While sometimes considered synonymous, there is a world of difference between confidence and the ego. Confidence is having faith in your ability to handle whatever comes your way, while the ego operates out of personal motive. It seeks approval, accolades, validation – and it does so at a high cost, forgoing the potential for a greater outcome in order to be “right.” As a result, it keeps us from learning the lessons at hand.
When it comes to the workplace, confidence can move us forward, while the ego will only hold us back. If we want to excel and be team players, we must silence the ego, be open to learning and use our energy to get results in the face of challenging circumstances. It might be painful at first, but a bad day for the ego is a great day for self-growth. Here’s how to get started:
- Depersonalize. If you are spending time or energy at work getting others to believe that you are right, they were wrong or that you should be appreciated more than you are- you need to re-evaluate your motives. Use your energy to add value by accomplishing organizational goals, not feeding the ego.
- Rid yourself of defense. Defense is the first act of war…and will always lead to a fall from employment grace. Greet change with a simple “good to know”, avoid the argument with your new reality and move onward.
- Focus on what you are able to give, not receive. Contribute freely of your time and talents and do it unconditionally. This is the highest value an employee can provide and will not be overlooked by management, I assure you.