In very early human times, societies believed in the supremacy of the tribe over the individual. Later, with new tools, machines, and much later, advances in technology, the importance of the tribe lessened. All this was the precursor of individuality and the manifestation of the ego.
As we progressed, we allowed technology to dictate our lives and an inflated ego prevailed: I am….I have accomplished… I am better than….Nothing can stop me…. We are now beginning to realize there is urgent need to pay attention to our egotistical pursuits and the divisions they create . As the world changes socially, politically and environmentally, we need to reconsider how we communicate, interact and collaborate with one another. We need to look at life holistically.
As we age and develop our emotional and social intelligence, our character starts to form and mold our personality, however, interestingly as a child we didn’t learn or become trapped by our ego. Children are spontaneous, creative, eager to explore and learn about their world. They live in the "now." They have not learned to fear failure. This comes as they grow and strive to meet set standards. Here enters the ego. Jim Carrey said it best, “If you listen to the ego, there will always be someone doing better than you. No matter what you gain, the ego will not let you rest. It will tell you that you cannot stop until you’ve left an indelible mark on the earth, until you’ve achieved immortality. How tricky is this ego tempting us with a promise of something we already possess?"
In the first part of our own personal inner growth, we try to adapt to different people and situations to feel worthy and accepted. Our mind starts to work and our ego begins to take control of our life and our thoughts. We generally put on an act to be everything but ourselves in order to feel “liked,valued, loved.” It takes a lot of personal work to discover who you are and not to be driven by the temptations of the ego. It’s a constant journey, one that many people avoid yet ironically still desire the benefit of the end result.
The truth is that in the process of our personal developmental journey encountering life challenges we are bound to get hurt. Be it different experiences, bad relationships, betrayal or abandonment, these experiences form in us like a 'leach' of fear that drains and taints our perspective on future experiences and relationships.
We can’t control our relationships and certainly we will be hurt along the way. It’s a matter of learning from our past experiences and recognizing we must let go of our egos to live like a child does. We need to fall down and get back up, but with every fall become a bit stronger, smarter and more aware.
Here are 5 techniques to try on a regular basis
1. Practice forgiveness & letting go.
The most powerful tool to learn to let go of our ego to make life easier is to practice forgiveness. Not only do we have to learn to forgive the people who hurt us, but most importantly we have to learn to forgive ourselves.
Accept, let go and keep moving forward. Forgiveness will open the windows, remove the negativity and allow breaths of happiness to filter in.
2. Practice honesty & being open.
“The truth will set you free.” Suppressing ones' emotions can develop into depression and anxiety. Always seek the truth.
Honesty provides us unconditional freedom to be connected with ourselves to be truly who we are instead of trying to be something we are not.
Learn to say “no” to the things that don’t add value in your life, and with welcoming arms embrace the things that do.
3. Surrender your need for control.
We are not our egos, we are not our jobs, we are not our material possessions, we are not our achievements. We are simply who we are. Once you let your ego control your life, you will never be happy or authentic.
Break the fears and trust life! Don’t be afraid of love. Take risks. Be curious. Stretch the inner self, try to do something that scares you a little and you’ll feel release, brave and joyful in your accomplishment.
4. Put others first.
There is nothing like a ,mom.' Someone you can always go to in times of need.
Consider the interests of others first. Become selfless and help those in times of need..
Follow the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
5. Practice gratitude.
First thing every morning take 5 minutes to think about all the people, experiences, lessons and mistakes you are thankful for that helped you become.
Grateful people feel more love and compassion and feel more alive.
Appreciate everything and everyone and you’ll discover true beauty in your life.