This was a phrase I heard not too long ago that stuck with me for the reason that it really does make sense.
Confidence can be good for your work, yourself and anything you do. Ego is just that, but to a far greater extent, is usually misled confidence ending with bad results.
I thought I might be able to dive a bit deeper into the differences and so that’s what I did, hopefully drawing a pretty accurate and visible line between the two.
The Main Difference
Confidence is “I believe wholeheartedly this is the best choice.”
Ego is “I know this is the right choice because all other choices are wrong.”
In this scenario and in most cases, you can be confident and still be accepting of other results. Confidence just means you’ve made a guess as to what will happen and believe the positive result is most likely.
Ego is not accepting of other possibilities and assuming the answer is obvious.
People with an ego don’t look for the flaws, mistakes or other factors in a project. They take what they’ve done and defend why it is the best without taking the time to analyze how it could possibly be better.
While confidence is the opposite, it is also much more adventurous in admitting they do not know something and choosing to explore it.
Confidence is Empowering
Let’s say you have a friend who is confident and a friend who’s ego is too big for themselves.
They both attempt a project separately but ultimately get the same results; a failure.
The friend who is confident will notice what they have done hasn’t worked out, maybe question their confidence from earlier, but will become curious as to their misconception. They look for the growth opportunity in an unknown factor affecting what they did that resulted in failure.
The friend with an ego will question what happened in a demeanor that is more rage induced. It’s a blow to the self-esteem and that’s all a person with ego has. They will question where they went wrong but will come to the conclusion they weren’t wrong but the results were wrong.
A failure to someone who is confident can be a helpful and insightful experience and a failure to someone with an ego can be the appropriate blow to knock them down back to reality. In both cases, a failure can shape success.
Ego Will Make You Lazy
Ego is saying to yourself, “I don’t need to put 100% effort into something because X.”
Whatever that X might be, your ego will tell you acting as if that’s not a new experience so it has no meaning left in it will make it worthless to try as hard.
Ego makes work seem like a joke or a simple task which will in turn make you not take it seriously.
We all get lazy and it’s fine to admit that, but if we are lazy because of ego, that’s something that should be changed.
Think about a time when you felt something was easy and wouldn’t need a lot of time to work on it. So you procrastinate a little bit. Then when it finally comes time to do it, you realize you underestimated it or there was more to do than initially thought.
While that’s one of the worst feelings, it’s brought on by ego.
Confidence Warrants Questions
And ego warrants wrong answers.
Confidence is the positivity in learning something new and figuring out how to better understand the new concepts.
Ego is saying the answer to the question is easy when that may not always be true.
People with an ego will see a lot of things beneath them hence bringing out what they believe to be right answers typically from out of nowhere.
There’s truth in admitting you have something to learn from an experience.
Having an ego makes you believe you have all the answers and hearing a corrected answer is nothing but someone else’s ego going head to head with yours, which is not true.
Because ego’s are fragile, having one makes someone defensive of it and having to constantly justify decisions made and answers given.
Ego’s can break a lot easier but because they are so fragile, they can be built back up very quick.
Confidence rarely breaks as being a confident person will be empowering to the scenario that even if negative results come, there is understanding in that, not defense in the initial choice.
Whenever possible, take notice into whether what you have is an ego or confidence because one can help bring you positive results and experiences and the other can convince you you’ve already done that and push you back down.