Do you have an inflated ego?
Ironically we cringe at this question so much that it instantly makes us go into denial mode. “NO … I have quite a normal ego thank you,” we are prone to think. Then, we might proceed to hunt for a person in our lives that we can feel angry and self-righteous towards and start ruminating on how much we detest their inflated ego.
Strange don’t you think?
The ego denies the existence of the ego, and the ego likes to find someone else to blame, which is precisely why we continue ending up in the same depressing emotional ruts over and over again. When we refuse to acknowledge the extent to which our ego runs our lives, we fail to ever authentically grow or find deep inner peace in life.
But to acknowledge that you have a humongous ego is very hard. Oh yes!
It takes humility, openness and radical honesty to get to a point where you can say, “YES, I have a MASSIVE EGO, and it sucks.” It takes a lot of courage to admit that you are wrong and that you’re not as great or as righteous as you once thought. Why? Because for many people this spells D.E.A.T.H., an ego death; death of stability, death of certainty, death of confidence, death of self-esteem.
But hear me now … you don’t need to hate yourself in order to admit that you have an inflated ego! On the contrary, admitting this to yourself is one of the greatest acts of self-love possible, and it is a direct gift from the Soul to be able to admit your egotism, and yet still respect who you are on a soulful level.
5 Tactics of the Inflated Ego That Keep You Asleep
When you are “asleep” you have not awoken to the truth of life – of your reality. When we speak of “waking up” or refer to a “spiritual awakening” we are referring to a person who has tasted authenticity of being – not the lies and half-truths of man-made existence.
So have you woken up, or are you mostly asleep? Perhaps you are in the middle, and exist in a limbo between truth and lie, reality and unreality. Find out below:
1. I need anger and fear in order to enact change.
I have heard this so many times – even from myself – that it is mind-boggling. Activists, in particular, suffer from this type of ego trick, believing that the only way to create real change is to approach people from a place of anger. I’ve seen and heard a lot of vegans, religious missionaries and animal right’s activists in particular use guilt, shame and fear to try and convert people to a “better way of life.” However, this often just results in ego-fueled arguments, resentment, and worst of all, denial.
The reality is that anger breeds anger. War breeds war. But love breeds love. Peace breeds peace. And love, true love in my experience, is not an inactive state of sitting in your own drool; it is active, and comes from a place of understanding.
Who would you most likely take seriously? A person who calls you a “sinner” or a “selfish murderer” who is “unconscious, unethical, and the scum of the earth,” or someone who teaches you empathy, true understanding, and compassion for not only yourself, but for all of life?
2. I need to be “more spiritual” in order to be happier.
When you think of a spiritual person, what do you picture? Perhaps you think of a yogi, or an energy healer, or a psychic. Images of crystals, chakra cleansing or meditation might arise. And while all of these things are very useful and extremely beneficial, it is not actually necessary for us to “be a spiritual person” in order to find deep, abiding joy.
Why is this the case? Because the act of pursuing an image of spirituality takes away from the act purely experiencing Being. When we are constantly desiring and attempting to be something other than what we innately are, we create an immense dissatisfaction and rift in our lives. We constantly feel as though we are “almost there”; almost the epitome of spirituality, when all along we are chasing our tails in circles. In reality, what we have desired all along is already here beneath all the layers of our thoughts, beliefs, desires, conditionings and goals.
How can you know this for sure? Take a moment to stop what you are doing right now. Stop your searching, stop your running, stop your resistance to whatever is happening in your life in this very moment. Allow everything to be as it is. This doesn’t mean being a pushover or doormat; it means being smart and not fighting with reality. Stopping everything is the best way to experience the innate joy that has already existed beneath everything all along.
3. I need to suffer in order to find fulfillment.
This mindset is similar to the Martyr complex way of seeing life. While it is undeniable that suffering helps us to grow and learn, to think that suffering is a prerequisite to experiencing fulfillment is like thinking that you must chop off your finger in order to have a really great day.
The reality is that you don’t need to suffer to find fulfillment, although finding fulfillment is often a result of suffering. Sound like a bunch of Dr. Seuss lingo?
Often we get extremely attached to our stories of righteous suffering. Why? Because they make us feel special and entitled. However, what we neglect to realize is that the ego is running the show here: you don’t need to be a martyr to experience the Soul. You don’t need anything but the cultivation of conscious presence, now.
4. That thing/that person is responsible for my suffering.
We are conditioned since birth to name, blame and shame. Essentially, pointing the finger at other people and situations for our misfortune and unhappiness is our heritage, and one we carry with immense burden.
Yes, your son might not be talking to you; yes, your partner might not be accepting your goals and dreams; yes, you might have been diagnosed with a terrible illness, but in and of themselves these people and events in your life are not responsible for your suffering. Your resistance to them is. Your desire for them to be anything other than what they are is.
Of course, this doesn’t mean giving up and letting people and situations walk all over you. It doesn’t mean not doing the best for yourself and making the very most of your life. But it does mean taking responsibility for your reactions, thoughts and feelings. It does mean accepting that your happiness is a direct reflection of your decisions.
5. I need THAT to give me THIS.
Here are some common examples:
I need lots of money to give me security. I need your love and acceptance in order to make me feel whole and complete. I need to lose this much weight in order to make me confident and sexy. I need to rebel against what they do in order to make me a better person. I need to be successful in order to feel fulfilled in life. I need to be likable in order to be acceptable.
