You might think that self-esteem and ego are the same things, but they’re not.
We’re taught from a young age that we should help others before helping ourselves. It makes sense when you think of how that works. Even as adults, if you look out for yourself, people might think you are selfish and egocentric.
What happens when we mix up self-esteem and ego?
You tend to put the needs of others before your own. You also want people to like you and feel bad when saying “no.” Instead, you feel like you have to say “yes” so that you don’t look selfish.
The problem with this is that we neglect our own needs and may not even know what our needs are.
If this pattern continues, our beliefs can get distorted, and we stop paying attention to what we think. So today, we’re going to look at eleven different things between self-esteem and the ego.
What is the difference between high self-esteem and ego?
Ego is defined as a person’s sense of pride or vanity. High self-esteem is the opposite. It means having confidence in your abilities and being proud of who you are.
High self-esteem is associated with positive emotions such as happiness, joy, and satisfaction. Ego is linked to negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, and envy.
1. High Self-esteem Demonstrate Resilience – Ego Withers Under Stress
If you have secure self-esteem, you will be able to overcome most obstacles you face.
Self-esteem is associated with prosocial behavior, which helps people cope better with stressful situations. Studies have shown that people who feel better about themselves tend to be more motivated, confident, and able to control their impulses.
Having a secure sense of self helps us cope with failures and difficulties. Whereas an inflated ego is often crushed when faced with stress.
It would be more common for a person with an ego to avoid unfamiliar people and situations. They often avoid doing anything new because they fear failure.
2. How You Handle Rejection and Failure
People with high self-esteem are confident in their abilities. They know how to handle difficult situations and can deal with rejection.
Egocentric people often become angry when things don’t go their way. They feel bad about themselves and think everyone else has it more accessible than they do.
They may blame other people for problems and mistakes they make. They are afraid to ask for help because they feel like no one will accept them.
They worry about making mistakes and getting rejected by others.
3. You Believe in Yourself But Know Your Limits
A person with healthy self-esteem accepts criticism and suggestions. In contrast, someone with a large ego believes they know everything about whatever they’re trying to do and are unwilling to accept any criticism or suggestion.
Being able to admire yourself without being egotistical and recognizing your flaws is the key to being well balanced rather than someone who’s egotistic and unable to acknowledge their shortcomings.
There is a vast difference between being self-confident versus over-confident and the person with positive self-esteem knowing the difference.
With secure self-esteem intact, you have not only confidence but clarity. You understand what you are capable of and approach new things with an open mind.
4. High Self-esteem Promotes Greater Life Satisfaction
When you have secure self-esteem, you pursue personal and professional growth, but your success in life and work is impeded with fragile self-esteem.
Ego often prevents us from getting out of our comfort zone, and it’s understandable. No one likes to be uncomfortable, but it’s essential to understand that comfort and satisfaction are not the same.
If a person has fragile self-esteem or an inflated ego, it doesn’t mean that they can’t have a satisfying life, but they will often settle for comfort and forego pursuing anything more.
I’d encourage you to evaluate the level of your life satisfaction.
5. Loving Others As Yourself vs. Selfishness
High self-esteem is a good thing that can be built up over time. People who have a lot of self-esteem are more likely to have a lot of friends and have better relationships than people who have little self-esteem.
People who have a lot of self-esteem are happy about themselves. They know that they deserve the best and don’t tolerate being mistreated.
When you have low self-esteem, you feel like you aren’t good enough or a bad person.
Selfish people always think about themselves and not about anyone else. They must be the center of attention and everyone’s eyes must be on them.
On the other hand, people with healthy self-esteem think about themselves and others. Unlike selfish ego-centered people, they know how to listen and aren’t always trying to be the center of attention. People who have secure self-esteem can be more empathic and have better relationships.
6. Question Your Perceptions and Beliefs
Have you ever noticed people with big egos don’t seem to be able to see beyond their own beliefs? They rarely question their positions. They think their point of view is always right. This inevitably results in conflict.
Those with healthy self-esteem can see past their points of view to understand others’ perspectives. They realize that their perspective isn’t necessarily the only one and that other people may disagree.
