Our egos are very stubborn and they like to win. The ego wants to be right, wants to be special; the ego wants things the easy way, its way, or to finally find thee way. And while it is necessary to develop a strong ego in the first half of life, it is just as important to give up the ego in the second. Nature certainly has a sense of humor. It demands we get it, only to demand we lose it.
So what does it mean to give up your ego? Does this mean that you no longer fight for what you think is right? Does it mean you no longer speak up and fight to get your needs met? Does it mean you have to give up and settle? No, but here is what you need to know about your ego. Your ego is very fragile and insecure. It is your ego that gets defensive and belittles others so it can feel safe and powerful. It is your ego that demands others acquiesce to your way of thinking and doing. It is your ego that wreaks havoc on your relationships.
But don’t be too hard on your ego. It’s intentions are good. Your ego is working hard to protect itself in order to protect you. It’s just a bit confused. Think of your ego as your internal two-year-old. It needs to be managed but at the same time it needs to be understood and comforted. It doesn’t know any better, it is just acting like an ego. When you get your ego under control and out of the way, magic happens. Your true Self can lead the way. Your authentic Self shines through. The Self is where your true power and well-being lives.
So how do you know if it is your ego or your Self that is running the show? Here are some examples of how the ego functions in comparison to the self.
The ego resists what is; the Self accepts what is.
The ego makes demands; the Self makes requests.
The ego gets scared; the Self knows everything will be okay.
The ego has a very narrow field of vision; the Self can see the infinite possibilities.
The ego will fight to be right; the Self knows what is right for it and can allow others the same freedom.
The ego will try to make something happen; the Self will allow life to take its course.
The ego will protect itself at any cost; the Self knows it can never die.
The ego has something to lose; the Self has everything to give.
The next time you find yourself in a conflict or upset, stop and observe your ego in action. Be compassionate but firm. Let your ego know that while you appreciate its attempt to keep you safe and sound, your Self will take over for now. It can rest and take a back seat. Then let your Self shine through. See the magic that happens in your life. Experience the peace that comes to you. Find your way back to love.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com
As usual another great topic. I am struck continually in your articles by the very direct relevance to business. “Owner’s ego” / “founder’s angst” is the #1 cause of business failure for start-ups (with a 95% failure rate, and a big issue – oft ignored – at CEO Space) and SME’s – and even in the Fortune 500.
In serious business negotiations, ego is once again a major factor that must be considered and dealt with / overcome in order to reach successful conclusions.