Art featured by Lio Min
This topic is something I began to think of quite often these days. People generally would think I had a huge ego because I usually keep to myself (happened a few times at workplaces). But I know that I have always liked observing people, their behaviors, and their actions. Something about all of this fascinated me.
But as I aged, the realization hit me that I did have an ego (in what proportions I had never figured out). I didn’t understand what it truly meant until I did some research and honestly it was something that kept recurring to me in the pursuit of higher education as well.
What is ego, anyway?
Ego, in simple words, is the voice in your head that stops your harsher nature from taking over (so that’s a good thing right ?) but at the same time colloquially (in laymen’s terms) the word ego has developed into ‘one being full of oneself’. So presently when someone says- ‘you have a big ego’, or that ‘you need to keep your ego in check’ well that’s when you should try being more humble.
People with ego can be a pain sometimes. Ever heard of egoistic people? Thinking that they are always entitled to certain things; sometimes even pain can be a version of your ego. Let me explain— what if you think your pain is the only pain out there? What if you think your suffering is the only form of suffering that can be validated?
Most of us think that we deserve things; the life we didn’t get, the happiness we didn’t get, the car, the person we deserved, anything and everything, well there’s a term for that as well and it’s called entitlement.
We think we’re entitled to all those things. I, too, have had the same feeling growing up because of certain characteristics I picked up, I thought I was entitled but then reality hit me and now I’m trying to look after myself. It’s never too late to try anyway— the effort is everything.
My next question was; could ego ruin relationships?
Yes, because if one thinks they deserve better or your lover/spouse needs to do something for you then that’s your ego talking and because of that the separation occurs.
Could ego ruin success?
Yes, let me give you an example— if there’s a task that you need to fulfill but you think that the task is not worth your time or is below you or even if you think about the outcome before the effort, well that’s your ego talking.
Focusing on the outcome before putting in the actual effort can deter you further away from the task. Ego is the development of actions and experiences you have observed and gained over time. Think about it, your ego controls what you do but that is ONLY if you let it.
Can all this be detrimental to your development as a person? Yes and that is why it is important to let go of it.
10 Tips to help you let go of your ego-
- EFFORT before OUTCOME
In every task planning is important, and effort is equally important. But overthinking about the outcome will only allow your ego to grow to such an extent that your anxiety will create zero effort. So put in that effort. It took some of the great people to achieve success after numerous and unimaginable amounts of effort.
2. STAY HUMBLE
Ego often allows you to think that you are more capable than someone else, humble yourself, look at people who are lower than you, accept that there is knowledge all around you and gradually get rid of the thought that you are greater than everyone else.
3. No one ruins you, you allow yourself to be ruined.
You have a choice to react to certain instances in life, well most instances, there is always a choice and because of this choice, the outcome can be determined. If you allow yourself to be ruined because someone pisses you off then you are giving yourself a one way ticket to anxiety, breaking out and ultimately depression.
4. Always choose LOVE
Hate is easy, to love is difficult But think for a second, have great things been achieved by hate? Did hate change Nelson Mandela’s goals? OR was it the love for his people? Try loving people, the things you do, when anger is an option choose love and see the difference, how you feel inside will generate the result.
5. Come out of YOUR HEAD
Sometimes you allow yourself to indulge in negative thoughts. You don’t do these things consciously and intentionally but because of past experiences it happens and it’s okay but it’s in your head and you can choose to let it all go. Pain can be a curse and maybe your pain is great but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to rush into that pain if it’s ruining yourself right?
6. CONTROL isn’t everything
Some of us seek control of the things around us. The flow of nature is very important, people react to certain things in certain ways and sometimes these things are unexplainable and that is okay because everyone is unique in their own ways. Just because someone behaves in some odd way doesn’t mean you should control that behaviour, let go of control, discipline yourself, YOU are far more important.
7. LEARN TO SAY NO
Most of the times we give in too much time to those around us and this in turn has affected us where we have no time for ourselves. For example, a plane rushing through the sky loses its oxygen levels and you try saving another passenger but the buckle of the seat belt is dysfunctional, you slowly lose your own oxygen levels and are unable to help the passenger, well you should have thought about yourself first right? Saying NO does not make you a bad person, you are not saying NO forever but help yourself, look after yourself, and maybe you can better for everyone else.
8. Don’t give yourself the ‘IT’ factor
There is no point in life that you can think of as the defining moment in life. Focus on the present, do what is necessary now and the outcome will follow the way it should.
9. PURPOSE OVER PASSION
Passion, in the long run, can burn you out but purpose keeps you going. Passion with reason or extreme feeling/emotion is the purpose, don’t confuse the two. We are all passionate about a lot of things but do they all come true? Well unfortunately no. Always choose purpose over passion.
10. Don’t allow pride to overtake you.
Consider this— if you have 10 tasks in a day and complete all 10 and be proud of yourself for the next few days, what is that going to get you? Plan your tasks, and humble yourself thinking about what you need to do more or how you can make things better. Don’t fill yourself up with a few things that you did, laziness will find you sooner than you know it.