46.1 F

Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Having a big ego can be the key to a healthy relationship with yourself

How your ego can make you a better person 


By MICHELLE MENDOZA — mimendoza@ucdavis.edu


Ego is usually considered a negative thing to have. Often, having a big ego seems to mean that you are full of yourself and feel superior to others. When used in everyday speech, ego aligns with trying to satisfy the self and one’s desires, which is unlike its Freudian origins. In other words, it’s all about “me, me, me.” And most of the time, an excessive amount of ego seems unable to make up for the lack of other, better qualities. Ego has a bad rap; no one likes it and no one likes to be told they have it. 

Like many others, I never wanted people to think I was full of myself or that I had a big ego. To prevent this, I would practice self-reflection. I believe it is essential to take the time to evaluate our behavior and character. Through the process of self-reflection, we can learn about our motivations and how our actions impact the people around us. As a naturally emotional person, whenever I feel conflicted, I try to think objectively and rationally. I tend to analyze myself and question my choices. I try to be a good person, to be the best version of myself. 

Eventually, though, I began to realize that my introspection could often be unproductive. Sometimes I would spend hours thinking about the ways I could have taken a different approach to an essay, talked to someone I was interested in or put more effort into my work; I would think of all these ways I could have been better. I would say to myself, “Well you’re just not that great at ‘blank.’” At the time, I thought I was being rational. I thought I had to accept that I may not be good at everything. I thought that I was being honest with myself. 

This line of thinking led to days filled with anxiety and negative energy. The line between being self-aware and being self-critical can blur if you are not confident in your abilities or potential. As humans, we make mistakes; and sometimes the only way we learn is through making them. I still have to learn to let myself be authentically me, even if there are parts I don’t like.

I, and others like me, can benefit a lot from a stronger ego. Having a healthy ego allows us to be confident in our actions and to be secure enough in ourselves to learn from them. Self-reflection is essential to growth, but so are self-love and acceptance. 

Nurturing my ego is a work in progress and I like to think of it as a friend; it’s my own personal hype man, and its intentions are always in my best self-interest. I hope in the future, we will build a stronger bond. 

With final exams finished and the new year upon us, it’s easier now than ever to think about all the things we could have done differently. With a stronger ego, I hope everyone can be more secure in themselves and approach the new year with confidence. 


Written by: Michelle Mendoza — mimendoza@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.