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How to Check Your Ego

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

When we say someone has a big ego, it’s usually because they have an inflated sense of self and an obsession with image.

Defined that way, it’s pretty easy to spot!

But if we deepen our perspective, we can see how sneaky the ego really is and how it affects all of us, holding us back from living our best lives.

How is my ego getting in my way?

In his book, A New Earth, spiritual teacher and self help author, Eckhart Tolle describes the ego as “identification with form.”

“Form” represents material things, thoughts, and even emotions.

Now, while having material things, thoughts, and emotions is all kinds of healthy and normal, it’s  in identifying with them that we get ourselves into a bit of trouble.

Have you ever had a difference of opinion with someone but noticed it was REALLY hard not to defend yourself tooth and nail because you were so damn right and they were obviously wrong?

We do that when we’re identified with our thoughts and feelings, so it feels like we’re being personally attacked when their validity is threatened.

One of the ego’s favorite things to do is to make us right and make others wrong.

The bummer of it all is that the bigger our ego is, the more unhappiness and unrest we experience.

The ego causes impatience, nervousness, and irritation even when it’s not causing problems in our relationships.

It is reactive and self seeking.

How do I know when I’m operating out of ego?

Tolle says there are one of two statements you’ll identify with if you are:

  1. There’s something in the past that happened that should not have happened and I resent that. If that hadn’t happened, I’d be at peace now.

Or

  1. Something is happening in the present that should not be happening and it’s preventing me from being at peace now. ”

While outside sources feel like the cause of our unhappiness, the truth is that it’s never really about the specific situation for the ego.

Even when circumstances are happier, the ego gets in our way by inventing conflict in ourselves and with the world which stops us from experiencing peace.

That’s what it does best, and that’s how it leads to a constant state of unrest.

How do I dissolve the ego once I’ve spotted it?

As the conscious little beings we are, our natural inner state is peace.

But the ego doesn’t want us to feel peace since peace is incompatible with the ego.

So, if peace is what we’re wanting, we have to accept the present moment as it is without resistance.

To put our ego in check and accept the present moment, Tolle says, “All you need to do is to be aware of your thoughts and emotions.”

Once we’ve spotted Mr. Ego, we can ask ourselves, “Is what I’m experiencing a good enough reason to choose to be unhappy in this moment?”

As satisfying as it can feel to sit in righteous indignation, lingering thoughts of victimhood causes an inner state of conflict and suffering.

Even when we’re RIGHT about our situations and they really ARE super unfair, we’re still operating out of ego and are therefore, far away from peace.

When we take responsibility for our inner state, we demote the ego and put ourselves back in charge.

But wait, there’s more!

Emotions and thoughts can be processed more easily when we stop identifying with them and allow our ultimate goal to be peace.

From that place, if there’s action that needs to be taken to improve our life situations, we will be more empowered to take it.

And if there’s no action to be taken, peace is available to us every time we accept the present moment.

Sending you peaceful vibes this week!

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