How Well Do You Know Your Ego?

Self, Health And Wellness

"Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty." -- John Lennon

I think we all know that we have this thing called "ego." Its origin is Latin and it means "I," and in English it's used to mean "self."

What we choose to do with our ego is entirely up to us, and since the self and the ego are basically one and the same by definition, does that then mean that our ego decides how it should act, or can we separate ourselves from our ego enough to know it needs to be watched by our wiser "self" so it doesn't misbehave or get out of control?

I don't want to go off on a philosophical or psychological tangent, but if, in fact, our ego is self-driven, then how can we best use it -- or, in the case of some people who have one that seems the size of the Pacific Ocean, not drown in it?

A healthy ego or sense of "self" is considered to be one that falls somewhere between thinking highly of ourself, but not too highly that our ego "size" is bigger than it should be.

But then, some might argue that "size" is relative, and if having a big ego is something one considers "healthy," who can say it isn't when it comes to forming an opinion about someone else's sense of "self"?

I think it's better to focus on our own ego and what it's up to or how it comes across rather than someone else's. As far as determining what a "healthy" one is, here are some questions to ask yourself, and you can decide if you think your ego is or isn't:

1. Are you proud of who you are?

2. Do you think you're successful?

3. Do you feel powerful?

4. Do you feel important?

5. Do you think you're better than other people?

6. Do you think you're smarter than other people?

7. Do you talk about yourself a lot?

8. Do you think you're always right?

9. Are you genuinely interested in what other people are doing or have to say?

10. Are you a good listener?

11. Do you prefer when the focus or attention is on you?

12. Do you boast about your accomplishments?

13. Are you happy for other people's good fortune?

14. Do you think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread?

There are no points to add up to reveal if your ego is healthy or big. I think you should be the one to decide that, but be honest with yourself. If you answered yes to questions 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 14, I would say you definitely have a larger ego than those of you that answered "no" to those questions.

Having a healthy ego also means you're not conceited or arrogant, which shouldn't be confused with having confidence or good self-esteem. Thinking you're pretty terrific is absolutely fine. It says a lot about how you value yourself. And even if you do think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread, that's fine too, buy why not at least make that day-old bread.

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Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named in the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and Mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at

This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.