The thing about ego that can be a huge problem is timing. Sometimes it is bigger than it needs to be for us to try something new and take a chance. Others, when we should be strutting around with bravado, it doesn’t even seem to exist.
Myself, I find, ego is always assbackward. Though, I have to say I have learned quite a bit being off the mark as it is. From the trouble it gets me into — speaking with a knowledge and authority that is misplaced, to the humility that puts me in my place; I have found that it is more in the ups and downs, like life, that self knowledge and wisdom evolve.
Take for instance the publishing game. And to me, it is one, or can be if you are into playing. I am a-learn-as-I-go type. While potential exists, I also understand the likelihood of failing. I accepted that, still do, but I don’t care.
If I never find my niche, or a massive fanbase, don’t care. My fanbase can be one, or a handful. That is my success. I accept it. I write for myself and them(Period). I don’t care if I never make a list, probably prefer that I don’t make one anyway. Why? Because I love what I do.
Sure, I got caught up in the improvement movement (all that really takes is reading a lot and writing a ton more). I did learn from it, mostly to read, and write every chance I can. No big lightbulb went off during the pursuit of polish. Just awareness of the tremendous amount of work it takes, and a greater sense of appreciation for those who have accomplished their own and were bestowed achievements. I see and support others in seeking their own definition of success. I respect their struggle.
What I also accepted was/is my own responsibility for success or failure. All mine. This means there are sacrifices that no one but me and mine know that were made to do this. Not asking anyone to make them for me, or on behalf of me. I took the risk on myself. I think to my personal soundtrack I need to add that old Sinatra song, “I Did It My Way.”
And you know what? That takes more than ego. It takes embarrassment, guilt, frustration, tears, quitting — briefly, and a bucket of self consolation as well as immeasurable amount of self realization.
All of this is apart of self respect. IF you don’t have it, then it makes it very difficult to give it. My observation has revealed to me that there always will be jealousy of others success– that isn’t ego, that is a delusional moment brought on by lack of ego. Maintain your sense of self, but allow others that same courtesy. That’s healthy ego.