For the longest time I allowed my ego to run wild. Like a untamed animal, I enabled it to hover over my life coming in when it wanted; destroying my positive thoughts, emotions, and ambitions. When I was sad it would tell me I deserved it. When I looked in the mirror it would say I was too fat, too shy, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, and definitely not loved. Yet if someone asked me, I would say that I had a healthy self-esteem and loved my life. What is this thing called ego?
Ego is defined as our sense of self-esteem or self-importance. The ego is important because it characterizes our sense of identity, illuminates our boundaries and develops our personality while guarding our delicate inner self from disappointment, rejection, and other harm caused by society and the circumstances around us. But if we become too dependent on our ego, it can make us believe we are more important, needed and, even better than others. Putting your ego in check can be the most vital thing you do to find balance in your life.
A healthy ego is one in which good self-esteem reigns supreme. Deepak Chopra says in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams, " The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear." Knowing the purpose of your ego grants you the ability to mange it in a positive way. So how do we put our ego in check so that it is always working for our higher well being?
1. Do you always want to be right or Do you want to be happy? People who are controlled by their ego frequently fight with others and have a hard time apologizing. When you are in an argument decide if you are fighting for the need to be right more so than for the particular situation. Remember it's better to be happy than to be right.
2. Don't take yourself so seriously. Crazy things happen all the time but sometimes the best remedy is to laugh about it. Not taking yourself so seriously allows you to not be a victim and instead choose to rely on your higher self. Remember you can make your own reality.
3. Be good to others and yourself. Having empathy helps to understand other people's perspectives. People ruled by ego tend to be very judgmental of others. But one thing is for sure, we are all in this human experience together. Checking your ego can help you to have more compassion, forgiveness, and love for others as well as yourself.
4. Have gratitude. Gratitude, whether big or small helps you to become less self-focused and more aware of other people. Being thankful for the things you have in life have shown to have a positive effect on your mental, physical, and social well being. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present, magnifying positive emotions while blocking the negative ones.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. The ego loves to compare making you feel bad or good about what you have or have not achieved; however, we are all individuals with different paths. Reminding yourself that you are on your own journey will save you a lot of headaches in life.
Understanding the role ego plays in your life can help you to see the ego as an asset, assisting to shape the way we think and move in the world. Our egos are always there so we might as well develop it and embrace it. Deepening our relationship to ourself and deepening our understanding of others.