The ego is your perception of yourself and the filter through which you interpret reality. It makes decisions based on experience and the hope of pleasure in the future.
When you enjoy the present moment you forget who you are. You are no longer as focused on interpreting reality from your precious perspective.
The ego becomes powerless and nearly invisible.
The ego doesn’t want to express appreciation for anyone but itself. That’s why genuine praise is so rare and why when it is expressed, people sometimes doubt its authenticity.
People who post hundreds of comments on social media every day are easily accused of narcissism. Maybe they are just bored and have nothing better to do, or maybe they are addicted to the attention.
The ego convinces people their self-worth is determined by how many likes and other fake internet points they get on social media.
The ego lacks real self-esteem and throws a tantrum when it doesn’t get the attention it feels it deserves. It tries to derive value from external pleasure.
Your ego may or may not be as severely narcissistic as the type of person just illustrated. Or your ego expresses itself in different ways.
Think about your Reactions
Whenever you encounter something novel, the ego will jump up and share its opinion.
You may believe this opinion is “right” but why invest so much emotion into an opinion?
When the ego presents judgmental reactions, you can choose how attached you become to them.
Allow the thought to come into your awareness but don’t allow it to overpower you.
You must test to see if the ego’s judgement is correct. When you realize you’ve made a mistake you should be able to admit it and let it go.
Everyone has ego.
But not everyone has confidence.
It’s interesting to observe the vastly different reactions between people who have genuine confidence and those who are ruled by their egos.
The confident person will listen to an opinion and not be offended if observable facts negate their previous idea. But the Egotistical individual may scream angrily when faced with obvious facts that negate their assumptions.
The egotist may not want to admit they are a nasty troll. But they are.
The ego keeps you trapped in your comfort zone. You are afraid the real world could shatter your fragile world view.
Confident people don’t suffer from this problem. They humbly accept the truth when they are faced with it.
Of course, there are many reasons for this. Such as living with more abundance for example. So, they can afford to relax more.
If they still have doubts, they will actively look for better evidence that proves their previous beliefs wrong until they finally accept reality.
They don’t constantly look for confirmation that their beliefs are true. Confident people don’t need to pretend to be successful or interesting. They don’t need to convince people of anything.
Confident people face opposing opinions without allowing themselves to get emotionally invested.
The ego is a false pride that leads to anger and pain as an individual is inevitably faced with the contradiction between reality and their own delusions.
The confident person however has no need for such delusions. His path leads to stability, happiness and humble coexistence with all logical and illogical worldviews he encounters.
The ego has its value of course. It is the source of our own individuality and uniqueness. It is beautiful and original.
It is not evil. But in its effort to protect itself it can become deluded and dishonest.
Are You Really Dominant? Or is it an act?
To diminish the negative impact of the ego it’s important to remember our thoughts and actions reflect our inner reality.
When we find ourselves reacting to inner fear by trying to project dominance we must recognize this as a demonstration of the ego’s fear of admitting weakness.
When we can do this honestly, we can recognize our weaknesses and deal with them. You can’t improve yourself unless you admit you have areas that need to be strengthened.
You may love your opinion. You may also think your opinion must be right because many of your peers share the same opinion, but that doesn’t make it objectively true. Someday you may need to face the truth. And when that day comes your ego may jump up with an emotional reaction as you are forced to confront your own poor judgement.
We become attached to our opinions, but we don’t need to be. It’s much more helpful and logical to form an attachment to desiring to know the truth and avoid falsehood no matter how many people believe in popular lies.
Letting go of such attachments, we open up to leaving our comfort zones and discovering amazing possibilities.
By transcending the ego, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible and can embrace real confidence.
What I mean by that is it’s easy to get stuck with a certain set of habits and opinions without realizing there are much better ways of thinking and acting.
The difference between Ego and Confidence
The difference between ego and confidence should be clear by now. The ego craves attention to reinforce its beliefs. It also wants to dominate interactions to manipulate popular opinions. And most importantly, it’s terrified of change.
Real confidence embraces change. With genuine confidence you wouldn’t care as much about the opinions of others. You wouldn’t care about dominating any social situation whether online or off.
But there is also the exception of apathy. Just because you don’t care at all about impressing others doesn’t mean you are confident. It could mean you need a period of intense socializing to get over you inhibitions related to caring too much what other’s think. But that’s a subject for a separate article.
If you want real confidence then be conscious of how your ego is influencing your thoughts and behavior. Pay attention to how it could be preventing you from opening up to your potential.