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Interesting & Dirty Ego-centric Behaviors

Dive into the intricacies of ego and self-awareness with our comprehensive review of Ryan Holiday's 'Ego Is The Enemy.'

Explore the pitfalls of ego-centric behavior, gain insights into navigating success and failure, and discover strategies for fostering genuine authenticity. Whether you're a student, professional, or athlete, this article offers valuable lessons for anyone seeking personal growth and self-mastery


Image by Brent Connelly
Image by Brent Connelly

EGOCENTRIC. We've heard this word since we were in school, haven't we? I know its meaning, but I don't think I truly understand it deeply. Knowing and understanding are two different things. Perceptions about ego and success will be explored here. I believe you might gain something after reading this book called Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday.

Table of contents


The central theme of the book revolves around ego, not just in times of victory but also in moments of failure. When we experience failure, our ego tends to make us feel sorry for ourselves, procrastinate, and blame others. The author emphasizes that giving in to our ego only leads to a downgrade because we are taking a shortcut.

One of the mind-blowing insights for me was the idea of “Fake it till you make it." The author argues that by thinking correctly, we can avoid the identity need to fake success. Another concept that resonated with me was comparing ego to wiping the floor. Some people do it daily, others weekly. It's crucial to understand and discard our egos regularly and that is self-awareness. 

Ego in Aspiration

In the complex tapestry of the real world, individuals must harmonize their aspirations, idealistic visions, and ego, navigating the balance between chasing dreams and acknowledging the practicalities of existence. Life presents us with a basic choice: to be or to do:



From Earning 

To Pretending

From Having Authority

To An Authority

From Having The Rights

To Be Right

This might be challenging our youthful idealism with the realities of the world. The ego plays a significant role in this deception, blurring the lines between true authority and appearance, between impressing others and being genuinely impressive. It is easy to be corrupted between being and doing, we must understand where our true priorities lie. Life makes us choose wisely to align our actions with our essence, to be authentic rather than merely performative.

1. Be The Center of Attention

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD - Ego Is Playing Tricks on You

Is ego and confidence the same? It's not.

Turns out that confidence with ego is not always a good thing. It can backfire on us. We're all walking around with our own set of worries, doubts, insecurities, and yeah, maybe a touch of madness now and then. 

Ever had that feeling like everyone's watching your every move, even when you miss just one class? That's your ego acting up. It's like we've got this imaginary audience in our heads, whispering about every little thing we do. And let's be real, that's not exactly helpful. Sure, having a vivid imagination can be a plus, but watch out when it starts possibly out of control. So, next time you catch yourself worrying about what everyone else thinks, just remember. It's your ego playing tricks on you. 

2. Taking in Early Pride

The danger of early prife, is just straight-up fraud.

canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel
canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel

You know that feeling when pride starts creeping in, making you think you are better than everyone else? Yes, that is not a good sign. Feeling good about your achievements to being all high and mighty. Getting caught up in that ego trip? Total distraction. 

We have all been there, labelling ourselves as the best to have celebrations. Wait to start celebrating before you've even got something. In this book mentioned:

  • Don’t cook the sauce before you get the fish.

  • Cannot cook the rabbit before you catch the rabbit

That is just setting yourself up for a fall. We gotta call it like it, being all full of yourself? That is just straight-up fraud. Flannery O'Connor said that real self-awareness starts with humility. That's how we keep our egos in check, by getting real about who we are. Quiet doesn't mean we have no pride, be privately thinking also pride. 

Ego in Success

1. Controlling The Narrative

So, here is the interesting thing about us humans, we love spinning tales out of our past experiences. You might also know that it is not always a good thing. It can be downright risky and downright false.

Take this idea of buying low and selling high, for example. Sure, it sounds good in theory, but it sounds too good to be true unless you are a total liar. And do not even forget the idea started on the whole "genius" label. 

People throw it around like confetti, but believing it can be a real trap. Especially when our ego starts whispering in our ear, telling us we are some kind of prodigy. Instead of getting caught up in these grand narratives, we need to keep our eyes on the prize that is execution. It is all about putting in the work and doing it damn well. S

o, next time you catch yourself getting lost in the story of your life, remember it is the doing that counts.

canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel
canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU? Ego Hates The Ideas Of Compromise

2. Too Stubborn To Compromise

Are you always chasing after what everyone else has, thinking we deserve even more? Been wondering the reason? THAT IS EGO. It is like a sneaky little devil that can mess things up. It fills us with envy, eating away at us from the inside out. This book gives me the understanding that it does not discriminate. 

It can mess with anyone, no matter how big or small. It tricks us into thinking we are all that when really, we are just fooling ourselves. See, the ego hates the idea of compromise. It is all about having it all, no matter the cost.

But here is the thing if you want to find happiness

  • You have to dig deep and figure out what you're after. 

  • When others try to mess with your groove, just wipe them off.

  • Let them drool over what you have got, instead of the other way around. 

Because that is what true independence looks like.

3. Loving Praises Dearly

BEWARE THE DISEASE OF ME - Craving Validations and attention

It’s about me me me me, or ever you heard of the "Disease of Me"? It is like making it impossible to work together. And you know what? It's not just sports teams that get hit, it can happen to anyone, anytime.

You are probably wondering where me me me come from. Is that ego of ours? It's like a needy little kid, always craving validation and attention. Is that confidence? That's a whole different story. 

