The ego is innate and something we all possess, and a healthy ego is good for our self-esteem. Our ego is responsible for our need to be perceived in a positive light by the people around us, but sometimes, if we begin to experience success and praise, our egos can be in danger of getting out of hand. When that happens, our inflated egos take the driver's seat and start to control our lives.
A big ego can sabotage us in ways we may not realize. It can destroy our relationships with others. We may lose opportunities to improve ourselves, due to inappropriately thinking that we are better than others.
Big egos get in the way of living meaningful and purposeful lives. However, we can take control of our ego before it takes control of us. It all starts with awareness and acceptance. From there, we can work on achieving a healthy and balanced ego.
Here's how you can begin.
Let Go Of Needing to Control
A desire to control everything stems from a person’s perfectionist tendencies. Nobody likes to fail, and nobody wants to admit that they failed. A person with an unhealthy ego will insist that things should be done according to their way because they believe they know more than others.
This can lead us to attempt to control everything to the detriment of our relationships with others. Reining in our ego will require us to let go of our need to micromanage and control everything. We must admit that we are not perfect beings and that there is a limit to our influence. Knowing that we don't know everything allows us to give up some of our need to control everything.
Practice Openness And Honesty
An unhealthy ego can deceive us – it gives us a false sense of entitlement and arrogance. If we want to control our ego, we must learn how to practice honesty and openness. Being honest with ourselves allows us to be free from our need to be valued and highly regarded by people all the time. We also let go of the anxiety which we may develop from wanting to uphold our perfect image all the time.
When we are honest with ourselves, we learn to admit our limitations. This acceptance enables us to correct our mistakes and improve ourselves.
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Value The Effort Rather Than The Result
Having a big ego inevitably makes us more competitive. We hate losing, which makes us focused on the results. Because of this, some people do whatever it takes to win, even employing deceitful strategies.
When we shift our focus to putting our pure and honest hard work into everything we do, we become humbled by the effort necessary to succeed. Valuing effort over results enables us to take in more opportunities to learn and better ourselves. We then also begin to let go of our need to always be on top because we know that the effort we have put in and our realizations along the way is much more valuable than any awards and accolades.
Be Humble – Spend Time with Nature
In the grand scheme of things, we are mere specks compared to the majestic mountains, rivers, and plains. There is something humbling about nature – it makes us realize that we are a part of a system, just like everyone else. We also value the force that shapes nature which we have no control over.
Being alone with nature grounds us and shows us the finite limitations of our being. Our smallness becomes more emphasized when confronted with giant waves and towering trees. Therefore, spending time alone with nature not only humbles us but also gives us much-needed quiet time with ourselves.
Have A Sense Of Gratitude
It is widely known that thankful people exude more positivity and are in a happier state. However, when our ego gets in the way, we fail to acknowledge and be grateful for everything we have in life.
One way to control our ego is always to have a sense of gratitude for others. Gratitude allows us to feel more love and compassion towards other people, both specifically and generally. Being grateful helps us become more empathetic and appreciative of others. Knowing that we cannot go through this life alone can be a humbling awareness to have.
We don't only need to become thankful for the good things that we enjoy, but also all of our experiences and even our mistakes – they all help us learn and grow as a person.
We all have egos. We all have the desire to be seen in a positive light. However, that desire can be addictive. It can lead us to have an unhealthy ego, damaging our relationships and even affecting our success. Becoming more aware of our thoughts and actions can prevent us from falling into the egocentric trap.