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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 144 Screw work break free > Little Miss Important

Little Miss Important

Is your ego getting in the way professionally? It may be painful to admit – but there are simple solutions that can help you regain perspective. Suzy Bashford investigates

Previously, I did not think that I had an ego problem. That was when I associated big egos purely with loud, brash, shamelessly self-promoting bores, who droned on about their achievements, completely oblivious to my eyes glazing over with disinterest.

I have since realised that ego issues are far more complex, and that I might have a ‘difficulty’, after all. For example, at a recent business meeting, when I was introduced as a ‘stay-at-home mum’ instead of a freelance writer, I was shocked at my visceral reaction. I felt my cheeks redden, while my inner dialogue went berserk. I spent the rest of the meeting distracted, trying to assuage my dented ego, dropping comments about how busy I was writing all day, and not sitting on the sofa. It didn’t help – my desperate attempts at self-validation just made me feel worse.

Ego issues such as this arise when a person is so attached to their idea of themselves that their attitude becomes rigid, and they feel threatened when their self-perception is challenged. They then seek to validate themselves through external measures – in my case, job title.

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