Nearly every entrepreneur in my circles, and probably every successful person that you know, has a story about their personal battle with ego and pride. That’s why my mastermind groups are reading the book Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.
There is a fine line between healthy pride and arrogance. As humans, it’s difficult to reach high levels of success and not let that voice in that says “I did this. I was successful at this because I’m better than this person or that person.” When you hear that voice in your head, you have to tell it to leave. That is unhealthy pride talking and it can’t have a place in your life. That type of pride is a parasite that eats away at your character. Those arrogant, haughty, boastful emotions are the things that destroy people who had potential to do great things.
Being selfish is something we often do without even thinking about it. It’s as easy and thoughtless as breathing. We all have needs and desires, and we live in a society that encourages us to seek pleasurable things that bring us instant gratification. This is very dangerous.
When you compare yourself to another entrepreneur, whether on a monetary scale, experience, or scope, you may come away feeling inadequate. Comparisons of this sort are dangerous because when you feel like another individual is ahead of you in some aspect, feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and inadequacy can creep in quickly. Compare yourself closely to someone at the top of your industry and your confidence might take a hit. Conversely, if you compare yourself to others who you know you are ahead of in your field, you open the door for pride, boasting, and complacency. Entrepreneur and author Jack Canfield once said of making comparisons “I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness. No one ever compares themselves to someone else and comes out even. Nine times out of ten, we compare ourselves to people who are somehow better than us and end up feeling more inadequate.”