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How to get your ego under control

“OK, Ego, listen up. Shut up and sit down! I’ve had enough of you.”

We all deal with this from time to time, but there are days when the ego is in rare form. When was the last time you had a sit down with your ego or needed to? Sometimes we are so afraid of the power and possibilities of the ego that we just allow the nonsense to carry on. Now is the time and today is the day.

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Have you asked yourself what are the needs of your ego? What does it desire and why? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you give your ego the complete cowboy boot, but what I am simply saying is to tell it to take a back seat. I have always been curious of the ego and how it works. What is fueling this creative and unique personality?

It took many years to truly understand the difference between my ego and my heart. It was a long journey of trying to find the balance between the two. How many of us can relate to this? I remember one time, many moons ago, I would pretend for everyone that my life was awesome. Now, when I say everyone I am talking about family, friends, dog, cat and the fish. I mean, come on, the fish in the fish tank?

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I would pretend I had everything under control when clearly that wasn’t the case, simply because I didn’t want to get judged or laughed at regarding failure. My ego stepped in and said, “Hey, look at me everyone! I’m awesome!” Meanwhile, I was completely stressed out underneath it all. Truth be told, I think everyone was able to see straight through me, including the fish and the fly on the wall — but at the end of the day, it really boils down to you actually seeing it yourself.

Our ego seems to be impulsive at times and doesn’t think things through, simply because its No. 1 goal is being in the spotlight. The ego has no limits — it will show its rear at any given moment.

Here’s the thing, your ego will not be able to sustain a healthy relationship with anyone simply because it doesn’t understand the words “humble” and “balance.” It’s about negotiating: If you inform your ego, “You can only come out and play when you’re needed,” and state it in the contract, then maybe you can work together. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way many of times. I didn’t realize it was my ego until after the fact.

Here are a few examples of how your ego can be helpful:

  • On stage, giving a speech: If you are an introvert and can’t quite hold your own, I do believe the pretending ego would be helpful.
  • Showing up at an event, not quite sure you would fit in: The ego will assist you with appearing confident, cool and calm.
  • Nailing that job interview that you really want: Have a chat with the ego to present your strengths and attributes. I’m sure you will be hired.

These are just a few examples that others have graciously shared with me. I would love to hear from you about your ego and how you are able to balance it all.

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Denita Austin — Author, entrepreneur, yoga coach

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