You may have heard the saying that the ego is the enemy, but have you really defined the ways in which your ego is preventing you from living life to the fullest?
It keeps you out of touch with reality. It makes you expect way too much from life, things and people and these expectations can never be met. It also makes you rely on other people’s opinion, you seek their approval without realizing and end up trying to prove yourself in ways that can only harm your peace of mind and self-improvement process.
Ego is also the enemy in business as it can stop you from collaborating with others, doing creative work, not having a realistic understanding of your abilities and the opportunities in front of you. It leads to errors because you don’t think clearly.
Some consider the ego to be a source of motivation, but it’s a poor motive to do anything in life as it’s for the wrong reasons.
Knowing all that, let’s see how you can go about taming your ego.
Learn To Let Go
Letting go is a technique that can make your life so much simpler, from your career and relationships to living in peace and finding true happiness in the present moment. It’s also an ego killer.
Learn how to accept something as it is, breathe deeply, and simply let it go. Remember that all things are temporary and you don’t need to hold onto beliefs, expectations, the past or the future too much, as none of that matters compared to how important the present moment is.
Start Being Honest
Most people think they are honest. Yet studies have found that we lie in 1 out of 5 interactions. That too is connected to our wrong perception, not seeing things from another perspective and being blinded by our expectations.
Honesty is the best policy and it can save your relationships, make you braver and more confident, and thus make others respect you and trust your judgment more.
Telling the truth is much easier than lying or hiding things away. While it might seem scary in the beginning, once you begin practicing openness and directness, you will see a whole different reality.
Being Right Isn’t Healthy
Those whose ego isn’t under their control are always right and focused on winning, regardless of the consequences (such as hurting others, not actually being right and thus making a fool of themselves, or else).
Understand that our mind provides interpretations based solely on our previous experience and our current beliefs and values in life. However, due to the fact there’s a lot we don’t know and each story has many sides, we are almost never right.
Spiritual development lies in accepting this truth and letting go of the need to win. These things don’t teach you anything, they don’t help you grow. Instead, such an approach only ruins your relationships and prevents you from getting more out of life.
Free Your Spirit By Surrendering
Surrendering is a wise skill to adopt, it’s the opposite of always trying to be in control.
Why do that? Because control is an illusion and those chasing it are leading a never-ending battle that only ruins their chances of success in life.
The wrong thing about trying to control everything around you is that this is what your ego is telling you to do. If you listen to your spirit instead, which tells you to first find peace and then allow things to fall into place, you will be calm and won’t be a perfectionist or live in an illusion.
Face Your Fears
Fears feed your ego. It’s important to analyze the things you’re afraid of, especially irrational fears such as the one of failure or what others might think of you. Once you get to know them better and find the cause, you’ll be able to work on each weakness until you can let it go. Usually, the best solution is to face the fear so you can see it has no real power over you.
Ego is the enemy, but only if you let it. Let this be the year you tame yours by following the tips above.
Sarah Williams is a Berlin based self-development writer, avid yoga and mindfulness practitioner, peacefully balancing between big city life and exploring the depth of the human soul. Her interests include gender relations and the underlying mechanisms that drive human interactions, especially in a dating life. She regularly shares her insights at Wingman Magazine.