Ego gets a bad rap. When someone is being a jerk, we say they’re being egotistical. When someone is cocky and always brag we accuse them of having an “ego problem.” But is having an ego really all that bad?

The word “Ego” means I. In Eastern philosophy Ego refers to the self, self-consciousness or self-recognition. Embracing your ego doesn’t automatically make you a raging narcissist. Embracing what you know that you can do is just being honest. Having the confidence to know that you’re good at something is a skill that a lot of people lack. Ego is a must. Ego is in all sense of the word just having high self-esteem.

Ego isn’t just about arrogance. Ego and loving yourself go hand and hand. Now, this shouldn’t mean you should let your ego get out of control, but it’s okay to recognize your accomplishments and skill sets.

The ability to see that you are better at a certain skill than someone else and is essential to life. In order to be a good leader, you need to be able to see that you are more qualified at doing something that someone else.

When you look in the mirror and know how good you look, flaunt that! Take 500 selfies and post them all over Instagram. If you have perfected a piano piece that you just learned, don’t be afraid to post that video of you playing it for fear of being seen as someone with a big head.

Part of self-love is being able to recognize just how special and unique you are. Part of leadership is being able to see how good you are at certain skills and being able to help others develop their own.

So next time you have on a superfly outfit, have a good hair day, or ace that test, don’t be ashamed of sharing it. Be proud of your accomplishments and all that you’ve done.

And next time someone tries to accuse you of being “egotistical,” just smile and say “Thanks, I know.”