Is this all true?
The reality is that nothing outside of yourself can genuinely give you what you can’t give yourself from the inside. This is because whatever is out of your control is subject to being destroyed or taken away from you within seconds.
Your Turn …
What ways has the ego enslaved or dominated you throughout life? Perhaps you have lost touch with your Soul as a result of listening to the voice of your ego too frequently. Finally, can you provide any more examples of how the inflated ego overtakes our lives?
Well,appreciated Luna in my humble belief is that I don’t listen to my concious voice that comes from within.I honestly can not pinpoint the reason why.Or maybe the solution is so simple,that for some reason I just don’t react properly.Very Respectfully Bojan
What ways has the ego enslaved and dominated you throughout life? Wow! That’s an epic question. Blown away by that one and will be reflecting on that for quite some time!
I disagree that other people are not and cannot be responsible for our suffering. If we are all connected, then that means anything I do affects another.
If I am texting on my phone while I am driving and slam into the back of someone’s car, killing their infant on impact… then I am responsible for that person’s suffering. And not only have I caused someone else suffering, but my own suffering as well.
I think teaching spirituality on the basis that no one but us is responsible for our happiness, completely goes contrary to the teaching that we are all one and completely negates the fact that our actions most certainly do have an emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, societal, economic, global impact on others.
I am breaking up my 5 years long love relationship because I just couldn’t handle my ego I am too adament to accept my flaws and what I do is blame him.
My ego is so severe that whatever I do now, I introspect and think of it as an act arising out of my evil egoistic intentions. I cannot trust myself anymore. What do you think I should do in such case? Should I sever all my bonds and give myself some time to bring my pieces together?
Omg, I have that 400yr thing too, its so annoying. My ego just chews through everyone I care about :( in a really bad way…. n people wonder why I like ego destroying drugs.. I wish I took some before destroying relationship.
HAHA! Me too! LOL. I only tell my husband when that happens…lol.
The good thing, Adam, is that you recognize it. And that is HUGE! Not many people out there recognize when their ego is at work. The fact that you do, shows you are a step ahead :)
My ego pushes me again and again. I always have to try harder… Nothing is good enough. I have to heal myself quicker, I have to be kinder, wiser, more spiritual, “perfect”. I think it’s the one thing that is preventing me to become the real me and to live fully and in this moment. Because really I don’t have to try anything. Just live.. It’s so simple but so hard. My ego is telling me that don’t accept your flaws and your negative sides.. It’s telling me to be perfect. When in fact there are no people who are completely free of negative traits or thoughts or people who are perfect. And that’s ok! We have to accept ourselves completely and that means with all the “negative traits” which aren’t even negative. They are just personality traits and completely neutral. There shouldn’t be any need to label our personality traits at all. We just have to accept that we are human… And that we are perfectly fine like this. Even if we are at this moment filled with so called negativity. That’s what we are at this moment in our life.. If we agree to be part of the… Read more »
I feel living in the past or future causes the ego to run your life. Living in reality and accepting it for what it is gives you some peace of mind. Always being in the past causes depression of either wishing you were back in your old days or wishing you had done something else different. It stops you from focusing on the now and what you can do to improve your situation of bettering yourself. Living in the future causes anxiety of what could happen which causes fear since you can’t control it, it’s a vicious cycle. We will always have some ego since it is where our personality comes from. The only way to tame the ego is to be fully present in the now. Sometimes I pretend nothing happened before today, that I only have this day and have to do the best I can. It centers me. Also realizing everyone is precious and special. Nobody is better than another and we all have our own special gifts and talents that matter equally. It makes no one special cuz we all are.
I notice when my ego pops. It’s popping right now because I’m trying way too hard to elaborate the circumstances that I feel stroke my ego. Just trying to look cool I guess with a smart sounding reply….lol.
Hmmm…an example of my ego….well, people called me condescending before….while discussing gardening. I might be OCD when it comes to growing things. Give me the opportunity to talk about growing stuff…and I will happily ride my ego filled high horse.
I can get all egoed out when discussing philosophy.
I think my cookies are better than yours…lol..
My family tree goes back to year 400 (no joke) I let that stroke me ego. It’s cool.
Being intuitive is the worst…cause you always think you’re right by trusting your gut. And when I trust my gut, I am right…lol (hi ego!)
The philosophical details regarding the ego are quite deep and fascinating. We all have one. Can’t truly “live” without it. I try to let it dangle loosely around my soul, instead of choking it. Lol.
Yeah, this article really resonates with me. In a point of my life i believed all of this things, one at that time (number 4 was just “overcome” recently), and even though you can actually blame other people, or try to become spiritual or get tons of material objects, you’ll never be truly happy until you accept yourself and what you’re living. I’m not sure if this applies, but what happens to me is that I mistrust others very often, not because I want to but because of past experiences I have had (very bad experiences), so I believe is my ego trying to survive; after all that is what ego wants, surviving no matter what. I’d love to be closer to people around me, but I’m not quite sure how that can be achieved, although I’ve became better on talking, expressing and listening to others too, still feel like a connection is missing, and I’m scared that I’ll become dependent (as I’ve always seen myself as independent and self-sufficient but according to others I’m kind of selfish). I’d like to change that. Not sure how to be just open to people and things and simply expect the best, embrace… Read more »