“The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.” – Carl Jung
The definition of ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Your ego has been shaped from the moment you were born and starts with conditions outside of yourself. Ego is the false image you have of yourself based on what you believe yourself to be. This belief comes from what you were told and how others reacted to you at a young age.
Ego cares more about what other people think of you; it’s when you do things to please others and seek their approval; it’s when you do things in order to appear a certain way. Ego keeps you from knowing your true self.
What Feeds Your Ego
Ego wants to keep you in your comfort zone, even if your comfort zone isn’t healthy or good for you. Comfort zones are about feeling safe, secure and comfortable. Anything that challenges your comfort zone (i.e. change, fear of the unknown) will cause you to hold on tightly to the familiar.
And when you don’t know who you truly are, others opinions of you and the outside world will feed your ego. You can stop feeding your ego by learning and knowing who you are, and loving your true self.
How to Start Loving Your True Self
“The need to prove who you are will vanish once you know who you are.” – Danielle Pierre
Letting your ego go takes courage and requires stretching your comfort zone, being with the unknown, and letting what’s supposed to happen, happen. Here are 3 ways to stop feeding your ego so that you can start loving yourself.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others is a no win situation. You will end up feeling bad about yourself because there will always be someone prettier, in better shape, smarter and richer. And if you compare yourself to the glossy, airbrushed images of women in magazines, you compare yourself to people who don’t really exist.
Instead, focus on emphasizing your best features, getting into your best shape, learning about things that interest you and becoming financially secure.
2. Don’t judge yourself based on the norm.
When someone says, “You should be married with kids by now. That’s what women your age do”, it’s understandable to feel bad and judge yourself. But judging yourself on societal expectations keeps you stuck.
It is okay if love hasn’t happened the way and in the time you’ve wanted. You are unique and when it comes to love, your path is not the same as everyone else’s. You have the opportunity to create the kind of experience and love you desire. Put your efforts into doing the inner work to remove barriers that have been keeping you from love. Then take steps towards the love you desire.
3. Don’t look for other people’s validation
“Don’t seek love externally, it’s fleeting. Go beyond the ego and awaken the love that already exists within. It will encompass everyone and everything in your life. It will permeate your very being.” – Danielle Pierre
The reason we look for validation from other people is to look good or feel better about ourselves. When other’s respond (validate) favorably, we are happier, feel loved and all is well in the world. If you’re like me, you’ve even sacrificed yourself for a guy only to have him react unfavorably. In this situation, my world was turned upside down, leaving me feeling unsure about myself.
Your own validation of who you are will raise your self-esteem and self-worth. Validate yourself by determining and living your core values, and setting boundaries. Do things that make you feel good – things that soothe your soul and let your inner beauty shine. In doing so, you will come to know your worth and validate yourself.
It is Your Birthright to be Loved
The truth is, it is your birthright to be loved regardless of comparisons, the norm and validation from others. Don’t let other people and your mind tell you otherwise. If you want to have true and lasting love with someone, the way to have this is by loving yourself fully.
What will you start doing to let go of your ego so you can know and love your self?