When I was in high school, I wanted to be popular. It came from a broken place. I thought universal acceptance was the cure for my self-hatred and my belief I was damaged and abnormal. It’s not uncommon. There’s a reason people pay attention to social media counts. There’s a reason why fashion and music rapidly changes and falls out of style. There’s a reason people spend big bucks on beauty and body supplements. There’s a reason why we want the nicest car and the biggest home in the neighborhood. There’s a reason we want VIP status. There’s a reason for consumerism.
The grass looks greener on the other side, and if we could get to that other side, we believe our problems would all be solved. Even if you make it to the other side, achieve huge followers on social media, the best clothes, the best body, the nicest car, the hottest wife, the most expensive home in the most exclusive neighborhood, you will still be left with yourself. You will still be left with an insatiable ego only temporarily pleased with each new possession.
I had an interesting discussion with a friend the other day who mentioned we were made in the likeness of our Creator, therefore all of us have a desire to be praised. When this desire comes at the cost of others, it’s called pride. Our pride and ego, however, can keep us from achieving the very things we want and desire. If we seek first the higher ideal, everything else will fall into place. But, in order to seek the higher ideal, the ego has to be surrendered or put to death.
It’s important to identify the differences between ego and confidence so you know what to eliminate from you life. How do you know if you’re operating as the egotistical boy or the confident man?
9 Differences Between The Egotistical Boy and The Confident Man
1. The Confident Man Builds and Inspires Others
In King, Warrior, Magician and Lover, Robert Moore and Doug Gillette identify “The King in His Fullness” vs. the dysfunctional Tyrant. They describe the King as a true father. The confident man builds others up. He affirms, empowers and heals others, whereas the egotistical boy wants to keep people back in fear others will surpass him. The egotistical man is destructive and doesn’t mind stepping over others so he can be promoted. However, the confident man encourages and helps others to reach their fullest potential.
2. The Confident Man Believes in Abundance
The egotistical man envies others and believes we live in a world of scarcity. He’s greedy and refuses to pay for meals, or when splitting checks, doesn’t put in his fair contribution. However, the confident man donates to causes, gives to the poor, and feeds the hungry because he knows he will always get provision.
3. The Confident Man Is Real
The ego takes over when we’ve been hurt, and protects us from being hurt again. So the ego deceives, and puts on an impenetrable act of armor, and then lives in fear of being exposed. Confidence, however, is not an act and doesn’t seek to cover or hide. Instead, confidence embraces realness and transparency.
4. The Confident Man Is Humble
The egotistical boy bullies others and tries to exert power, but the confident man is humble. He knows his strength, but doesn’t use it to control; instead, he uses it to protect others.
5. The Confident Man Considers the Future
A man with confidence has vision. He might set out humbly, but he holds onto hope, knowing his goal awaits him just out of sight. However, the egotistical boy is only concerned with the here and now. He forgets about tomorrow and doesn’t consider consequences to his actions.
6. The Confident Man Is Free
The ego wants to control and manipulate, but the confident man knows surrender. He knows freedom because he delegates, and allows others to take center stage. He also sets boundaries and finds strength and recuperates in time spent alone.
7. The Confident Man Is Calm
Whereas the egotistical boy is desperate for attention and admiration, the confident man sees no need to find approval in others through money, popularity, what he does, who he knows, etc. He finds a quiet acceptance of himself that doesn’t require boasting or recognition.
8. The Confident Man Listens
The egotistical boy knows it all and only desires to be heard, but the confident man listens because he knows he hasn’t arrived and wants to learn more. He’s continually developing and is a student of life.
9. The Confident Man Is Responsible
The ego points fingers and blames, but the confident man takes responsibility for his actions at any cost. The ultimate confident man is willing to take the cost for the ones he cares most about.
In short, the ego is infantile, but confidence exemplifies the real man. Robert Moore describes how putting the ego to death results in the birth of the new man. There’s potential for every guy out there, but he first has to be willing to put his childish ways behind him; only then can he become a man.