Today, I want to talk about an essential part of us that I believe is greatly misunderstood. A simple Google search on Ego will procure a multitude of negative insights on how the ego is our greatest adversary and must be abandoned. I disagree. Our ego plays a very important role to our character. I see how ego has earned such a bad reputation but aren’t most things we don’t understand classified as bad until we learn differently?
There is so much talk about the misgivings and wrong doing of the ego and I know it can be the cause of great pain and wrongful behavior, but it just isn’t being treated and managed in a healthy way. Our ego plays an important role in ensuring the safety of our perceived sense of self. This can be an extremely useful tool! Your ego is not your enemy, it’s an alarm system telling you that something doesn’t feel right. It is common for the ego to overstep and escalate unbecoming attributes but these situations are a consequence of misunderstanding the underlying need the ego is attempting to have met. When you imagine the ego differently, it is so much easier to work with. It is a disservice to vilify the ego because it is a part of you.
Think of it this way, the ego tries to control your surroundings or the outcome of a situation, in an effort to create an image of comfort. The key here is understanding that the motivation behind the need for control is a need for comfort. If you can acknowledge this within yourself and others, then we can approach the ego from a different angle. Rather than pushing against this behavior, we can lean into the underlying need for comfort. Try asking what would make the situation more comfortable. If it seems that there isn’t a way, then identify whether it is necessary to be comfortable.
Opening the conversation with the ego is essential in acknowledging our comfort level and whether it is necessary to be comfortable in a particular situation. We don’t always need to heed the desires of the ego because in order to grow, we sometimes have to be uncomfortable. If you can befriend and validate what the ego is trying to accomplish then you can also talk yourself through whatever has brought your ego to the surface.
As easy as it can be to identify the ego in others, it can be difficult to admit when ours is acting out; for me, it is most commonly ‘the resistor’ within. Whenever I feel resistant or stubborn about something, it is usually my ego. Because I have learned to identify this, I am able to identify when my ego is resisting and confront the feelings lying below. Rather than simply yield or resist; try approaching your ego a new way. Ask yourself questions and establish the motivating emotion underneath your ego’s reaction. When does your ego speak up or act out the most? What are the times that your ego just can’t compromise? What could be done to make your ego feel more understood and comfortable?
If this is a topic you want to dig into and improve on, reach out to me. It won’t cost you anything to find out how Introspective Interactions can help you.
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