Health & Wellness / Your Ego Is Not Your Amigo: Two Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check

Your Ego Is Not Your Amigo: Two Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check

Health & Wellness Mar 21, 2018

Buying things you can’t afford? Having a hard time admitting your mistakes? Always comparing yourself with others? Putting pressure on yourself to be perfect? All of these are behavioral examples of when our ego is not your amigo. Check out our two mindful ways to keep your raging ego in check. 

 

What is our ego and how can it work against us?

As esteemed, South Asian spiritual leader and medical expert Deepak Chopra explains, our ego is our self-image and not are true self. According to Deepak, it’s a part of our consciousness that is characterized bu judgment and labels. Living and acting from the perspective of our ego as Chopra explains, is a form of ‘edging God out.’ That is to say that our inherent nature (our true self) is perfectly whole but due to societal and cultural conditioning, we begin to forget that. We begin to see ourselves as incomplete. That insecurity leads to fear and that is when our ego creates distance from our true self and leads to conflict.

 

Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check
Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check: Accept that you’ve got one. Photo Credit: Youtube.com

 

For example, facing academic pressure from traditional South Asian parents, a son is fears he won’t get an A in math class. Scared to admit he may not live up to the cultural expectation of academic success, he decides to cheat on an exam. He has associated success in math with his self-worth.

Despite knowing cheating is wrong, he does it anyway. A lack of self-esteem puts the student into a defensive mode and the ego justifies the behavior (e.g. ‘all my cousins are getting A’s and I don’t want to embarrass my parents. To prevent them from shame, I have to cheat’).

 

How do we help our ego stay in balance?

Accept it exists. We are humans, we want to excel and that’s a healthy trait. When that want becomes a feeling of need, is when the ego becomes imbalanced. With South Asian cultural pressures of academic success, marriage with an elaborate wedding, owning a home and so on, we are constantly striving to be better than each other.

However, just because we live in a competitive environment, it doesn’t mean we need to fall victim to it. When we fear losing, we become stubborn making it harder to admit our imperfections and/or our mistakes. Does it really matter who had the best chaat station at their wedding? Stop engaging in unhealthy competitions.

Create a cultural shift in which we bring each other up instead of tearing each other down. Remember, we can’t keep prevent our ego from becoming a problem unless we admit it can become one.

 

Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check
Mindful Ways To Keep Your Raging Ego In Check: Self-love is the best weapon against the ego. Photo Credit: trainthemind.com

 

Increase our awareness. Once we admit we sometimes act with an imbalanced ego, we can become aware of when it’s kicking into overdrive. For example, the next time you’re buying something you can’t afford, take a deep breath and ask yourself what your intention really is. Are you trying to pretend your life is perfect?

To show others that you have more money than them? Sure maybe you’re buying because you like the item but are you going to like the stress that comes with a bill you can’t pay? The high interest rate? The argument it may lead to with your partner? Before you act, ask yourself what your intention is to help better understand what’s driving your behavior. In other words, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 

Main Image Photo Credit: www.leaderchat.org

 

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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