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Excellius Leadership Development

Your Ego and Inner Critic: The Difference

The stories that your ego and inner critic tell you about yourself may help you temporarily navigate a challenging situation or maintain your self-esteem, and this is a good thing. However, the stories you tell yourself can also lead you to incorrect conclusions and have a negative domino effect on subsequent decisions.

Your Ego

Your ego exists primarily in the external world and acts like a shield to protect your need for status, self-worth, and contribution. If something happens in the external world that attacks these needs, you create an explanation for the attack, typically due to something other than yourself. The rallying cry of your ego is “It’s not me, it’s them!”

Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic exists in your internal world and works to erode your self-confidence. It is the part of your personality that tells you that you are not good enough, do not deserve something you received, or could have handled a situation better. It thrives on questions like “What’s wrong with me?” or conclusions like “What an idiot!” The rallying cry of your inner critic is “It’s not them, it’s me!”

Do you have a sense of how frequently your ego raises a shield to protect you or how often your inner critic erodes your self-confidence? My goal is not to get psychological and start throwing around fancy and important sounding concepts like ego and inner critic. It’s to introduce the concepts of ego and inner critic so that you can build your self-awareness of when they rise up and assault your thought processes.


Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is available

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Ed Evarts is the founder and president of Excellius Leadership Development, an organization focused on coaching mid- to senior- level leaders and their teams in business environments. With over twenty-five years of innovative leadership and management experience, Ed possesses the ability to build awareness, create action, and deliver results. Known for his business acumen, his ability to resolve complex human relations issues, and his enthusiastic, accessible and responsive style, Ed partners with managers, leaders and business teams to explore clarity and communication, and traverse conflict and change.