When did having an Ego become a bad thing?
Or should I ask, is it bad to have a high and healthy level of self-worth that builds the foundations of successful behaviors?
It’s the same question. Only these days, it’s all about how you say things, not what you say that’s important.
A well developed Ego, like many of the traits found in the Alpha male and females in all species, have been demonized in our modern world. In this politically correct, don’t keep score, and tolerate all kinds of mediocrity culture we’ve allowed to develop in the post industrial society any behavior is ok… as long as it makes no one feel inferior.
At CrossFit Wilmington, we strive to bolster and develop your Ego. We want to make you stronger; physically, mentally, and spiritually.
To be successful, you absolutely must embrace yourself. You need to love yourself in order to truly seek self improvement. To seek self improvement, you have to identify your limitations and then line out ways to exceed them. The ego is what allows us to rationally make a plan to do so.
Trying to keep your ego “in check” is counterproductive. Feed your self worth and your ego with successes and accomplishments. It will grow stronger and so will you.
“Society believes that it is the responsibility of parents, teachers, police officers and all other parent figures to keep children and out-of -control adults from developing too large an ego. The accepted way of doing this is to be sure the child or adult-child ego is deflated to a reasonable size by pointing out its faults, what it did wrong, and how it is less than perfect. As the reasoning goes, the ego will then toe the line and learn what its place is.” – from Arlene Arnold’s “Ego: Friend or Foe?”
It’s place? Toe the line? If only we could put our ego on Ritalin or another of the many drugs MDs give to calm our hyperactive children. Either way, you are training at CrossFit Wilmington! WTF do you care about toeing the line? Ha.
Here’s the real deal with Ego. It’s important, actually crucial, to your survival. It’s your identity and it is the drive inside you. It is not a bad thing. A simple, weak person hears the word ego and thinks negative thoughts. They think arrogance and cocky. That not at all what the ego is.
The Ego is you. It’s your identity. Good or bad, it is how you “see” yourself. Developing a healthy, confident ego is important to your success in any thing you attempt. Without a healthy ego a person has no drive and their successes are small. In a more primal time, confident hunters ate well. Their egos were developed through performance. Their performance secured the tribe’s survival.
With no ego how would we know to protect ourselves? To feed ourselves? Gather food for the winter, drink water, dress for the cold, fight when threatened? I real predator doesn’t stop its attack until its belly is full. Or beaten. With no ego, the weak are just that… weak and vulnerable. Without the sense of self, there would be nothing to protect. You’d be like the domesticated goat, simple and not possessing a will to live, much less thrive.
Without ego, the human race would have become extinct long time ago.
Freud’s model of the psyche, says there are three parts of the self: the id, the ego, and the super ego. Each are as important as the next in guaranteeing a person’s drive to succeed. They are all functions of the mind, but without them the body would perish.
The id is the basic instinctual, primal survival mechanisms. They include all the behaviors that ensure our body’s nourishment and care. The id is what drives the infant child lost in the woods to pile up leaves and make a warm place out of the weather in order to live. It is nature, not to be confused with the unlearning of primal behaviors by the environment’s nurture (parents, teachers, police, etc. or those in leadership and or regulatory roles).
The ego is the realistic, organized, deductive part of the brain. It is our rational. It is in constant compromise with the id. The ego is what allows us to make plans for the long term. The ego favors and supports the id. In nurture, the ego is typically most influenced by the mother and its focus is safety. The ego is risk adverse and does not push the limits. It will settle with being comfortable.
The super ego is basically our conscience. The part of the self that keeps the instinctual behaviors of the id and rational components of the ego from teaming up and doing bad things. Some call it your “moral compass”. Only, like any compass, if you don’t follow it, you can easily get lost. It includes the part of us that tells us to respect each other. It is what keeps the sheepdog from massacring the sheep for fun. The nurturer most important in the development of the super ego is the father. With a weak model for the father (the hunter or warrior) a person has no direction or code. The super ego cannot offset the powerful instincts of the id and the perpetual rationale of the ego.
If any of the above parts of Freud’s model are not developed fully, and therefore capable of keeping the others in check, our drive to reach our potential is neither.
So, again I ask… when did having an ego become a bad thing? When looked at it in a positive manner, we find the ego, or better… the self and it’s three components, is best when it’s developed, not stifled.
I’m not saying an inflated ego with cockiness and arrogance is good. Don’t be mistaken. Arrogance builds a false ego. It’s a defense mechanism built by insecurities. Once you realize your capabilities and experience your potential you are no longer deterred by irrational fears. What some see as crazy and risky, you will see as a learning experience. You will no longer be scared of failure, just the lack of trying.
An old friend and hunter once told me “Don’t beat a hound dog for barking”. In other words, don’t try to qual a natural behavior. At CrossFit Wilmington, I want to do everything I can to develop your natural ego. I want to make you strong and ready for whatever comes your way. I want you full of self love and confidence, because without them, you’ll never fully respect others.
I want you to know your capabilities and push your limits. The “judgement free zones” and “feel good about yourself no matter how awful you are” mentality isn’t acceptable at CFW. In the real world competition counts and humans thrive on it. There’s no mommy here to hold your hand and tell you it’s ok to be weak. You can do as little or as much as you want here. But your little better be done your best. Your much is to be done better. No excuses. We love your ego, you should too.
Want to know about your ego? Take this ego test: http://www.pressanykey.com/cgi-bin/egotest.cgi