The Ego & A Transformation of Mentality
Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog, a little note to my readers: at the end of the post I have
5 podcasts that might inspire you especially when dealing with the ego or struggles of your past. I've done so much research on this topic and felt like it could benefit someone if I were to post about it so I decided to put it out into the world. However, I am also open-minded and love hearing your thoughts. If you liked this post, or didn't-- feel free to give me any feedback. xx
“I’m not good enough.”
“Oh, I can’t do that.”
“Well, that was dumb of me.”
“I’m prettier than her for sure.”
“She’s so much better than me.”
“I have been through something that no one else has.”
These are all common thoughts we have in our lives. Everything above is something I thought to myself at one point or another. I think we also have these thoughts more often than we realize. It was only when I actively made the point to notice my own thoughts and change them that I felt a difference. When it comes down to it, this is so engrained in how we think, it is what surrounds us. It is everything we have collected throughout our lives. The root of it all, in many belief systems, and throughout psychological research is the ego.
By definition, the ‘ego’ is the “mind’s identity of our own construction, an identity which is false.” This encompasses everything we believe we are. Our personality, our abilities, what we think of ourselves and so on. What many may not know is that this runs deep, it's not just when people are full of themselves (which is how it is most commonly used). The key here is understanding it can go either way. For example, you might say something like: I'm not great at this, or I've been through so much, the hardest kind of pain, and no one can understand it (I'm going to come back to this). We don't even realize that this is a part of that false image we create for ourselves.
We also limit ourselves without even knowing.We often say "Oh I could never do ____" when in reality, this is our ego talking. Our false idea of what we can or can't do.
Ego - everything we believe we are.
Acknowledging the Ego
Just like every other program in the world I'm sure, there is almost always this first step of "acknowledging you have the problem" right? See the bad and say it out loud, write it down, whatever needs to be done for you to see the ego for what it is. False.
This is often the first step because once you're aware of it, you form that process of growth in your mind. You either sit with something that will in the long run, be unhealthy for you in your mentality, or you change it.
Here is where you actively make the choice to put in the work and become your best self.
Understanding That They Are False Beliefs
From birth, we enter into the world and take in everything. Light, sound, objects and eventually we start learning and retaining all this information about the world around us. Once this gets into our mentality and emotional world it starts to look different. We're taking on beliefs based on what others tell us or how they make us feel. For some, they may have been neglected so they take on the belief that they are not good enough. Others, who have the epitome of a "perfect family" with underlying issues (no one is perfect right?) may start to believe that this is what relationships should look like. What surrounds you becomes your norm. Just the same, if you are told something over and over again...you believe it. Even if this is subconsciously.
When I was in middle school, I remember a moment where a girl in my class told me I wasn't pretty. This shouldn't of gotten to me, I mean its middle school. Everyone is in a mood, vicious or mean. But it was something I'd been saying internally for years before that moment. So to hear it from someone else, to reinforce this idea that I already had said to myself for so long, it was accepted as fact at that point. Not telling you this to get some sort of pity party out of it, but it's important to note how this occurs often in our lives. We continue to soak in everything we are told. No one told us to do otherwise. Therefore, you saying something based on your own insecurities might affect someone else's. They may accept this lie as their own truth.
Gives a whole new meaning to treat others the way you want to be treated right?
Now we are going to come back to what I mentioned earlier, this negative side of our ego. The idea that because we've gone through something dark or deep, no one can relate or maybe you feel your pain is higher than others. Nothing to be ashamed of, this is a normal reaction to traumatic events, or struggles with depression or family issues, etc. Here's the thing about this idea though. You accepting this as your truth actually leads to you wanting to accept more pain into your life. This was a mind blowing discovery for me, but lets break that down a bit more to understand it fully.
I have dealt with mental illness my entire life. In some of my darkest moments I told myself that no one would understand, or they would say the wrong thing. Perhaps their positivity and love even scared me in these moments. Because it meant I had to acknowledge the problem at hand.
In isolating myself, I opened myself up to more issues. Loneliness.Distrust. Ego. I had false ideas about the friends that maybe didn't reach out during these periods (because, in all fairness, they didn't know) or that these people around me wouldn't understand. Suddenly you're on a downward spiral that you yourself caused. Ego.
It's interesting to understand this even from a subconscious level, that initially when you go through something intense and hard, its a common reaction to continue this cycle of negativity. "My problems are so heavy to bear, so maybe I won't deal with them" which brings you into the unconscious cycle of accepting more negativity into your life. Suddenly you're choosing friendships that aren't right, or maybe a romantic relationship that isn't making you fully happy. Whatever this looks like, here is the moment where you acknowledge it. And understand that in order to break this cycle you have to let go of the ego.
How to let go of the ego
We're never going to be perfect, we're only human but in attempting to live through these tactics I actually believe it releases our egos, freeing our minds and souls in the process. Thus enabling us to understand how we can be our best selves.
The obvious answer here is self acceptance, understanding the truths about yourself, what you feel to your core. Looking at your past with an open heart and mind and knowing that what you've been through has had an effect on you. When you go in with this perspective it truly does have an impact. Suddenly, you notice what your unhealthy coping mechanisms are, or perhaps how your childhood affected your relationships. Looking without judgment toward your past is key here.
After all, what you send out into the universe (even subconsciously) is what you get back.
There is this other idea that interests me as well. The concept of: Neutrality or the importance of looking at everything from the same mental state. When you look at everything in your life that goes wrong or right, just know that either is helping you on your path. You're going to get to where you were always meant to be.
“Any extremes get us into false perceptions.”
It's when extremes happen, the high highs or low lows that we start to get into those false perceptions. We fall apart, and start to come back to that ego, or something incredible happens and we think "damn I'm the better than her." The point is to move away from these thoughts however, so keeping that neutral mentality can be extremely beneficial in times like these. It also enables you to be consistently happy with yourself and the world around you.
5 Podcasts to Become Your BEST SELF
If you're anything like me, you love listening to something inspiring. Try these out to kick off your morning, maybe eat breakfast and listen to one and it might open up your ideas of ego and self discovery.
**Also pro-tip skip ahead in each of them past the ads/intro in the beginning (usually past the first 2 min or so).
I love this one so much, not just because it's Oprah, cause of course she's amazing, but it also talks in depth about how you can make a change. No judgment, just know that in order to grow and create a change you have to accept yourself. In every way.
This gives a little run-down of what the ego is and I like her explanation that starts around 5:20 where she starts talking in her own voice. Such a great positive perspective and very open minded.
I honestly love love this one. Taye Diggs has always been a great speaker but on this podcast he is a guest speaker and just states everything so well. One part I especially loved was when he says "you are already worth it, just you who you are." The false idea comes in when we believe we have to do something, achieve something to get the love and respect from those around us. Or we compare our journey to others, when in reality you are more than enough. You are incredible and unique.
Has such a positive take on the ego which I love, and goes into a story that I'm sure many can relate to about hitting your lowest and rising after it all. Love that he often takes the negative and turns it into a positive, because well, understanding the ego is a positive.
Not as much on the ego but just such an inspiring one that has an interesting take on becoming your best self. This podcast (Wide Open) is genuinely one of my favorites, he makes things very comfortable like you're physically almost there in the convo. Highly recommend.