Suddenly, all those awards and recognition started to matter, even though they were not what got us where we were. We start chasing after money, titles, and fame, not for the team or the cause, but for ourselves. But here's the real reason for that "Disease of Me''. It can mess up even the most innocent climb to the top.

So, next time you find yourself getting caught up in the hype, remember what matters and it is not all those shiny trophies and media attention. Bare in mind in the early chapter “Don’t have an early celebration''

4. Maintaining a Clear Mind

This book mentioned that "Fear is a bad advisor"? Well, here I am trying to understand, especially when a kid is standing on the edge of that diving board, trying to make the right move without letting fear take over. See, our egos love to make us feel invincible like we have got all the energy in the world and nothing can stop us. 

To be real no one's got unlimited power, not even the greats.  A successful person is not in it for fame or glory, they are just doing their thing, staying focused, and getting the job done. They do not focus on seeking validation from externally. From now you catch yourself getting swept up in all that ego nonsense, just remember to keep it real and stay sober, both literally and figuratively.

Ego in Failure

THE EFFORT IS ENOUGH - Do Your Best and Be Proud Of It

1. Prioritizing Perfection

How to manage expectations? There might be some times that we do everything and have an expectation that everything will run smoothly, but the result somehow is so bad, far from our expectations.

Sometimes, despite all your hard work, you end up with a big fat failure staring you in the face. It sucks, right? And if you're letting your ego call the shots, it can feel like a real punch to the gut. Like, you are expecting the world to give you a standing ovation, but all you get is crickets. Remember life is not a Disney Movie and a fairy tale. 

How to learn to manage expectations.

  • Change your success goals mindset.

  • Focus on what the best you have done refers to self-satisfaction. 

  • Have less attachment to the outcomes.

  • Recognising and rewarding is a bonus. 

  • Rejection is on them, not on us. 

canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel
canva edit by Gabriella Immanuel

Make it about doing your best and being proud of the effort you put in. Because at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

2. Blinded by Obsession

After talking about rejections, let’s move to other things, it is about “Katabasis”. Have you heard of katabasis before? This book mentioned a little bit about Katabasis which means “a going down”. People are pushed to go back, they experience depression, or in some cases descend into the underworld. 

Being alone in your deepest phase of life could be a blessing in disguise. It is like a wake-up call alarm, forcing us to take a long, hard look at ourselves and the mess we have made. Like in the previous chapter that mentioned dead time and alive time. The ego is here blocking us from seeing the truth and making the changes we need to make. Ego makes things seem hard to deal with, preferring to delay that rather than work for it. 

3. Doing Whatever It Takes


Remember the early chapter of this book that mentioned always being a humble student and always learning? You are not as perfect as you think you are. And? That's okay. Because here is the thing about truly great people...

  • They do not settle for just being good enough. 

  • They hold themselves to a higher standard. 

  • They do not care about impressing other people

  • They are too busy trying to live up to their expectations. 

Because what matters is being the best version of themselves they can be. If you are still tempted to take the easy way out, ask yourself  “Is this living up to my standard?”. Try to justify your actions. Fight the ego that wants to take the shortcuts thinking “No one will know”, but you know yourself do you want to upgrade or downgrade yourself? 

Honest Review of Ryan Holiday's 'Ego Is The Enemy.'

  • Writing Style: The writing style is casual and easy to comprehend, making it suitable for both new and seasoned readers. The author avoids using complex terms, ensuring accessibility.

  • Characters: The characters in the book are mostly drawn from real-life experiences, allowing readers to learn from others' mistakes.

  • Plot: The book covers not only the ego associated with success but also that tied to failure, providing a well-rounded perspective.

  • Supporting Points: Although I didn't delve into the author's background, it's evident that they have drawn from personal experiences and observations. This authenticity adds depth to the narrative, especially when discussing early career challenges.

  • One thing that came to my mind once I finished reading this book is we not only learn from our mistakes but also learn something when we win or on top of being humble that ego will always be there with us anytime. But still, it depends on use. Do we want our ego to win to put ourselves down? If not, congratulations you have learned something from this book just like me. 


Conclusively, 'Ego Is The Enemy' by Ryan Holiday offers a thorough investigation of ego and self-awareness, providing priceless insights for personal development. Holiday teaches readers to be real and proficient by analyzing the dangers of egocentric conduct in both success and failure.

The book urges readers to develop self-awareness and humility and cautions against giving in to ego in times of failure. It also emphasizes the perils of early pride. Holiday argues that real effort should take priority over outside validation and stresses the significance of keeping clarity and controlling the narrative even in the face of success.

Furthermore, 'Ego Is The Enemy' emphasizes how important it is to control expectations and see failures as chances for personal development. Holiday challenges readers to rise above ego-driven motives and pursue greatness by emphasizing self-satisfaction and ongoing growth.

Essentially, Holiday's book offers helpful advice for personal growth and functions as a timeless guide for negotiating the intricacies of ego. 'Ego Is The Enemy' offers the means to reach your maximum potential and live a more genuine life, regardless of your status as a student, professional, or athlete.

I highly recommend this book even if you think you are familiar with the concept of ego, this book offers valuable insights and lessons that are worth exploring.

Written by Gabriella Immanuel

Edited by Virginia Helzainka


Holiday, R. (2016). The ego is the Enemy. Penguin House.


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