“Can you explain the difference between ego and self – esteem?”
Ego simply refers to our sense of self, or our self – identity. Who am “I,” is the question. In and of itself, ego is harmless. What we want to be concerned about is whether our self – identity or self – concept is weak or strong. What we commonly refer to as self – centeredness or being egotistical symbolizes a person with a weak ego; meaning they don’t know who they are and so must “add on” external symbols such as things that can lend identity, value, and superiority – like positions, material acquisitions, other exclusive associations like other people’s approval.
People of this nature are not centered in their body; their energy comes from outside, from comparing and competing. They often display feelings of discomfort around many people and usually must quickly retreat back to their habitat – to maintain their exclusivity. The ego – centric individual maintains his self – value from what he has, what he can do, and what he knows. Once established that he compares well, he feels safe and sound.
Only problem with this is the world around him is dynamic and he must continuously compare and acquire or his sense of self will fluctuate with the world around him. This can be quite exhausting!
Self – esteem on the other hand is the human value that comes from just BEING. As human beings we have value. We have dignity. We have energy. We have spirituality. We have mind – body. Through these we can explore and experience the world. We can express our truth. This value, this truth doesn’t change with how much we have or what we can do. This value belongs to us from the moment we are born and stays with us until the moment we pass.
Problems come when we confuse the value of life – the value of BEING with the value of HAVING and DOING.