They may develop an open mind to new concepts. They have better connections because they can listen and put themselves in the other person’s position. They are open to new ideas to facilitate communication, which allows them to adapt more quickly.
A considerable ego hinders you from feeling empathy, as can be shown, which is one of the critical differences between ego and self-esteem. Selfish people are unable to see things from the perspective of others.
That requires a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence. As a rule, those with inflated egos lack self-respect and self-love. That which they dislike is covered up and hidden. This is why it is so difficult for them to look beyond the confines of their own beliefs.
7. High Self-esteem is Proactive and Ego is Reactive
Those who have a large ego tend to be unable to accept criticism. They interpret it as a challenge to their inflated self-image. Because they cover their flaws beneath a facade of grandeur, they become defensive if something threatens to expose them. They become angry and blame others.
Self-esteem is healthy when it allows us to see our flaws. With secure self-esteem, we take criticism and use it to grow. Constructive criticism will not be mistaken as a personal attack; the feedback is welcome.
“When you look critically at yourself and accept constructive criticism, you are able to mature and evolve.” -Jorge Gonzalez Moore-
This difference applies not only to others but to ourselves.
A person with an ego problem will shower praise upon themselves in public but suffer from negative self-talk privately.
A person who has experienced proper self-esteem development will be kind in thought and word to themselves in all life circumstances.
8. Positive Self-esteem See Larger Rewards – Ego Expect Something In Return
Selfish people always think about their needs first. If they ask for help or appear interested in something, they’re getting some benefit from it. The more selfish people are, the less they’ll think about others.
People with high self-esteem don’t use other people to reach their goals. Instead, they know they have the chance to improve themselves through all of their interactions with others. People who feel good about themselves don’t act solely for their own benefit.
High self-esteem people understand the big picture and they are kind and don’t think about their relationships with other people in terms of what they can get.
9. Ego Seek Position of Power Instead of the Value of ALL
Egocentric people see themselves as superior to others. They believe that they are stronger, smarter, or more beautiful than others. As a result, they develop an unhealthy perception of the world.
On the other hand, people with high self-esteem are aware that there is no such thing as a superior or inferior individual; we are all simply unique. As a result, they avoid comparing themselves to others.
10. High Self-esteem People Value Themselves – Egotistical People Admire Themselves
Those with large egos are obsessed with their image. It gets to the point where they develop narcissistic characteristics and have a warped view. This type of person believes they are superior to others, which is a significant flaw. Every aspect of their lives is considered flawless by them.
On the other hand, high self-esteem people see their worth in a more realistic light. They are well aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. They don’t pretend to be something they are not. They, on the other hand, are embraced by them. A remedy is sought when people face challenges due to their shortcomings.
It’s not wrong to admire, love, or tell yourself encouraging things. It’s dangerous, however, to think of yourself as flawless. Recognizing and accepting our flaws is an integral part of growing as a person. There is no use in pretending we do not have any.
It is vital to value the person you are. With healthy self-esteem, you can accept compliments graciously and you respect others.
11. Finally is the Self-image of Egotistical People vs. Those with High Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem isn’t simply having a bad mood or having a bad day.
Everyone feels sad when bad things happen, but these feelings usually pass and, especially for people with high self-esteem, don’t significantly impact their self-image.
The problem is that low self-esteem isn’t just a negative self-image that changes with the good and bad things in your life. A long-term negative self-image stays with you, even if your life changes.
Your level of self-esteem may be influenced by your personality type, how you feel, your genes, how you were raised, and what happened in your life. You become at risk of many mental health problems if your self-esteem remains very low.
Self-esteem is important in every aspect of our lives. We need to develop it if we want to succeed.
If you are feeling down, try thinking about something you are good at. You might find yourself smiling.
Final Thoughts About High Self-esteem and Ego
There is a big difference between high self-esteem and ego. Our ego is part of us; we can’t escape it. But we can build our self-esteem and self-worth while avoiding the ego trap.
One of the best ways to keep our ego in check is to be present. Live in the now, not the past. You have to challenge your beliefs. They can limit our self-esteem and self-worth.