It often starts like this “Well I need a healthy ego to bolster my self confidence and achieve things in the world”.
Here is a definition of ego that I think is pretty good:
a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
“a boost to my ego”
synonyms: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-image, self-confidence
I highlighted self-importance because this is where the destructive side of ego is unveiled. We get ourselves into all kinds of life limiting thought patterns, when we are controlled by our egoistic mind. Here is where we come up with ideas like I’m better than someone else, or I deserve to have something. To start out with your not better than anyone else and you don’t really deserve anything. Our ego will limit what we do because instead of working for something we end up trapped in our egotistic thoughts and become resentful thinking we deserve it.
Here are a few examples of ego driven thought patterns:
- My boss is such a moron and doesn’t deserve his or her position. I’m much smarter than them; why am I stuck in this mediocre job? – Now that’s a nice judgmental attitude and to top it off a bit of entitlement thrown in for good measure.
- You tell yourself that I’m so fit and healthy, and when you see that overweight person walk by, you think to yourself wow they are fat and should lose some weight. Nice now your ego facilitates physical comparisons, judging people by how they look without knowing anything about them.
- You are driving your 10 year old car and you see someone with a new 100k Tesla, and you think why don’t I have a car like that? Again a sense of entitlement mixed in with unhealthy comparison.
- Everyone is an idiot, the conservatives and liberals in this country are completely clueless. Everyone in government is corrupt and worthless. Sure you are qualified to be the judge and jury for just about anything.
Do you see a pattern here? As you let your ego drive your thoughts a few patterns of behavior emerge. The egotistic mind results in being judgmental, critical, comparing yourself to others, and a sense of entitlement. All of these thoughts prevent you from doing something productive with your time and will only chip away at whatever level of happiness you currently have.
Stop this shit!
You don’t deserve anything. If you want something go out and get it, but quit thinking you deserve it, because you don’t. You not entitled to anything that you haven’t earned.
Stop judging people! You just met someone and you begin judging how smart they are or how attractive they are. This is bullshit and you know it. You just met them so you don’t know anything about them; quit judging and get to know them. You might be shocked at how reserving judgement allows you to get to know some really great people.
It’s your ego that keeps telling yourself that your better than everyone else. Another ego trip that we indulge in is we begin to think we are the role we play at work. Maybe this role is well compensated or comes with a big office and lots of perks. You feel pretty special as the Director of ______________ (fill in the blank). Your sense of identity and most of your waking hours are wrapped up in living out this role. The egotistic mind loves it when you become some role, as it just makes life so much simpler.
Stop kidding yourself, that role you are so fond of is temporary and you know it. What happens the day you walk out that door and are no longer the Director of x? If you are driven by your ego, you may be crushed or madly searching for another role to attach yourself too.
Just for a while observe your own ego and catch yourself when you become judgmental or begin comparing yourself to others. You will come to a realization that your ego is getting in the way of you having a real life. Kill the ego and begin enjoying your life.