I've also been thinking a lot about the difference between ego and self-esteem. All too often, I wonder if we teach our children to build their egos, but not their self-esteem. I am starting to see that ego is built or knocked down by judging ourselves by what others do, say, have or think. It is dependent upon others, often involving comparisons to and validation from others; a very volatile way to live.
Self-esteem, on the other hand, comes from within and cannot be knocked down or built-up by others. It is more dependent on being built from within. Am I trying my best to improve? Am I making progress? Am I actively contributing to the world around me? Am I engaging with others, learning and growing? What can I do to make a difference for the better? I wonder if the only comparison true self-esteem allows is a comparison to self?
Is ego all bad? Maybe what I am calling ego is actually a component of competitive drive, which is an essential motivator for progress for many. Maybe it is a necessary component for progress and achievement. I really don't know. Maybe I've just gone completely off the deep-end and need a good drink and/or a good. . ., well let's just say end to this unaccompanied tour. Regardless, clearly I don't have all of the answers, in fact I barely have any. But, I would love to hear the thoughts of my lurkers and commentators alike.