The first thing you need to know before reading this is that we are all human. We all fall victim to this. Everyday. Multiple times a day…
But, it’s okay…
I am simply here to give YOU a different perspective on it all and see if there is a nugget or two you can take to apply to your life.
The topic is ego.
The ego is much more than being arrogant or feeling that you are better than someone or something. It’s also about other things such as self preservation, fear, self pity, taking things personally and several others.
Let me explain these…
I was recently reading a book called Bait of Satan that I would strongly recommend everyone reading despite your view on religion, God or etc. Anyone can take something from it. It talks about freeing yourself from being offended in life. It’s a game changer. It goes deep into the topic of self preservation.
You see, when we get in arguments or disagreements, we tend to “deflect” the blame onto the other person immediately. We do this so that we don’t have to look inside at our own hearts and look at the real cause of the problems. Deflecting and “self preserving” automatically gets you off the hook and lets yourself know that you did nothing wrong and it’s all on “them.” This only delays improvement of yourself, because the first step in improving a problem In yourself is admitting you have one. Admitting it to yourself. Admitting it to a loved one. Admitting it to God. But, it’s because of our ego that we are afraid to look inside FIRST. We feel better knowing that it was “them” and not “me.” Trust me, this stuff happens all the time. Remember the way someone acts is on them, the way you react is on you. Learn to own your mistakes and focus on being better each day in improving them. That, my friends will help you lose the ego and become more humble.
Fear. Man, this is a tough one. Fear is being scared of something that may or may NOT happen. But, often times when fear strikes us it is due to something happening to us that we worry could hurt our opinion or ourselves or worse, someone else’ opinion of us. This, could effect our pride and ego. I was told long ago, that the opposite of pride is humility. Learning to live in Faith and not fear. Faith and humility go hand in hand. When we have faith, we are humble and optimistic that we are NOT in control and whatever is happening to us is happening FOR us and the greater good. Fear shackles us. Most of the time when we are fearful, we are scared of how others will view something and not actually scared of “something.” Surely, if you have a bear chasing you or have a severe illness that will certainly cause justified fear. But, I am talking about things like the fear of putting your story out there to help others or the fear of taking a shot at your dream job because you are fearful that it could hurt your ego. Learn to live in faith, not fear. Trust your heart and not your ego and you will be more humble.
Self pity is another one that happens so so much. This happens a lot when people hit times of adversity. They immediately jump into the land of self pity and feeling sorry for themselves. Thinking they deserved better and the “I didn’t deserve this, woe is me” mentality. This as well falls right into the same pride and ego category. Shutting yourself down, trying to make yourself feel better and focusing on yourself and not focusing on Christ and what His plan is for you and the life He has given you. Trust me when I tell you it is not always easy to be humble and keep your eyes on God and let go of your ego in certain situations. I’ve been there and done that. But, what I can promise you is when you realize that things happen FOR you and not TO you, you will slowly let go of the ego and become a bit more humble.
Taking things personally is one thing that we all struggle with time to time. I learned a ton of the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of which, is not to take things personally and you live a much happier and purposeful life. When people act a certain way or treat you a certain way, we tend to make it about “us,” and take it personally. This sets us up to be easily offended, hurt and upset. Remember, like I said earlier, the way someone acts towards you is a reflection of THEM and not YOU. But, the way YOU respond is on YOU. When we take things personally, we make it about us and our ego. Instead, we need to take the focus off of us and learn to be more understanding of the situation and each other. That is humility.
Letting go of ego and pride is one of the hardest things for us to do. In the world we live in, we are almost automatically wired to constantly put the focus on us instead of humbling ourselves to the situation and putting our focus on Christ. Ive been there trust me. I have let my ego get the best of me time and time again. But, I have learned quite a bit from each situation and hoping that these lessons INSPIRED you to take a second look at your ego and learn to practice more humility.