How Your Ego Can Ruin Your Life

It’s wild to imagine what the world would be like if everyone woke up, dug deep, and committed to being the absolute best version of themselves.
ego

What’s stopping anyone from taking this one life and living it in a way that exudes peace, happiness, kindness, and love? What’s preventing us from putting the brakes on and finding out who we truly are deep down in our souls? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s our EGO. You know, that thing Freud talked about all the time? Ya… if you’re not careful, it could ruin your life.

Hear me out…

Maybe you’ve never thought about this stuff before or you’ve never even questioned your life in this way. Perhaps you feel like there’s no need for constant and never-ending self-improvement. Maybe you think you’ve already changed and grown enough and now you’re not particularly interested in changing anything else about yourself.

You could be someone who says, “I want to grow” but you don’t actually mean it because you’ve consciously and sub-consciously started to enjoy the attention you receive from your dramatic lifestyle.

Are you someone who has committed to soul searching and self-improvement in the past but it didn’t last long because you were blocked by fear, anxiety, stress, trauma, and self-doubt? How committed were you in the first place?

Maybe you decided to join everyone else around you who is swimming upstream, never stopping to question whether downstream might actually be your true destination. As a result, you’ve never experienced the beauty of living your own, individual life.
school of fish swimming in one direction

“Well, I feel like I’m awake. I don’t really understand what you’re saying. I’m pretty content with who I am.”

Ok, maybe you’re content and maybe you’re not interested in discovering your ultimate potential as an amazing human being despite what you just read. If that is the case, you’re doing yourself a real disservice. Without a doubt. There is an overwhelmingly happy and joyous life beyond the one you think you already have.

The first thing to remember is that none of us are perfect and self-improvement needs to be constant and never-ending throughout your life no matter who you are.

With that being said, there are thousands of things we end up “dealing with” on a daily basis that might throw our consciousness out of whack and take us even further away from becoming awake. Take a moment to ask yourself how often you experience any of the following:

  • Jealousy
  • Comparing yourself to others and feeling less than or greater than
  • The need to constantly impress others and receive praise
  • Judging others
  • Name calling and talking about someone behind their back
  • Constant stress, feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Feeling like you always need to justify or defend who you are
  • Abusing yourself and/or others– mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially
  • Searching for your true happiness and self-worth in others
  • Being so concerned with other people’s lives and the choices they make
  • Letting someone or something else get you so worked up that you can’t even relax
  • Focusing on other people’s lives instead of on our own
  • Always helping others and never helping yourself
  • Never setting intentions/goals for your own life
woman sitting down, crying

The list goes on and on…

However, if you feel like you are someone who often falls victim to any of the above, it’s time you acknowledge this and become acutely aware of when and why it is happening. Why is this so important? Because it will undoubtedly change your life for the better.

Freud was so fascinated by the ego because it basically runs your life if you aren’t aware of what it’s doing and why.

In other words, your Ego is the thing inside of your mind that provides you with a sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Your Ego is responsible for your sense of personal identity as it mediates between the conscious and the unconscious.

For example, when you say things like:

“I suck”

“I’m just bad at relationships”

“He’s just an as*hole. That’s who he is.”

this is your Ego playing its favorite game and falsely identifying yourself and others.

In your true essence, you’re not someone who sucks, you’re not someone who is bad at relationships, and he’s not an asshole – IN TRUE ESSENCE. You may exhibit qualities that make you feel as though you strictly identify as these things but it’s never who you or anyone else truly is in their core essence. Similarly, people who you perceive to be completely horrible, terrible human beings aren’t awake yet.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”

Take another moment to think of someone in your life who really rubs you the wrong way.

man yelling into phone
Someone who gets you riled up or does/says things you absolutely cannot stand.

Have you ever really and truly asked yourself why you react this way to this person? They’re not making you react this way. You’re deciding to allow yourself to experience this anger and frustration toward them.

According to Eckhart Tolle, “anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you. But it is no more than a form of ego, and as such, it is completely impersonal. It has nothing to do with who that person is, nor has it anything to do with who you are. Only if you mistake it for who you are can observing it within you be threatening to your sense of self.”  

Think about that for a second. Now take that person you envisioned a moment ago. Only this time, really stop and ask yourself if the qualities you do not like in them also exist in you somewhere, deep down. Don’t be afraid to admit it. Or perhaps you’re afraid that those qualities could exist in you if you’re not careful. Maybe you even secretly resent some of their qualities that bother you.

Now, I am certainly not advocating for you to start pooping out rainbows and love and accept everyone around you.

I mean, that would be pretty awesome but even after doing some deep soul searching in terms of why someone rubs you the wrong way, you still might not want to surround yourself with an individual who is not awake yet. To clarify, what I am advocating for you to do is to get to a point where no one can shake you because YOU know who YOU are and you’re so awake that you can’t be negatively affected by those who are still barreling their way through life with blinders on.

So, it sounds like the Ego is a pretty important dude, huh? Well, he is and he isn’t. He IS in the sense that he exists and you need to learn how to take his power away. He ISN’T in the sense that he exists and you need to learn how to take his power away. In other words, Ego exists in all of us and we cannot become better, happier humans until we understand when the Ego is about to take over.

And who better to kick Ego’s butt than consciousness and awareness?
fighting ego, buddhist statue

It is important to realize that no matter where you are on your journey through life, it’s never too late to wake up. Consciousness and awareness are pretty cool. Even though you may have been ignoring them this whole time, they’re surprisingly still right there with you, just chilling, knowing that they’ll be recognized when the time is right. They’re certainly not mad at you for not acknowledging them either.

They’ve watched you live your life doing the best you can with what you have. But, that was before you realized you have THEM. Therefore, there’s no denying that you can do even better, knowing that consciousness and awareness are by your side.

By the way, they’re there for you AT ALL TIMES.

When you’re in traffic about to tailgate someone and flip them off, consciousness and awareness are in your passenger seat. When you’re at work about to lose it in the middle of a meeting, they’re also there, standing behind you. They’ve got your back. When you’re just about to rip your significant others head off, they’re also there, reminding you to think again.

Consciousness and awareness are patiently guiding you through life because it’s their duty to get you to stop, slow down, take a deep breath, and find yourself. Therefore, they’re coaching you to reconnect with your true self in those moments where Ego is about to lay the smackdown.
ego defeated, woman awakening to sunrise

In conclusion, the most important lesson we can all learn is that we have the ability to no longer let the physical world obstruct our understanding, our being, our true essence. We just have to decide to wake up. Today. Right here. Right now.

If you are serious about finding your true, unshakable self, I highly encourage you to read these two books by Eckhart Tolle.

If you open yourself to them, there’s a great chance that they could change your life forever.

And…

Decide today to become unstoppable. To get conscious. To begin your greatest journey.

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