Is Ego our Enemy?

I translate ego to literally be “the self”. And I can say I have definitely been a victim of my ego in the past. For me, my ego was what made a lot of my time in high school bitter. As I now look back, it created an unhealthy belief in my own importance. It was that pettish child inside me that always wanted to get my way over anything or anyone else. The person inside me that absolutely needed to be better than, greater than, more than, anybody else in the room. Here’s why I think that was a bad thing…

When we have ego, we take every feedback, even feedback coming from people’s best interests, as an “attack”. As a result, we are never able to collect necessary feedback to grow. And what happens then? Can we really work with people if we put up walls? Can we really move ahead if we’re always uninterested in hearing from external sources? In a way, ego causes us to exaggerate our strengths while underestimating the amount of effort and skill required to achieve our goals. That’s almost losing touch with reality, no?

Ego also makes us assume that we “deserve” some outcome – always. For instance, I bought a gift for my friend and hence she should always be loyal to me. Sadly, we don’t always get what we deserve. It can be frustrating, but ego often creates entitlement and ridiculous expectations that the world won’t always fulfill for us.

The last, yet most important thing. Ego made me depend on external validation – a little too often and a little too much. It’s ironic how our sense of self, AKA ego, resents to hear and take in criticism from others, yet when it comes to external validation, it craves it in order to feel satisfied. An example would be: If I achieve a good score, I need to be recognized and praised for it.

All in all, I feel like ego definitely helps us build our confidence. However, it can also reach a point of completely destroying us. Having said that, imagine how much more open to new ideas and how much more fulfilling and wholesome our relationships with others can be if we learn to balance and manage our ego?

– SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

96 thoughts on “Is Ego our Enemy?

  1. Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind” discusses ego a bit and how it is impacted by psychedelics – basically how some of these substances create a separation from the ego entirely – which many claim to be life-transforming.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very insightful – although the ego must develop in order to know itself, to protect the individual. Our problem is we allow it to take precedence over our lives. Mark Manson expresses this as 4 stages of life Four stages of life – and we must avoid getting stuck in any one of them (look around and we can see so many examples)
    1 Mimicry – birth to mid 20s – The constant search for approval and validation. The absence of independent thought and our own personal values
    2 Self discovery – mid 20s to mid 30s When stuck we are eternal adolescents, always discovering ourselves but finding nothing (new).
    3 Commitment – stuck when there is a constant desire for more. An inability to let go of the craving for power and influence
    4 Legacy – No longer creating a legacy, but making sure it endures beyond death. Through family, the arts, community, etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Terrific post! I can relate to your self reflection too! Excellent. May I borrow the meme? Love it.

    Adding: don’t be too harsh on yourself. You have a brilliant mind and that adds to the level of pain you feel in all these things regarding mastery of our ego.

    We are all on the same journey. The dullest and the brightest. The wisdom of humility makes us one. Peace!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I used to be egotistical…now I’m perfect. 😉 Some say that when Jesus said “Get thee behind me, Satan” he was referring to his ego. The ego tells some that ‘They’ are more powerful than Mother Nature. Here’s my favorite on the ego:

    Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree,
    intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body.
    The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life,
    while the latter looks on in detachment.
    ‘ The Mundaka Upanishad

    Liked by 3 people

    1. i am an egoist
      because only me
      from the tree of knowledge
      the fruits
      wants to eat
      nothing else

      i am a driven person
      an outcast
      from paradise

      the unrest
      since my childhood

      I do have one
      insignificant (I)
      a me self
      I have
      not found in me

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your quote. We need enough ego to realize that we have worth but not enough that we think we are better than we actually are. One of my pet peeves are people who constantly put themselves down in hopes that others will rush in to assure them that they really an do it. It is a passive-aggressive way to seek attention. I worked with someone like that and after a few years, her tactics got old.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is going to take me several readings and some introspection to see how it relates to me. I think I lack much of an ego, but the part of believing that we “deserve” some outcome (back) when we give to someone if then, I guess, a fault of mine. I’ve always kept a bit of a scorecard in my head so that I can realize when I seem to be doing all of the giving and getting nothing in return. Thanks for giving me homework!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You make a good case in support of what the famous yogi Sadhguru is always saying, we should always develop ourselves from within. Ego really doesn’t have to be our enemy. A healthy ego is possible. Most of us aren’t taught the importance of controlling ourselves from within, sharpening our skills on how to respond more appropriately to external stimuli. Good piece. Enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent explanation of ego and how immature people grave it and mature people no longer need it. If you are performing to stroke your ego, you must have it to validate your own words and actions, but when you no longer need to validate your ego, your words and actions come forth from your heart and mind with confidence and assurance. Well said, young lady!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Well expressed Saania 🙂

