Embrace the darkness: Why ego is not the enemy

Ego is not always your enemy

The classic theme of the Star Wars saga has centred around the light and dark side of the force or the good and bad path. The belief of the central characters within this story is that you cannot embrace your dark side or indulge the emotions that connect with this, otherwise you are certain to be doomed.

Thankfully, real life doesn’t quite work this way. The line is always blurred and for good reason. You might disagree with me and that’s fine but what if I was to tell you that embracing a bit of your darkness can be used to create good for you and others?

For example, let’s start with the common belief that is pushed around in mainstream society that ego is the enemy. Now, yes, ego can be a destructive element if it is allowed to be out of control and run riot. Yet, the energy that a competitive ego provides can be channeled into more positive tasks.

I have often tapped into the energy that fuels my own ego and used it to be creative, productive and find success in work and life. Being transparent, I don’t always get the balance right. But that’s fine because I’m human like you and we learn from our experiences.

Tapping into the fuel provided by your ego could just be the steroid shot you need to get stuff done when the time arises. Many of us indulge in a negative playlist of thoughts and emotions when we face a challenge. This behavior can destroy us in the moments when we need to show up the most. I find that we are so obsessed in eradicating any kind of connection with our ego that we are unable to tap into it when the time is right.

When I talk about ego and tapping into its energy, I’m not saying you act like a self righteous arsehole and make everyoe’s life a living hell just so you can get what you want. Instead, I encourage you to explore the use of the competitive energy that it can offer. If you really want to accomplish something and do what others don’t or believe that you can’t, then we all need a little bit of ego to help us.

I’ve personally always liked this description of why our ego can be used for good: 

“Ego (not to be confused with arrogance) is life, passion, excitement, growth, drive, creativity, individuality, unique personality and reason.

Saying ego is bad is as preposterous as stating water is bad, because it can drown you or fire is bad, because it can burn you. Ego, water and fire are all life sustaining, and they only bite if they are misused.”

Shahram Shiva

Understanding your fears and finding comfort in the uncomfortable is something which can be faced with a little bit of help from your ego.

There is a time and place for everything in my opinion. 

And embracing your darkness is just that. You don’t want to do it all the time but it’s a feature of you that exists to help you when you need that extra motivation. An ego doesn’t have to be bad if managed in the right way.

You can most certainly have a healthy ego that fuels your creativity and the work which you do to get closer to your aspirations.

The lesson for you

The takeaway here is this, ego is not the enemy. In fact, a healthy ego can be the difference in setting you up for success. There is no shame in embracing a little bit of your dark side to face your fears and achieve your aspirations. I know Master Yoda may not agree with me but real life is not like the movies.

Learn to create a healthy relationship with your ego and use this energy to fuel your creativity, productivity and long term success.


For more thoughts like this, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I share insights, experiences and reflections on learning, personal development and managing the monkey mind.


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