I’m fairly well acquainted with my ego. It’s been with me for decades and I recognize it as a strange and wild brew of pride, self-doubt, best friend, worst enemy, and superhero. It will show up to point out how far I’ve come, tell me how awesome I am, maybe even puff me up a bit … then it might break out the ruler and begin measuring my worst qualities against others’ best qualities.
Through the years, my ego has taken my emotions on some pretty wild rides ranging from a false sense of self-importance to resentment, defensiveness, and anger. Left unchecked, the ego can cause havoc, ruin relationships, sabotage teamwork and collaboration, and become a source of regret.
So what can we do? Recognize! I’ve found that the most powerful weapon for taming the ego is awareness. Once you’ve learned how to “spot it when you got it” and to take note of situations that trigger an ego attack, you’re well on your way to taming it.
This can be tricky at first because the ego is a great pretender. It can pretend to be worry, self-importance, self-doubt, self-consciousness, etc. That moment when you find yourself thinking, “Everyone’s watching me” — or when you find that you’re comparing yourself or your accomplishments to others — you can be sure that ego has arrived.
Once you’ve learned to spot your ego, you can choose any number of actions or thoughts to redirect its energy. Try different techniques to find what works best for you.
Here are a few that I’ve found to be helpful: Learn to laugh at yourself, look for the lesson, and concentrate on a goal that shifts your focus away from undue concern about others’ opinions of you to improving your opinion about yourself.
Tame Your Ego
Imagine the power and control you have when your emotions are in check. Imagine the drive you possess when you can harness a positive energy. You can experience and relish all that and more — each time you successfully tame your ego.