Updated: Mar 24, 2022
Learning to let go of your ego requires a strong commitment with a daily self-care routine, effective coping mechanisms, and reevaluating what's truly important in your life.
Believe it or not, we are not born with an ego. This is something that's learned and developed subconsciously in our childhood, and into our adolescent years, that then consciously follows us into adulthood.
You may be wondering, what is an ego? An ego is a person's sense of self-esteem and personal identity. It's how we see ourselves and the world around us.
In childhood, we adapt and transform to fit in with our family, friends and peers. We pick up personality traits, beliefs and morals that are projected onto us. We are sponges soaking up anything and everything that feeds our growing egos. We learn from our parents, our siblings, our relatives and friends what is deemed appropriate behavior, thoughts and feelings.
As we age into our adolescent years, our egos become heightened and strong. With hormones now playing a major role in our every day interactions, our egos are tested, and also like to test others as well. We may become consumed with how we're viewed at school by others to the point of feeling anxious, desperate, frustrated, angry or sad.
Whatever rewards our egos during this time in our life, sticks with us into adulthood. You were finally accepted into the popular crowd at school? Your ego may have viewed this as validation that you are important, and therefore, better than others who aren't accepted or are 'different.' When you transition into adulthood, your ego holds onto these beliefs and feelings, making you crave external validation from others in order to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.
As you go through life, always seeking external validation from your peers, you may find yourself feeling miserable or like it's never enough. Your ego may become hurt and cause you to spiral into an existential crisis, leaving you worried, confused, lonely and petty. You could become volatile with those around you, bitter towards others and unsatisfied with your life.
It's an example like this that may cause you to feel so disconnected from your true self - your higher self.
Here are 5 tips for letting go of your ego:
Practice forgiveness and letting go.
We have to learn to forgive the people who hurt us, and most importantly, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. It's important to understand that the way someone may have treated you in the past was purely based on their own life challenges at that time. We all come from different backgrounds, which means we all are taught to handle the same situation differently. If there are moments from your past that you can identify that caused you pain, or where you may have caused someone else pain, take some time to reflect. Viewing it from an adult perspective, what can you learn from that situation in your life? What are the necessary steps to take in order to forgive that person or yourself for what happened? Accept, let go and keep moving forward. Forgiveness will open the windows to your soul, and remove the negativity to allow room for new happiness.
Practice honesty and accountability.
The truth will set you free. Honesty provides us unconditional freedom to be connected with ourselves instead of trying to be something that we're not. It's so important to hold yourself accountable for moments where you are acting different around a group of people to fit in, or accepting an invitation you actually have no desire to attend. If it doesn't feel right, be honest with yourself in order to feel happy and continue connecting with your higher self. It may be hard, feeling as though you're disappointing others, but if they are grounded individuals they will surely understand. You are beginning a new chapter and they may not be required to continue playing a role in your story.
Surrender your need for control.
We are not our egos, we are not our jobs, we are not our material possessions, and we are not our achievements. Once you let your ego control your life, you will never be happy or relaxed because as soon as you lose one of the things that you identify with, the rest will fall like dominos and you will lose your happiness. Surrendering control means to stop questioning everything and enjoy the journey, taking risks, being curious, and doing what truly makes you happy. Surrender yourself to the universe and trust the process.
Take 5 minutes every day to be with yourself in silence, because sometimes in silence you can find the answers that Google never can. It may feel uncomfortable to sit with your thoughts, but after the initial few minutes, you will feel even more connected to your higher self. When we can learn to quiet the mind, we experience endless possibilities within ourselves.
Take 5 minutes everyday to think about all the people, experiences, lessons and mistakes you are thankful for. There is always something to be thankful for in this world. By practicing gratitude, you allow yourself to focus on the good things in your life, and guess what? More good things will come! When we focus on the good, the good gets better.
Last, but not least, practice compassion for others. It's so important to understand that each of us are on our own journey and will be at different stages in our lives physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Some people are not willing to change; it's still important to be compassionate towards those who are too scared or are resistant to the process. Remember when you were scared to let go of who you were when your ego was in control? Share compassion with those who still allow their egos to control how they view themselves and the world. It's not for you to fix or solve, but a little compassion can go a long way.
"There have been many people for whom limitations, failure, loss, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility and compassion. It made them more real." - Eckhart Tolle