The Radical Difference Between Ego, Pride, and Confidence
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I got off an interesting call the other day where I heard of a woman’s experience in a healing circle. The woman, Sherry, described how the facilitator, let’s call him Joe, proclaimed his importance as a background. “I trained blah, blah, blah! It cost me $17,000! I am a master of this healing!!!” Joe declared! There were plenty of chest beats to announce the superiority of such an individual.
Yet, Joe forgot one tiny important thing during the circle. How to adapt to handle Spirit or spirits when they showed up unannounced to ‘heal’ his followers.
Sherry described the accidental vortex Joe had opened up. Where a demigod jumped out to land, you guessed it, on her. She was lucky because an elder sat next to her to release the attachment. Due to Joe’s laser focus on self, he missed the sense of a vortex entirely as two women in his circle struggled to release said entity.
What was Joe doing during this time? Still beating his chest and reading his $17,000 script word by word. Unaware and immersed in his ego.
To be cognizant and empathic of accidents is to be human. It was an accident, right? But would any of us say that to a surgeon who rushed into his first surgeries without knowing the difference between a kidney and a heart? Or who watched a Youtube tutorial before going into surgery?
Because this is what is happening in the hidden worlds as ego-driven humans play God and furu (fake guru). According to Urban Dictionary, a furu is a person who will essentially, “I will show you how to achieve this desired result, but first, you have to do this.”
The desired results they promote are often played off of our emotional and psychological wants such as money, freedom, status, wealth, prosperity, etc.
And in order to promote a false sense of credibility on their topic, they flaunt their wealth and material possessions such as a mansion, sports car, fake profit numbers on a screen, etc.
Fake gurus are basically the modern-day snake oil salesmen.
Unknowing souls are being energetically attacked as they sit in a kumbaya circle led by a transparent furu wearing mandala beads and a fake red Kabbalah ankle bracelet. A complete energetic leeching off of souls because Joe and his many swindler brothers and sisters decide to ape in for glory, power, and money. At least Joe went through some type of training. Because there are scores of others without any training and a ton of followers.
The same false profit could be said in the stock market to the furus of new courses being rolled out every single day. Fake gurus eager to be something. Chasing to be everyone but themselves.
“There is no greater failure than succeeding at something that isn’t your truth.” — William Whitecloud
In my last six years of international travel and living abroad, I’ve met financially wealthy men and women from millionaires to billionaires. There were also spiritually wealthy balanced masters to lineage warriors with karmic bank accounts flowing over. Sprinkled within all of these meetings, would be the ego-naires. They prided themselves on fumes as their car yearned for real gas as they only operated on air.
Growing up amidst money-hungry bankers with large bank accounts and larger egos in my twenties, I always wondered about the guy who flashed his Porsche. I wondered if he ever realized that there were far more millionaires and billionaires who never needed to flash anything? That these humble millionaires and billionaires had triple, even quadruple the amount they had? Probably not since awareness and reflection are difficult when all that can be seen are misperceptions that stem from limiting beliefs.
My back would always be the next thing these ego-naires would see as humility was rare in that environment. My wondering and amazement continued as spirituality has become a trend with even bigger un-checked egos and abusive pride.
After living in a patriarchal country for the last two years, where pride was consumed and regurgitated daily, I wanted to understand the difference between pride, ego, and confidence. Ego death is a topic within the spiritual community with disagreements, belief systems, and prideful statements being made across all social media handles. Humans beating their chest to grunt their importance to anyone who will listen. This is the world we live in, a world where there are followers and listeners for everybody and anybody.
There’s an incredibly thin line between pride, ego, and confidence with a connecting sutra. Using Joe as an example, let’s dive in.
What is Confidence?
According to the article; The Difference Between Pride and Confidence, though the terms Pride and Confidence appear to be similar in meaning, there exist many differences between the two terms. Even in our daily life, the line between pride and confidence can seem rather blurred in certain situations.
Confidence refers to the trust that someone has about something. A significant difference between the two stems from the quality of humility. A person who is proud or full of pride, is not humble. However, a confident person is humble. He considers the advice of others.
Confidence is trust or self-assurance. It denotes the reliance that an individual possesses on something or someone. When a person is confident of his abilities and skills, there is a high potential for the individual to achieve his goals.
Confidence gives an added assurance to the person to perform well. Confidence plays a vital role in the development and growth of an individual. It allows the individual to have trust and faith in himself. Unlike a proud person, a confident person has a good understanding of his identity. He is aware of his strengths and weaknesses. This allows him to be open to criticism and advice from others and better himself. A confident person does not blame others for his faults and is prepared to take responsibility. Within a confident person, the quality of humility can be observed, unlike in the case of a proud person.
Joe was confident in the steps to enroll and complete his healing course. That confidence led to facilitating healing circles, which by all means is a wondrous thing. The world absolutely needs more intentional healing, less chest-beating.
What is Pride?
Pride is a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
According to Pediaa.com’s article, The Difference between Pride and Ego, pride is an emotion that arises as a result of one’s achievements, success, or qualities or properties that are admired by others. Pride brings satisfaction and pleasure to oneself. Pride is also a type of admiration for one’s performance or personal traits. This emotion can be viewed both negatively and positively. If an individual feels so high and proud about attainment and feels that he/she is superior to others, pride works negatively. When this happens, the particular individual may not feel like talking and hanging out with others but may prefer to be alone. When pride is taken as a positive trait, it acts as a motivating factor. If an individual is proud of his/her performances, he/she may always try to improve them. Pride, in a way, paves the way to success too.
