Your Ego Is Your Enemy
posted: Apr. 24, 2019.
- Ego – is defined traditionally as “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” If you ask most people how about how they think of Ego, they think of individuals who think they are a “big shot’s”, “self absorbed” and my favorite, have “Machismo”.
- Psychologist’s define Ego as, “the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity”. The context of this definition is confusing and ambiguous for many.
- Simply stated, YOUR EGO IS YOUR ENEMY. What does this mean? We as human beings successful or not, rich or poor are filled with many insecurities about ourselves. As our personality and our mind is being shaped from childhood, we start to grow perceptions and conclusions about the world around us and more importantly how we see ourselves in that world. If anyone says they are not in some way prejudicial they are either lying or unaware. We as humans are programed to have prejudices and to make judgements about everything. The person who we judge the most is ourselves. We operate as a society believing these prejudices to be absolute truths, even positive ones such as all Jewish people are good with money. We also have countless negative ones. What we need to recognize is that self judgements and perceptions of others are harmful. We must take a step back and try to the best of our abilities to treat ourselves and others independently of these pre-conceived notions and beliefs. A large portion of the world’s mental health illnesses derive from this premise. Our ego beats others down and worst of all puts ourselves down when we feel like we have not met the guidelines that our mind has set for us. The reality is we need to love ourselves and understand our minds are our own worst enemy.
- Our Ego operates in our conscious mind in the form of “self-talk” Many have heard of this phrase. If anyone you, know tries to tell you they don’t speak to themselves they are again not being truthful or unaware. We constantly speak to ourselves, feeding messages to our brain about how successful we are, whether we are smart enough, good enough, etc…. The Ego takes form in the “negative self-talk” in our brain. As human beings we are prone to negativity, it is rare to see individuals who look at the glass half full. Even the context of this blog is somewhat negative, is unconscious. We can teach our brain to start to catch ourselves in this process.
- When we think of our Ego as our enemy we can correctly put it into focus and take a stand that we are not going to accept the negativity we feed ourselves. Ego is our enemy means that whenever you have a judgmental internal statement in the form of self talk about yourself you don’t listen to it. For example, I may be getting dressed for a party, as I am getting dressed I look in the mirror, in 5 seconds I may be able to pick out 10 things wrong with the way I look and say, “I am too fat, I have a pimple, I hate my outfit, I am losing hair, I am too short, etc…”, as we get to the party and interact with people, I may be internally saying, “that comment was stupid, I shouldn’t have said that, they think I am dumb, they don’t like me, I am nervous, they can see me sweating, they are going to judge me” the possibilities are endless and it is a relentless onslaught that doesn’t stop if we don’t do something about it.
- The first step is recognition, the 2nd step is realizing all of those statements are made up by the Ego in our brain meant to make us feel anxious and uncomfortable. We must fight this process. Now some of those statements may be true, but in no way does anyone deserve to be less than or insecure or depressed based on any truths about ourselves our how others feel about us. When we realize our Ego is our enemy we begin to stop listening to our prejudices and insecurities. In-turn we become more confident, secure individuals and feel happier in general.
- %95 of Society never get to understand the Ego in the context I have just described. I can imagine that many feel that they can’t change any of it or they have no control. This is not true. We have the power to feel good, we have the power to step away from the internal behaviors that hurt us and we can love ourselves no matter what.