Ego is not your Amigo

The Ego is one of the most analyzed concepts I’ve worked with over the last 5 years. Ego often times over analyzes, over protects, and exaggerates perceptions of daily life and over compensates in the name of self preservation. Between the Ego and the Higher Self, there is much disagreement and conflict. One is trying to serve the self and the other is serving a greater purpose. Different perceptions set the stage for the different feelings of action, often times leading to uncertainty and confusion.  The ego has a somewhat predictable approach to things, here are several characteristics of ego based thinking:

1. Ego is often times concerned with the safest possible outcome, not always in the best interest.

2.  Ego language often uses terms like should, must, can’t, and won’t.

3.  The Ego perception can be judgemental on the self and others around.

4.  Ego considers what makes sense, not what feels like the right thing.

5.  Ego can be very filtered by conditions which would make things predictable. Predictability means safety in the ego understanding.

The Ego is that part of us that tries to keep us safe. It categorizes, filters, and looks for something that could be a threat. By putting things in boxes it tries to relate us to known, previous experiences in order to better anticipate uncertainty and danger.

For those of us with a strong critical thinking ability, ego can be relentless. Previous encounters help set up standards and correlations, telling us how things should play out. By assuming what ‘should’ be, an unhealthy standard can be created and measuring others in a manner that is without compassion or understanding. Given few facts, situations or people can easily be held to a standard. Let me provide some examples:

1. If you are doing career or financial planning, it would be easy for the ego to find a standard that you ‘should’ be achieving and questioning ‘why aren’t you there yet?’

2. Are you on a training routine at the gym? By assessing others around you, the ego might question why you haven’t risen to a ‘higher’ level of performance like ‘those other people’.

3.  In working through a relationship challenge or personal conflict, does the language in your head question ‘why you don’t handle things better?’ or ‘why do people always get the better of you’?

The theme in these is the judgement and type of language used. Generally speaking, ego language is very black and white, all or nothing, consists of put downs, and promotes division rather than cooperation. The standards that ego sets are sometimes punishing. Here are some better ways to look at situations:

1. Can you consider where you are at in the right now instead of where you should have been?

2. Can other successful outcomes be reflected on and applied instead of believing the ‘all or nothing’ standard?

3.  Has a goal been set and attempted to achieve? If so then the effectiveness can be evaluated and adjusted for improved outcome. If not, then it’s probably not worth thinking ‘where you should have been’ and would be better to start planning for goals.

There are many perspectives to take on situations and Ego language can be very unhealthy  when left unchecked. By letting go of these harsh standards and working towards improving method and approach, a better trend towards achievement can start. Ego is not your Amigo and should not be given the amount of  energy it demands. There are healthier ways to work with this.

Critical analysis of a plan or path to a goal can be good to make sure you’re on track. Using the ego as a tool for progress instead of serving it can make the self more powerful in getting to where you need to be. Being conscious of who serves who puts things in check and removes one of the biggest roadblocks to moving forward. Getting in the way of your own self.

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