How to Use Your Ego For Good

Taming the beast

Shashank Thakur
Practice in Public
3 min readApr 18, 2024


How to Use Your Ego For Good
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The ego. It gets a bad rap. We picture it as this arrogant, self-serving monster that thrives on praise and crumbles at criticism. But what if I told you your ego can be a powerful tool for good, a wellspring of motivation and drive?

The ego, in its essence, is our sense of self. It encompasses our thoughts, beliefs, and sense of identity. It can be a healthy source of self-esteem and confidence, propelling us to achieve our goals. The key lies in harnessing its positive aspects and keeping its shadow self in check.

Here’s how you can transform your ego from foe to friend:

1. Recognize Your Ego’s Motivations:

Our ego often masquerades as ambition. Let’s say you’re training for a marathon. A healthy ego will tell you, “You’ve got this! You can finish that race!” An inflated ego might say, “You have to win! Prove everyone wrong!” See the difference? One fuels healthy competition, and the other breeds unnecessary pressure.

Real World Example:

An entrepreneur might be driven by a desire to build a successful company that solves a problem and helps people (healthy ego). However, the same entrepreneur might be fixated on being the richest person in the industry, leading to unethical business practices (inflated ego).

2. Embrace Continuous Learning:

A healthy ego is secure enough to admit it doesn’t know everything. It thrives on challenges and sees mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. Next time you’re tempted to dismiss feedback because it bruises your pride, remember, that constructive criticism can be your ego’s best friend.

Real World Example: A star athlete might welcome feedback from their coach to improve their performance (healthy ego). However, the same athlete might reject any criticism, believing they are already the best (inflated ego). This could hinder their growth and lead to future losses.

3. Celebrate Others’ Successes

A healthy ego is not threatened by the achievements of others. In fact, it finds inspiration and motivation in the success stories of those around them. The next time a colleague gets promoted, view it as an opportunity to learn from their journey and strive for your own advancement.

Real World Example:

A musician might be genuinely happy for a fellow artist’s chart-topping single, inspired to create their own music (healthy ego). However, another musician might feel jealous and try to downplay the success (inflated ego). This negativity can be draining and isolate them from the music community.

4. Practice Gratitude

A healthy ego acknowledges its strengths but also recognizes the contributions of others. Taking time to appreciate the support system that helps you succeed keeps your ego grounded and fosters stronger relationships.

Real World Example: An artist might thank their mentors, collaborators, and fans in their acceptance speech for an award (healthy ego). An inflated ego might focus solely on their talent and make the speech all about themselves.


Remember, your ego is a powerful tool. By understanding its motivations and keeping it in check, you can leverage its positive aspects to achieve your goals, build strong relationships, and create a more fulfilling life. So, don’t try to suppress your ego — tame it, befriend it, and use it to your advantage!