Associated with feelings of pride and vanity and built up through various life experiences, the ego craves validation – and it can also hold you back. There are, however, methods of taking control and harnessing its power in positive ways.
Shaping the Ego
The ego controls feelings of self-image, self-esteem or self-importance. It’s a social mask based on how you see yourself – an identity built on life’s experience.
In an ideal world, love and positivity would create the perfect, healthy ego, which allows you to be resilient, humble and live happily without the need for approval from others. However, challenges and problems you face as you develop also play a part in shaping your ego. Playground insults, reprimands, labels referring to looks or intelligence, unresolved issues at home and other factors combine to create a belief that self-worth relates to how others see you.
All about Confidence?
Many people hold to the belief that the ego relates to arrogance or overconfidence, and can prompt you to make comparisons and see yourself as better than others. The ego craves validation, which can encourage bragging. Some believe, however, that this kind of supreme confidence can be a positive thing as it can spur you on to accomplish your goals.
In contrast, the ego can also be the voice inside that attacks your self-esteem, making you feel you’re not good enough or want to be like someone else. In this way, the ego can prevent you from following your dreams.
Everyone experiences feelings of arrogance or low self-esteem at points in their life. Problems arise when the ego starts to magnify and intensify those feelings, which can affect people in a negative way. Consider the statements that follow:
‘My nose makes me look unattractive.’
‘My spelling is terrible, so I’m stupid.’
‘No one really likes me.’
‘I’m much skinnier than the person beside me.’
‘I’m more intelligent than my sister.’
‘I know everything there is to know about the subject.’
These thoughts all relate to self-image and, when a pattern of repeating them to yourself over and over again starts to set in, it can reinforce the idea that the sentiment is correct.
When The Ego Takes Control
The ego usually hides behind thoughts but reveals itself in situations involving emotions like jealousy or anger. But there are plenty of ways to spot that the ego has taken control. They include:
- Negative feelings such as hurt, anger, disappointment, jealousy or irritation.
- Complaining about others and their flaws
- A focus on external things such as wealth, looks, possessions and successes.
- Thinking you have nothing to learn about a subject.
- Judging yourself on the opinion of others.
- Refusing to back down in arguments.
- Reacting badly when things don’t go your way.
- Talking to friends without asking about them.
Restoring Your Ego
Deepak Chopra, a thought leader in alternative-medicine says: “ If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
Taking those words of wisdom into account, it is possible to keep your ego in check.
You Are Not Your Mind
When practicing mindfulness, be aware of what your thoughts tell you, particularly if it’s judgemental – it could be your ego in action rather than the reality of the situation. Writing things down can be used to quieten the mind and connect with your true self.
IF you lose at something, be gracious and recognize you won’t win all the time. In arguments, sometimes it’s better to let things go and realize that not everyone will agree with you. Move forward and learn to forgive – both yourself and others.
Stop Judging Others
Judging or comparing yourself to others is a waste of energy. There will always be people in better and worse situations than you. You can’t change that, but you can change how you view and deal with matter in your own life. E
Do Things Which Make You Happy
Sometimes we do things because they should make us happy or will get recognition rather than doing what we want to do. Be the true version of yourself rather than relying on approval to make you feel worthy. You don’t need others telling you that you are a good person to be a good person.