In many cases, vanity or ego might cause a certain disruption in our career or relationships with other people. There is a difference between ego and vanity, ego is the self respect or self esteem which might not always be a negative characteristic of a person. Vanity is a certain belief which is associated with pride in one’s appearance, achievements or abilities. In this day and age, although some of us might not consider ourselves vain, it is nearly impossible not to care about one’s appearance or achievements due to the pressure applied by society and its set standards. In our effort to try living up to those standards and be accepted by groups within our society, we sometimes cause setbacks to our own selves, thus sabotage our own life and success. However one shouldn’t try to devote oneself to eliminating ego, because being “egoless” can lead to lack of confidence and limitation of our ability to love our own selves, what is important is the recognition of ego’s operation, the understanding of its nature and then the decision regarding how we choose to deal with it.
We have all caught ourselves at least once wondering what someone else thinks of us, what their impression was when they first met us, thinking that the image others have created of us, affects our achievement of happiness or success in life. Such thoughts not only consume our energy and cause disruptions in several sectors in our lives but also trick us into believing that the opinion and approval of others is essential to our improvement and self growth. Sometimes I have also found myself in the position of taking leadership in the school setting without necessarily wanting to be a leader but just because I didn’t have faith in the other members of a group and so I chose to take it on myself so as to be in charge of the outcome of the assignment. Similar incidents happen often in our modern society since people are becoming increasingly competitive while at the same time losing their trust on others who might even be on their side. In my case, I wouldn’t blame this on my ego or vanity but on my perfectionism, since I don’t consider myself to be a vain person. Is it vanity for wanting to do good at school or at work? Can you blame someone for wanting to be the best version of oneself? My weakness is perfectionism and if that is considered vanity, then maybe I am the one to blame. On the other hand, are individuals responsible for such reactions or behaviours, when both society and the system are applying so much pressure on them to achieve the best results possible, to be better than anyone in their class or workplace, to become a role model? Another point worth mentioning, is that in this day and age, ego isn’t always bad. One needs to be able to protect oneself and believe in one’s own abilities because at the end of the day if one isn’t sure about one’s own strengths, talents and weaknesses as well, then he can’t expect the guaranteed approval of others. One shouldn’t rely his happiness on others and shouldn’t depend on others’ thoughts to prove his worth. The morale of the story and what I’ve learned from this incident is that sometimes we all need to remind ourselves to be the best version of ourselves and not aim to be better than anyone else.
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