What is the ego?
The ego is many things, but mainly, it is the thing that holds you back. It is the thing that keeps you up at night with worry. It is the small voice in your head that is constantly cutting you down and telling you that you are not enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not strong enough, not witty enough and so on.
When you feel your spirit soaring, the ego rushes in and stops you. Your ego says, 'You can't do that. You can't be what you dream to be. You can't accomplish the goals that you have set for yourself. You are being crazy. You are being irrational. Your ego tells you to stay where you are, to stay where it is safe and secure.
Does this sound familiar? Do you recognise this ego? Have you heard it in your head? Yes, me too. We all have.
I have heard it said that no one in the world will ever abuse you as much as you will abuse yourself (negative self-talk). But the truth is that no one will abuse as much as your ego will abuse you. To be clear, the ego is not intentionally malicious. It is not deliberately causing you harm. What you must remember about the ego is that it is entirely based in fear and nothing else. Your ego cuts you down because, believe it or not, it is trying to protect you. In its fear, the ego believes that cutting you down will prevent you from failure, humiliation, pain, and suffering. Because if you do not live, dream, take risks, and explore—then you can not get hurt. You can stay safe in your cocoon forever and your ego will be quite happy there with you. But…
Your True Self
There is a counter force to the ego. It allows you to overcome all of the ego’s fear, anxiety, worry, and scare tactics. It is your True Self. Maybe you have caught glimpses of it?
Perhaps one day you were floating in the ocean, warm sun at your face. As you lie there peacefully, all fear, worry, and anxiety left your body and you felt an exquisite calm. Perhaps it was while you were riding a bike. You were speeding down the roadway, cool wind in your face, and you felt, This is it. This is my peace, calm, happiness. Perhaps it was in the gym and you were pounding down on the treadmill, sweat pouring from your face. Or for me it was going to work, diving with those sharks (in the top photo) at an aquarium I used to work at. We have all had one of these moments. They are different for all people, but they are the same in that, for a brief moment - we catch a glimpse of our true selves and our egos are completely gone. In that moment, there is no fear, no worry—there is only you: infinite, beautiful and raw you.
Know the Difference, Embrace Your True Self
All suffering is ego-created and caused by resistance. Your ego is a part of you, you can never be rid of it entirely; but you can learn to recognise and overcome it. The key is to carefully monitor your thoughts. You must have awareness. When you hear your ego come out and start to cut you down, address it immediately. I know you’re trying to protect me from a future pain that you think is coming. I love and appreciate your desire to protect me, but there is no need. If you can remember to do this, your true self will prevail over your ego every time.
In addition to recognising and overcoming your ego, you must also embrace your true self. Seek out those moments that allow your true self to shine through. Create more of those moments for yourself. When you feel that sense of calm or excitement and entire adventure from within - harness it. Capture that feeling and call upon it often. Stop living in the painful shadows of your ego. Allow your true self to begin guiding your life.
The symptoms of ego are:
Defence: Whenever you find yourself needing to defend a decision, action or opinion with intensity and loads of emotion rather than accepting it without the need for a comeback, that's your ego.
Distortion: Whenever you distort the facts or the situation to suit your own perspective or opinion rather than accepting things as they are, that's your ego.
Deflection: Whenever you feel the need to make something about someone else or something else rather than looking at ourselves and taking responsibility, that's your ego.
Distraction: Whenever you distract from the situation at hand by creating drama about something or somewhere else (so you don't have to look at 'what is' and work with it to get 'what you want'), that's your ego.
Comparison: Whenever you fail to use your situation as motivation to go forward; whenever you feel the need to make yourself feel better (or worse) by comparing your situation to someone else's - so you don't feel so bad about yours, that's your ego.
Natalie is a Development and Success Coach, as well as a Human Behavioural Profiler.
Ph: 0466 531 988