The ego often gets a bad rap but, through the years, I have discovered that I do need to keep a watchful eye on my ego. I came to the realization, several years ago, that my ego felt most comfortable when I was doing what others thought I should do, rather than what was fulfilling to me. So, I decided to stop letting my ego rule my life and to stop wasting precious energy seeking approval. I made an illuminating list of all the behaviors I fall into when my ego is in charge: being a slave to convention, comparing myself to others, having pride in my own ideas and accomplishments, worrying about my image and reputation, and desiring things I really didn’t need, such as compliments and being right.
My takeaway from this exercise was, in these areas, when my ego wins, I lose. This is a simple saying that reminds me that my ego drives me to choose achievement over self-care, perfection over ease, and validation over harmony.
I wonder if you have ever considered how your ego supports or limits you? By keeping a watchful eye on my ego, I’ve learned that I don’t have to give my ego all the authority and instead, can live from the inside out—in touch with my true needs and desires—rather than from the outside in—taking my cues from the people and opinions around me.