“Ego is simply an idea of who you are that you carry around with you.” ~Wayne Dyer
Sometimes people ask me how they can get rid of their ego. I think what they are really asking is how can they get rid of that part of themselves that sabotages them and makes them unhappy. My answer is that you don’t have to get rid of your ego, just stop believing what it is telling you.
The ego-mind is the part of us that interprets our experiences using our belief system as a filter. These learned beliefs are used to look at a situation and give it meaning. The meanings will be as distorted as our beliefs are about ourselves. How can our beliefs be distorted? Easily. Our beliefs are learned from what people have told us and how they rewarded, punished and made us feel. We believe about ourselves what the world has told us to believe.
Fortunately, we have another guidance system, our knowing. Call it the inner voice, heart or higher intelligence – whatever we want to call it. It is there and the more we trust it, the clearer we will be about ourselves and our experiences. This means the less we have to depend on the ego to provide the distorted version from our learned beliefs.
There is a simple way to access this inner guidance system. Rather than fight with our ego and especially the meanings it is providing, we need only ask a simple question: “What do I know to be true right now?” Ask the question and sit quietly and listen. Then begin stating what you know to be true in a situation, especially about yourself. For example, rather than a belief that others are judging you and that means you are going to be embarrassed or fail, the question above provides a different perspective. You know that:
The judgment is not necessarily from others but from yourself and your fear of being judged.
- You are competent and knowledgeable and can make good choices and take productive action.
- Others are just as concerned about being judged by you.
These are some possibilities of what is known. There are many more. We each know a lot and what we know, can be trusted. You only have to ask the question, listen and trust.
The more you do this, the less your ego mind will have to provide meanings in a situation. Without meanings we are free to respond to what is before us. By trusting what you know, your responses will be effective and leave you feeling confident.