… that part of you, your mind, that controls the conversations going on in your head at all times … the conversation between your conscious and subconscious thoughts. Or according to the more refined definition … “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”.
When I was growing up, I used humor to deflect attention away from me as I never wanted anyone to see how unworthy I felt. My sister saw this humor as a means for me to become the center of attention in any group. She would tell me, “Denise – it is not always about you.”
What she saw as my “ego” taking over was my means of protecting myself from hurt or pain. Neither of us were wrong.
Over the next couple of weeks, I want to look deeper at the ego — the needs of the ego, how it can show up in our life along with what does it really do for you.
The ego’s sole purpose in your life is to protect you and to keep you safe. It does not always do this in an Empowering way. Let’s look at the needs of the ego – what each need means along with how to view these needs as “positive” or “negative” in our life.
The Needs of the Ego …
- The need to know – that aspect of you and about being curious
- Positive view: always searching for answers; seeking to learn as you wish to grow. You want to know more so that you can challenge yourself and others; have stimulating conversations and not stay in the everyday doldrums of routine.
- Negative view: seeking knowledge through gossip or unrelenting hours to view or post rants on FB, etc. You know what that looks like. When you are going out of your way to create a reaction due to some false voice.
- The need to judge – when you look at others and yourself with potential criticism; to view situations and people as wrong or unnecessary
- Positive view: allowing the judgments (or, in this case, your intuitive nature of what feels wrong) to keep you from doing dangerous things or connecting with dangerous people. Listening to that inner voice for guidance with safety being the first and foremost thought/feeling in mind.
- Negative view: judging yourself, and others in a discriminating or demeaning manner … sexist remarks, racial comments, bullying behaviors, etc.
- The need to justify – to always make it right and ok
- Positive view: the ability to be compassionate and face the situations that have happened in your life. You did the best that you could with the information that you had at the time that it happened. Be kind to you.
- Negative view: allowing the justification to keep you from doing things that will allow you to grow. We use justification to keep us stuck … certainty of the comfort we know … “there are lots of people like me” creating the mob mentality and safeness in numbers. Going along with the crowd. In this instance, you are afraid to show your inner light to people around you. Making the choice to not be your authentic self.
The ego is neither good nor bad. It just is. It is how you allow it to show up in your thoughts and behaviors that put definition to it. Again, the ego’s main job is to make you feel safe in whatever way possible. Yet, ego is a place of constriction and is opposed to change or growth.