Ego Strengths – And Their Absence
Throughout our lives, we will all experience endless irritations and frustrations, as well as many losses—such as being fired from jobs, suffering betrayal and abuse and losing loved ones.
What makes the difference between those who stay down and those who pick themselves up and start rebuilding?
A major contributing factor is the level of ego-strengths which the person possesses. I do not mean "ego" in the sense of egotistical, self-centered or arrogant, but rather in the sense of knowing what I like and dislike, how – and with whom! – I want to spend my time and validating my right to actualize my talents and strengths without being ashamed of my limitations. We recognize people who have it because:
They are not afraid to honestly acknowledge and feel the full range of their feelings – including grief, insecurity, loneliness and anxiety – yet do not get bogged down in these mood states for long.
When they suffer a loss, they push forward, focusing on what they can give to others and accomplish, not allowing self-pity or resentment to cripple them.
They use painful events to strengthen themselves spiritually, focusing on compassion, humility, creativity and faith.
Despite loss, they engage in positive activities (exercise, cleaning, kindness, learning, etc.), knowing that all feelings are transient and eventually fade.
They empathize with others, willing to hear and "hold" the pain others are experiencing without trying to reduce or eliminate the pain.
They are self-disciplined, courageously resisting temptations and fighting addictive urges, even if doing so means going against the crowd.
They take responsibility for their actions, holding themselves accountable and not blaming others for the negativity they may feel at times.
Thanks to their independent sense of self-worth, they know that their essence is good and holy even if others are scornful or dismissive.
They accept themselves, with their limitations, knowing that perfection is a childish demand, and yet strive constantly to do their maximum.
They set firm limits, saying "No" even if it means disappointing others or risking ridicule and rejection. They avoid people who drain them physically or emotionally.
People who lack ego-strengths can be recognized by the following signs:
They are on a perpetual roller-coaster, controlled by their moods, fears and anxieties, constantly thinking, "I can't cope with life."