Ego is a short word that has a huge impact on our lives. The ego is responsible for every moment of pain we experience and can prevent us from reaching our highest potential.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that we each have two parts within us: the true self that experiences joy and appreciation, and the ego. Ego is the force that prevents us from growing. It gets offended, adopts a static perspective, refuses to change its mind, and doesn’t want to be challenged. When its expectations aren’t met, it causes us to get angry, defensive, blame, judge, or punish others. It is selfish and desires to receive for the self alone. The more we feed it, the more difficult it becomes to treat others with kindness.
Each one of us has tremendous inner light and potential. At its core, the ego blocks everything good about us and prevents us from experiencing the joy in every moment. The battle against the ego is a constant fight that we all must go through every day, but there are tools we can use to turn the battle in our favor.
Here are 3 ways to tame the ego:
1. Recognize and reflect on the moments when you don’t act as your best self.
The ego can prevent us from seeing ourselves clearly. It distracts us by telling us that other things are more important than reflecting on ourselves or learning from our mistakes. But the more you become aware of the tricks and confusion created by ego, the more the fog starts to disappear.
Your soul desires to do good for other people. If your day is more focused on your own desires rather than sharing with others, know that you are operating from a place of ego. The more that you listen to your soul, the more time and attention you will devote to being of service.
Start with small steps. For the most part, we know when we’ve acted rashly, are being stubborn, or are unwilling to admit when we are wrong. Every time that you look back at something you said or did and thought, “I am better than that,” know that it was the ego that caused you to react that way. The more you start to catch this behavior within yourself, the more you can resist the ego and start listening to the voice of your soul.
2. Focus less on what others think or say about you.
Most of us really care about what other people think and say about us, even strangers. At our core, the soul is focused only on growing and sharing and does not trouble itself with the opinions of others. It is the ego that makes us so outwardly focused on how others see us.
In this way, the ego creates new opportunities for us to get hurt. It tells us to care about everything everyone says or thinks, and that opens us up to a lot of pain. We always remember the one negative comment someone made instead of all the positive ones. That’s a trick of the ego.
Imagine living in a state where you couldn’t care less what anyone thinks or says about you, and where all you are focused on is doing your best and revealing your Light, soul, and potential. When you are starting to feel hurt by others, ask yourself, “Am I focusing too much on what others think of me?” Shift your focus to being an even better version of yourself and find the freedom that comes from letting go of ego.
3. Instead of trying to always be right, look for opportunities to learn and grow.
The strongest way to battle the ego is by growing your consciousness and awareness. Ego ignores lessons and opportunities for growth. The ego doesn’t want to learn. It can trick us into thinking we are right about something or that we no longer have any need to learn more about a topic because we are experts. This mentality only keeps us from reaching our true potential.
Next time you are so sure that you are so right and have nothing to learn, stop and remind yourself you are in the clutches of the ego. Look for something to learn, no matter how small. Challenge your own beliefs and viewpoints.
Ego is part of every single one of us. It’s our responsibility to choose every day to tame it. Take the time to do this work and pay attention to your true voice. Battle the ego every second you catch it. The more we diminish the voice of the ego, the more joy we will experience in our own lives and in the world.