If you accused me of having an inflated ego a few years ago I would have quickly denied it and felt insulted and misunderstood. “Me, an ego problem? No way!” I thought only self-centered, conceited and vain people had ego problems. And I certainly didn’t consider myself to possess any of those qualities. In fact, I was filled with insecurities, so how could I possibly be egotistical?
But the truth (which we all know hurts sometimes) is that I have let my ego get in the way of my business, my happiness and my calling to serve others. I’ve suffered from what can only be considered an egotistical nature – and I didn’t even realize it.
While I wasn’t walking around town boasting or bragging, I was destroying my business (and relationships) with egotistical behaviors. This can be confusing – especially for a successful business owner who has overcome fear of rejection and a slew of other issues in order to step into her role as a leader. As an entrepreneur, we can’t hide our light under a bushel, right? We have to let it shine. Let me see if I can explain it. Tell me if any of these sound familiar to you:
Five Signs You Have an Ego Problem in Your Business
1. You are a one-woman-show. You run everything in your business from bookkeeping to customer service and you don’t dare ask a soul for help. You think it’s easier to do things yourself than to delegate to others (who probably won’t do a good job anyway). And, by the way, you run your home in a similar fashion.
2. You are always right. When others offer constructive criticism or question your actions, you politely disregard their input and do things the way you’ve always done them. After all, you should know best, right?
3. You are in constant competition with someone who probably doesn’t think about you at all. This might be a business competitor, old boyfriend or former roommate. You spend more time and energy than you care to admit (even to yourself) devising a way to out-do this person or prove to the world that you are more successful.
4. You seek the approval and recognition of others. This is a tricky one, because we all desire approval and recognition to a certain degree. But if you thrive on the favorable opinion of others (rather than the peace that comes from knowing you are following God’s plan), then you may have an ego problem.
5. You are never satisfied. You never feel content with your accomplishments. Each time you reach a new level of success or achieve a goal, you don’t take time to sit in gratitude and give the glory back to God. Instead, you make a mental list of all the ways you could have done it differently (better!) and you set your sites on the next big dream.
I know I haven’t painted a pretty picture here and it takes a tremendous dose of honesty and humility to admit that you identify with one of these signs. But I want you to know that when I was guilty of these behaviors (and I’ve been guilty of all of them at one point or another), it was very clear to everyone except me. So if you are willing to humble yourself for the sake of healthy transformation, ask a friend to give you an honest assessment of your egotistic tendencies.
What did I forget? Are there any other ways we let our egos ruin our businesses?