What is your ego? Your ego is your sense of self. It’s all of your accumulated habits and experiences packaged together as a ‘personality.’ In Western culture, we generally think the ego is a good thing. How can you function without it? You take ‘me’ with you everywhere you go.
Most people consider it common sense that your ego is what helps you succeed in life. Well, if you look closely at most common sense ideas, you often see that they’re totally wrong. Study the lives of successful people and you’ll see that they have one thing in common – they check their egos at the door.
What’s wrong with your sense of self? Most of us think it’s harmless, but it can actually get in the way of everything you want to do in life.
Your Ego Limits You
Your sense of self gives you a checklist of qualities about you and things you can do. This checklist might say things like:
- – is friendly – smiles a lot – likes sports and physical activity – has blue moods sometimes – loves trying new things – relates well to others
Unfortunately, this checklist will also have lots of negative statements on it:
- – isn’t good at music – doesn’t like or understand science – is terrible with money – has no cooking sense whatsoever
These are all things that limit you. They cause you to fight change. Strangely enough, you’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure that these limiting beliefs stay in place. That’s your ego fighting for its survival.
What if you tore up these checklists? Look at that last one – ‘has no cooking sense whatsoever.’ What if you ditched that limiting belief and got into the kitchen? Your ego might be surprised after a few weeks of cooking lessons that you can whip up some culinary magic.
Your Ego Turns You into a Jerk
A little pride is good but too much can destroy you. False pride is the Achilles heel of lots of folks. Just watch any reality TV show. The person who goes down in flames usually does so because they’re too high on themselves.
This is an ego self-defense mechanism. When it feels threatened, it lays on the arrogance and bravado, not realizing that it’s dooming itself to failure. Successful people keep their egos at bay. They’re humble, modest and open.
Your Ego Puts You on Auto-pilot
What is the self really? It’s an accumulation of habits and patterns. When new things come along, it reacts by forcing you into one of these habits and patterns. But only when you’re totally open can you embrace new ideas or gain true understanding.
You can do yourself a favor by recognizing when you’re going through your day on auto-pilot and stopping it. Take a minute to look at the grass waving in the breeze. Stop and pay attention to your breathing. Listen to the sounds around you and get into them as if they were music. Raise your consciousness and awareness above ego level.
Your Ego Keeps You Safe
The best and worst thing your ego does is it keeps you safe. It protects you by giving you the image of a continuous, consistent self. But it’s only be leaving your comfort zone and taking risks that you learn and grow . You need to approach each day as something new and don’t be afraid to expose yourself to chance.