes from a harsh, insecure space. Pride is about respecting ourselves as we are, being inclusive, staying humble and being open to growth. Ego hurts easily, withdraws, separates and is arrogant. Pride is a comma, ego is a full stop.’ ‘So we can take pride in ourselves right?’ asked Rinku. ‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Knowing where we are, what we have achieved and where we have to go keeps us honest in our journey. It’s our pride that holds us up, keeps our self-esteem intact as we grow. You should be proud of yourself as you are, but watch out for your ego.’