In the beginning of the fifth chapter of Pirkei Avot (5:2) the Notzer Hesed reveals that everyone at one point or another [I got the impression that this actually happens quite often] in their life is tested by very high emanations (from the world of Tohu) that make the person feel unique and special, lofty and righteous. When people overcome this test, and connect to HaShem through recognizing their own insignificance, (connecting to the aspect of אין - nothingness) then they can truly serve HaShem. (In the world of Tikkun)
Resha'im never succeed in overcoming this test and so continue always in the belief that they are the most righteous.
Perhaps this is at the root of a yeridah l'tzorech aliyah? (the idea that we fall in order that we may rise up again)