Ego = "a person's sense self-esteem or self-importance"
The word ego is usually used in a very negative context, but how about we re-evaluate it for a second for what it is; self-esteem and self-importance.
What's wrong with an ego that places high value on themselves and then utilizes the components of their ego to help others? I think we can all agree and say "nothing wrong with that at all."
The problem is when someone's ego is fragile. The project an aura that they are somebody important. They're usually the loudest in the room. Deep down they don't feel good about themselves. They can't handle being wrong or failing. They project onto others in a manner that is disingenuous at best. At the worst, they're intentionally hurtful toward others so they can elevate themselves.
Usually, we would look at someone like this and say their ego is too big for their own good. However, if we look at ego for what it is, they actually have very little of it. It's just what they do have is so scarce in their own mind, that they do everything that they can to preserve it.
I won't lie. When I was younger, I couldn't handle being wrong. My ego was a jerk in disguise. And by "younger", I'm not talking when I was a teenager. I'm talking up until about 6 years ago.
Then I started to learn how exhausting it was to be that fragile. I started to accept that it was okay to be wrong. I accepted that I don't know everything. I accepted that there's a lot that I don't know about what I don't know. I accepted that holding on to things that have happened in the past doesn't help me accomplish the things that I seek to accomplish.
When I was able to do all of those things, life got a lot easier to navigate.
I was able to boost my ego once I was able to let go of all the things that I was using to protect it.
I'll leave you with a quote from Ryan Holiday's book "Ego is the Enemy".
“Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it. Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary. We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters. We become victims of ourselves and the competition. Sobriety, open-mindedness, organization, and purpose – these are the great stabilizers. They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.”