In yesterday’s post, we looked at when it’s good to lie to yourself. You can actually empower yourself with positive belief. But this sometimes comes with a dark side…
And that’s when our ego defense mechanisms go too far. They distort our ability to self-assess ourselves, and we cross over into self-delusion. Now we’ve moved from simply having an optimistic worldview, to drinking our own bathwater.
You can see examples of this with people with narcissistic disorders like Donald Trump. Their insecurities won’t allow them to accept any facts that don’t portray themselves in a favorable light. Or monsters like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who convince themselves that the pain and abuse they inflict on others isn’t really harmful.
Usually these circumstances don’t happen overnight. It’s a progressive slide into the abyss, making one small validation or excuse at a time—until you wake up one day and suddenly you’re past the point of no return.
So how can you avoid this?
The best defense is surrounding yourself with the right people. This is a huge part of the environment you create around yourself to keep things in perspective.
Which is where we will pick up on tomorrow’s post. Until then, please share your thoughts on all this below.
Great post, RG. And you're right on the money, as usual. Surrounding yourself with the right people, who will tell you the brutal truth about yourself, is essential. Especially when you become successful, and everyone around you suddenly begins saying YES. Everyone that succeeds seems to have their "Ron Burgundy, I'm a kind of a big deal moment," only to be jolted back into reality by their inner circle. (with the possible exception of Trump)
I used to despise some of the things Donald Trump did but now I feel sorry for him. He is surrounded by people who don't give 2 shits about him, only what he can do for them. People that truly care about you will be honest with you even if it costs them their job, your friendship with them, etc. Of course, you need to have your ego in check so that you are willing to listen to and follow good advice, which seems to be a problem for him (and most people in power and/or famous).