Moreover, pride is associated with self-satisfaction and self-importance. A person may truly feel proud of his/her skills and accomplishments and this invariably leads to self-confidence. A person can be proud of someone else’s achievements or success as well. For example, a mother may feel proud of her child if the child achieves something important. So, pride is not a result of self-obsession and may sometimes arise due to others as well.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Pride makes a person feel proud. This highlights that a person can be proud of so many aspects of his life such as his abilities, appearance, wealth, power, etc. When a person begins to be proud of his abilities, this creates an image of the person as supreme in comparison to others. Such an individual is usually engrossed in himself and pays less attention to others. Also, the individual begins to reject any advice from others, thinking that he is better than them. Even the slightest form of criticism is sufficient to create antagonistic feelings in the person towards those who direct constructive criticism. A proud person rarely acknowledges his flaws and often tends to blame others. This highlights that, unlike a confident person, a proud person is not humble. He is so full of himself that he begins to be blinded to his flaws. This kind of pride is very unhealthy, especially for personal growth.
After the healing circle, Susan approached Joe to inform him of the accidental portal he opened up. After a twenty minute conversation, Susan told me he cried because he felt bad. Joe was overly confident and prideful which crossed over to energetically hurt another person. Joe’s remorse showed Susan he was open to accepting constructive criticism.
What is the difference between Pride and Confidence?
- Pride refers to the satisfaction that an individual gains from his abilities and achievements and that makes him feel proud whereas Confidence refers to the trust that someone has.
- A proud person is not humble whereas a confident person is.
- A proud person believes that he is capable of anything, but a confident person is aware of his flaws.
- A proud person rejects criticism and advice whereas a confident person uses them for his growth.
From the list above, Joe was a deeply confident person which could have come across as excessively proud.
What is Ego?
According to Eckhart Tolle, the ego is a part of your mind that tries to control your thinking and behavior.
In Eckhart Tolle’s Teachings: Your Bad Ego and Its Problems, the ego gives you an interpretation of the world, not a true reflection. The only true way to see the world is by being fully present and experiencing the Now, without judging or analyzing it.
Eckhart Tolle’s teachings say your ego is your “I” or self, how you distinguish yourself from others. The ego creates your identity from your social status; job; possessions; education; appearance; relationships; personal and family history; beliefs; and membership in political, national, racial, and religious groups.
We tend to think that these thoughts and experiences define us and that our ego is who we are — after all, it’s coming from inside our head, so who else could it be? But the ego is not our true Being. Our true Being is the essence of who we are, separate from our mind and body.
The ego only has as much power as you give it, and it gains power when you identify with it. Your ego is threatened by your true Being because when you connect with your true Being, you realize that, by contrast, you are not your ego.
You can feel your true Being when you are present in the Now, so the ego is also threatened by presence. In the interest of self-preservation, your ego will do whatever it can to prevent you from being present and identifying with your true self.
- The ego is the force pushing your attention away from the present to dwell on the past and future.
- The mind can only function in the past and future because they only exist in your mind (in memories and projections). But the ego has no control over the present, so it pulls you away from the Now.
Ego is a person’s sense of self-importance, which can also be interpreted as unhealthy pride. Pride is a feeling of satisfaction arising from what one has done or achieved. Ego is born in the mind. Pride is born in the heart.
The ego creates worries about the past and future that cause you to dwell on problems and situations you often have no control over.
The ego is not responsible for productive forms of fear that come in response to a present and immediate danger, which activates your fight or flight response for survival. The ego only creates hypothetical and speculative fear.
If a situation or person is challenging some aspect of your supposed identity — e.g. your religious beliefs — and you relent, will you no longer be you? No, you will continue to be yourself, and you may realize that this element or belief didn’t make you who you are. That epiphany is one step closer to understanding that your ego-created identity is a sham and to connecting with your true Being. This, again, is a threat to the ego.
For example, if you always need to be right in an argument, that stems from a fear of losing your sense of identity. If you believe your thoughts and your mental positions are part of who you are (based on your ego-created identity), then being wrong shakes the foundation of your identity. But if you know your true self is not tethered to your thoughts and beliefs, then it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong.
The detachment to our identities or the meaning defined by us is the answer to complete freedom and the death of our attached ego. However, in death, there is ego rebirth. In rebirth, there is integration back into the whole.
That is the may be considered as positive in an individual if he or she does not allow it to control their lives.
Joe’s inflated ego hindered him from being in the Now. A present state of awareness of not only the self, but others. His actions displayed that his ulterior motive of becoming a healing facilitator was not only for the healing aspect, but for other aspirations that would ultimately feed his ego.
Is there a radical difference between ego, pride, and confidence? Not necessarily, but there is an absurdly thin line between them. Skating between the three is a balancing act that takes practice. Increasing confidence and pride to boil over creates a mess while healthy amounts of confidence and pride are just right. Joe moved past the point of just right into excessive but was humbled after he became aware that his actions brought on damaging consequences.
Over the years, when my clients have expressed their shyness on posting their material abundance, I kindly remind them of all the hard work they have done in their shadows. It was especially difficult in a time when many people are hurting around the world.
It’s not easy facing your deepest fears and unearthing mountains of anger suppressed beyond infinity. Those are no easy feats, so my kind words transformed into courageous words of remembrance to trigger pridefulness in my clients with a grounding anchor of humility.
Believe in yourself.
Know you can do it.
Yet above all else,
Be humble and kind.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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