The ego overcompensates in the fragile state with the following:
– Strong emotional reactivity
– False confidence (overcompensation)
– Black and white/rigid thinking
– Rejection of any idea that conflicts with the ego beliefs
– Extreme competition (a belief that another person’s success hinders their own)
– Constant comparison to others
– The judgment of others (mocking, insulting, threatening)
– Analysis paralysis (obsessive thoughts that stop you from completing any action)
Why does Ego Work Matter?
Ego work is about returning to your true nature. So far, your lives have been functioning in patterns that you haven’t consciously chosen. They were chosen for you.
Ego work is a new opportunity to choose. You are not looking to “kill” the ego, or deny its existence. The ego is your protector and has been a part of your psyche since you were a small child to help you cope. You want to learn to accept your ego as something separate from yourself.
When I talk about this on Instagram, I always get the question “who are we?”.” You are conscious awareness or attention. You are the awareness who has the ability to view other parts of yourself. This ability is uniquely human. You can think about your thoughts. You can reflect on your actions.
You are softening the ego.
Picture ego as a hyper-vigilant guard. This guard is constantly scanning the environment for someone or something attempting to do harm. Anything that conflicts with the ego’s perception of self becomes an ‘enemy.’ You have been over-identifying with traits for so long that your ego’s main function is to keep that identity alive.
By doing this work, you give your guard (ego) a break and allow for new experiences to come into your awareness. Without a guard, you can decide how you feel, what you think, and how you choose to respond rather than having your ego decide that for you.
Confidence is the result of detaching from your ego state.
Related: The 7 Stages Of Ego Death
Here Is How You Can Do Ego Work
Step 1: Allow your Ego to Introduce itself
Until this point in your life, you’re mostly unaware of your ego. When you’re unconscious (95% of the time) your ego is running the show. Gone unchecked for most of your adult lives, your ego only gets stronger.
Only through observing can you ego soften. A softened ego brings a state of inner peace.
The ego does not like to be observed, so step 1 is highly uncomfortable. Getting through this discomfort takes work, so be patient.
You can do this first thing when you wake up or before bed, it takes under 1 minute.
1. Find a quiet place with no distractions where you feel most comfortable.
2. Close your eyes and take one deep breath.
3. Repeat this affirmation:
“I am safe and I choose a new way to experience myself as separate from my ego”.
Here we are priming the brain to relax into this work. It can be very uncomfortable to view yourself in this new way. You might feel sensations in your body or racing thoughts telling you not to practice the exercise. All of this is totally normal, fear-based resistance from the ego. Seeing your ego is the first step to taking away his power and decision-making control.
Step 2: Have a Friendly Encounter
This step is about becoming aware of what you say after the word “I.” This is your ego speak. You’ve been repeating this for many years, so observing what you actually speak about yourself will be surprising.
The most friendly way to meet your ego is when it’s not triggered. Set an intention to witness your ego with one conversation you have today. Notice everything you say after the word “I.”
Here are prompts: Note these once a day.
There is no right or wrong way to do these. You want to let your stream of consciousness flow without editing or analyzing.
1. How often do I speak about myself?
2. What was an adjective I used to describe myself?
3. Did anything in that conversation bring any uncomfortable emotional reaction? Describe it.
Congrats! You just witnessed your ego.
Practice is key with this new skill. The repetition will prime new pathways in the brain and allow observation to come more easily with time.
Step 3: Name Your Ego
When we name our ego we take a powerful step in seeing the ego as separate from us. Choose any name that comes to you intuitively.
Now name your ego.
My ego’s name is Jessica. I watch Jessica come and go. Sometimes I don’t see Jessica for a few hours and then she comes around with reckless abandon. Certain things make Jessica extra touchy and that is ok.