Confidence Vs. Ego
Confidence is a great thing to develop in all of us. It helps you take risks and push yourself to be where you’ve never been before. When we study and train hard to know our material as a Karate Student it helps us to build confidence when we test for our next rank or perform at a tournament.
Over-confidence can get you into trouble though. As a professional web designer, over-confidence in my skills and abilities has definitely lead me to take on more work than I could get done in the past, which resulted in me letting people down by not completing their projects on time when they needed it.
There is a huge difference between Confidence in your abilities and having an out of control ego. One area that this materializes in is how you give and take criticism.
Ego says “I can do no wrong”, where confidence says “I can get this right.” Confidence says “i’m valuable” where ego says “i’m invaluable.”
Have you ever been in a situation where someone else is chiming in on a conversation and it feels like they are encroaching on your area of expertise or influence? Do you ever feel like they are treading all-over your turf? Have you ever said things out of a need to protect your authority? Like being overly critical or cynical about someone’s work…
Try to be aware of yourself when you are contributing to something for real vs. when you are just feeding your own ego. Giving up some of your “turf” to either give or receive help from others may be painful at first, but this is how you truly stay ahead of the game.
In my experience, when i’ve been truly confident (and not over-confident) it’s because i’ve worked hard to prepare and through that preparation i’ve learned about what it means to fail and to try to do something right over and over again. It’s through this path that I really learn things about myself that I can apply to making me a better person and at the same time better at what it is that I do.