    At times it simply pays to be more humble

    Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.
    Dwayne Johnson

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Bonjour SAANIA
    Brise légère, soleil du matin tous vous attendent pour vous réveiller. Puisses-vous avoir une merveilleuse journée et souvenez-vous de moi autant que je me souviens de vous
    Amitié bise Bernard

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The (I) of a human being
    moves between
    your own past
    the here and now
    in the subjective moment
    and in the hunch
    the future
    the one
    distinctive human
    to be able to be

    love is a word
    like everyone else

    no one can be a victim
    of your own consciousness
    in it the (I)
    has to move every day
    to make a decision
    with new insights
    to any action indeed

    every human is unique
    who his essence
    declared unimportant
    in bad as in good
    the conscious human
    can and must
    with his own
    learn to deal with shadows

    who out of himself
    instead of that
    imperfect (I)
    makes a higher self out of it
    he has humility –
    man is time
    in his short time
    – turned his back

    (from the tree of knowledge
    can you eat
    – from the tree of life
    may you eat the fruit?
    do not pick
    don’t eat *Genesis*)

    the unpleasant
    the judgment on us
    from others
    about us
    ignores the intrinsic
    and pictorial knowledge
    from us humans

    cooperation
    needs the familiarity
    with the others
    of the,
    that intimacy
    of each individual
    from the formal and the function
    for the purpose
    remains granted

    the world must
    us our world
    the others

    all those
    must our desires
    not fulfill

    the world was before us
    the world will also after us
    remain the world as such

    we are praised
    in failure
    as well as
    if we
    the goal
    our longing
    to have achieved

    praised enough in everything
    that we nature
    are in nature

    in which the people
    we are time
    in the short time
    in which we live

    we stay
    in an entanglement
    in a dependency
    to survive
    through the inner world
    and through the outside world

    the self-criticism
    the judgment of others
    even if it’s uncomfortable
    is hard to bear
    help us
    on our own feet
    to stand
    and not on your feet
    the other

    the soul
    the ghost
    is in us

    – the healing too –

    not out there

    that (I) must
    not be managed

    that (I) helps
    because we are all amateurs
    are and stay

    The easiest
    our life
    to design

    Like

  12. What a post ! Thanks mate ! Pride has held me back, but ignoring it has cost me as well. Where do you draw the line ?
    I know, every fucking time, I know. The powerful pride sometimes drags me back over the line to a really bad decision. I knew it would, I saw something that would pain me for years before I even dealt with it, but ended up buckling to the pressure of my fucking hard-core, heavy-duty … pride.
    Something to improve, I keep telling myself. Your post helps. Thanks for your thoughts.
    Your fan,
    Woody.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Very good. The most significant progress I made when I was about 19-20, was when I decided I didn’t give a damn about people’s opinion, approval or disapproval. I just decided there things I wanted to do. Personally. If others went along, fine. If not, fine too. Strangely enough when you start doing things according to your own taste, people come out of nowhere and follow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nice post, especially your comments on entitlement. We don’t always get what we think we deserve, and this is often a hidden blessing. Because, occasionally, we get exactly what we think we deserve, only to discover that it makes us miserable.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dearest. Saania.
    Beautiful post. Really. Ego is not good we should try to remove it from our mind it creates problem in relationships. I like your post so much
    Keep it up dadi sudha

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So well said, Saania. We need a healthy sense of self, but ego is a real challenge to that. Ego puts blinders on our self-importance so that we see that self-importance and little else. We are of value, but there’s a context of humanity, and there should be an interest in growth. In growing ourselves and helping others grow. I always enjoy reading your thoughts as you express them.–Christopher

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Balance is the key, as in most matters of interactions. We need a sense of self to recognize and share our gifts – and to help us discern whether others’ input can be helpful or hurtful. A wonderful post! Keep on shining!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ego definitely holds us back and from time to time, it does get to me, read the Ego. Like they say remove E from the Go. You write awesomely well and in such a mature fashion, Saania in touching the topic.

    Like

  19. Non è facile tenere a bada il nostro ego.
    Credo che avere un giusto equilibrio con il “se stesso” è importante, è anche una fonte di difesa dall’esterno, ma sicuramente dobbiamo imparare e accettare le opinioni altrui, dobbiamo imparare che ci sono molte più persone migliori di noi, in qualunque campo, dobbiamo capire che non sempre possiamo essere messi in primo piano da chi incontriamo, indipendentemente dal notro rapporto con l’altro/a.
    Avere consapevolezza di noi e degli altri in egual misura è difficile, ma sicuramente costruttivo.
    Non siamo nemici di noi stessi se non siamo nemici degli altri.

    Like

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