What Is An Ego? How To Recognize It and Master Letting It Go
In many spiritually-minded communities, there is a lot of talk about a human ego. Many people lead their whole lives being driven by it, and some do not even know it. To get rid of your ego, you must first understand what it is.
Ego is a constructed identity built upon certain beliefs that accumulate slowly during your life. It is also a false understanding of Self.
Everyone has an ego. In many ways, it serves as a protection and survival mechanism to make sure one grows to be better and greater. The issue begins when ego runs around unchecked.
If a person is unaware of what an ego is, they may think that it is there true self and fight hard to protect it.
To become aware of it, it is important to take it apart and analyze it from different perspectives.
What Is An Ego?
An ego is hard to explain because every person builds their ego a little differently depending on life experiences. In the nutshell, it is a false construct of who you think you are—and not who you actually are.
Here are a few things to realize.
An ego is not always positive.
There is a misconception that ego-driven individuals think they are better than everyone else. While that may seem true in many cases, an ego does not think it is the best, it thinks it is always right. This can be expressed as higher than normal self-esteem or as self-deprecating.
An ego can be very negative. It can tell you things such as “I am not good enough. No one loves me. My life will never get better.”
An ego can be responsible for you feeling stuck and helpless to the current circumstances of your life situation.
An ego will sabotage things to make sure it is right about all of those things. It will purposefully create drama in a relationship until it pushes it to the verge of a break-up.
The ego can then say, “See, I was right, I am unloved.”
Speaking of drama…
An ego creates a lot of drama.
An ego is dramatic. It overreacts easy and explodes with emotions, whether it is anger or jealousy. Also it is contradicting as it will blame you for feeling that way. The ego will first react negatively then tell you that you are weak because you did so. Your true self would not do this to you.
An ego is an attachment to a specific identity.
Attachments are not positive in general, because they are limiting of the freedom of the soul.
An ego is an attachment as well—an attachment to who the ego thinks you are. Isn’t having identity a normal thing? It is a part of culture. But being attached to that identity is not healthy.
Let’s imagine that an athlete gets injured and they can no longer do what they have always done. As much as it hurts to have to let go of the past, it is actually the ego that wants to wallow in sorrow and give up because “life is unfair.” The individual’s true self will say “Another part of my life is starting. I am a powerful creator. Let’s see what life brings me next.”
How To Get Rid of Your Ego
Getting rid of the ego does not happen all at once. It is a process. The best thing you can do is fight your own false beliefs one by one as they arise.
Self-awareness is the key.
An ego forms with every event in your life. Especially when things go wrong, it is important to stay aware of your thought and feeling and fight the ones that are limiting.
You cannot control life, but you can fully control how you react to it.
Stay humble, stay grateful, stay loving.
You need to understand your ego and let it go if you want to have successful milestones of your life such as falling in love, creating a family, and having children. An unchecked ego can easily sabotage all of these.
Mindfulness, meditation, and self-reflection are best remedies for this and even both Buddhism and Sigmund Freud agree with this. If you would like to practice an ego awareness meditation read our 21 Masks of the Ego article.
Remember to take it one day at a time; it’s a lifelong process.