From the author:
Ego - a negative term?
But many people are reluctant to strengthen their ego, the term is negative for them and is nowadays inevitably associated with "egoist", "egomaniac" or "egocentric". It is important not to be smaller than you are. Not only in the professional, but also in the private sector.
A fundamental problem in social life is that we tend to compare ourselves with other people. This is not an entirely new insight: Immanuel Kant already correctly assumed that we constantly observe and interpret an evaluative environment, and thus develop our self-confidence. Means: We inevitably take others as a measure, because we want to please. We tend to be as much as others - or as others want to see us. What in the individual case can lead us to become drifted about it.
Develop our own profile
But that's not the only problem that arises from it. Heavier, this liking keeps us from developing our own profile. But that is exactly what matters: it is not without reason that psychology speaks of "education" and "self-education". One takes over the others, the other we have to do ourselves in order to mature and to develop according to the abilities that are given to us.
This is exactly where our ego comes into play: It is an "inner impeller" that constantly vacillates between opposites: rest and action, closeness and distance, serving and ruling, leading and following, sympathy and dislike. It forms the working plane that produces what we commonly call "personality" or "inner strength". We need this strength to assert ourselves in conflicts with other people, to prevail in order to be successful.
Education and self-employment
Education and self-education often collide. Because the collective acts as a regulator, which is ready to put the individual in his place. Humans have a fine sensor for when one of them is about or at least capable of doing well. They react to this, usually unconsciously, by trimming the high-flyer. And the effect does not last. Or did you want to be considered a "nerd" at school in the old days?
We can conclude that the influence of others and their expectations on our behavior is almost omnipresent. And also that we are by no means indifferent. The French philosopher Paul-Michel Foucault speaks in this context even of an "imposed individuality" and razor-sharp analyzes how others on social networks generate power and exercise over the individual. A number of sociological studies have shown that, in the absence of social control, people tend to pursue self-centered concerns more effectively than when someone looks at their fingers and hits their fingers.
Let us free ourselves from social demands!
"We should not try to discover who we are, but what we refuse to be," Foucault demands. The man is right! Let us free ourselves from any social demands ... If only that were so easy. Without question question theory and practice collide. Who is really independent? One by one, we need others. Because in the Team let's get on In Daniel Defoe's classic "Robinson Crusoe" is the most beautiful day in the life of a shipwrecked on a desert island, when he got company: a Caribbean, he can free from the captivity of man-eating islanders and henceforth "Friday" calls.
To be isolated, to have no one else of our kind, apart from a few exceptions, we find depressing. Why? - Because the lonely has failed in the eyes of society. A life without intensive relationships has not always corresponded to the social norm. That's why we instinctively behave "socially" - so that others find us good. Some people even develop a craving for social recognition beyond this basic need. If one follows a thesis of the CIA psychiatrist Marc Sagemann, who has analyzed several hundred CVs of terrorists, this addiction can even stimulate extreme action.
Altruism as an ideal?
So far it does not have to go. Nevertheless, it is clear that altruism or disinterestedness has long been systematically declared the ideal of social morality. That is why people do things in everyday life that do not bring them anything that is purely selfless in terms of money: they give the money or donate money, they commit themselves benevolently, although they know that those who profit from it hardly ever will retaliate. Their profit is elsewhere, namely, in their increasing prestige.
Selflessness is therefore perceived as worthwhile. In the context of a perceived growing collective threat of phenomena such as terrorism, values such as solidarity, trust and reliability have become enormously important to people. So far, so beautiful ...
That's why we always fall back into the ego trap. Where it is considered improper to pursue one's own motives, the charge of being an egoist becomes an effective instrument of power. It is better to look at things realistically: we will never succeed in finding each other nice. Therefore, that may not be our goal, to be nice to everyone and to be trapped in this mental cage. Or, to quote Franz Josef Strauss, "Everybody's darling is everybody's dork!"
Being successful means being authentic
We therefore need our own vision of life! This independence pays off. To overcome the fear of being rejected by others as we are, people feel a great liberation. No wonder: as long as we fear the judgment of others, we give them power over us. It is also one of the basic conditions of any success.
To be as one is, and to give oneself in this way means, above all, to stand to one's own needs or demands. They are a part of us and the prerequisite to make full use of our potential. This convinces other people. To be authentic is therefore better than you think. And is the prerequisite for achieving optimal results. Ultimately it is quite simple: to be successful is to be authentic. This is the real art in life.
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