Ego Keeps Us Stuck

I am reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. He talks a lot about the Ego. I wanted to discuss my thoughts on it. As I am going through my spiritual/personal journey. I recognize how powerful the ego is, and how it can keep us in a low vibrational state. When I meditate, and try to connect to a higher vibration. My thoughts(ego) keeps me from connecting to my higher self/guides. It tries to distract me. The ego=attachment. It keeps us attached to money, power, people, objects, thoughts, material things etc,. It can make us obsess over things, or people. 

The ego can help keep us grounded in reality. I do believe we should enjoy and live life. Enjoy the things within it, but we shouldn’t get over consumed by it. There needs to be a balance. It is our goal to keep it in check, but it can be a tough challenge, even for myself. I think about the time I was in the car, and I was going to turn, and this other car was turning too, we almost hit each other. My first thought was “I was in the right.” I instantly realized what my ego was trying to do, it really likes to be right. What does it matter who was right!? We can both be right or wrong, or one was right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, it happened, and we both came out safe. The ego can trick us like that, but awareness can set you free from the confines of it.

The Ego creates obsessions to people, things, money, social media to keep us from higher learning, and looking deep into ourselves. The ego likes to constantly be entertained or distracted. It is quite difficult to sit in silence. It likes to fill our minds with thoughts, most of the time thoughts that push us down, rather than lift us up.The ego likes to trap us in reality. Although it can keep us grounded, it can also keep us stuck from our personal/spiritual growth. 

Ways the Mind Is Seeking Control and How to be Mindful

The ego in the mind is a negative force of the mind. It likes control, to be right, to be perfect,  to be loved, to be desired. This can lead you on a negative path. Here are some ways the ego can take control, and ways to be more mindful.

1.Saying ‘Yes,’ instead of ‘No.’-We like to please others. Our ego wants us to be loved by everyone, but saying yes all the time isn’t the best way to go. We don’t want to be a people-pleaser or push over. Sometimes it is okay to say ‘no’ for your well being and happiness. It is okay to do things for yourself. Always saying yes when you don’t want to can lead to anxiety, anger, and sadness. Living for other people just to be liked by others isn’t beneficial to your well being.

2.Constantly Checking Your Phone and Social Media-Ego definitely is associated with our need for likes, attention, and approval on Social Media. When self worth is equated to how much attention one gets on social media, or that need to show how good we look in front of others, so we feel short-term satisfaction. That need and drive cultivates a negative lifestyle and mindset. These things can distract you from being in the present moment. It takes the focus off truly focusing on oneself.

3.Judging or criticizing others-Anything that makes one feel superior in a sense is never good. Doing these actions gives off the impression that one is superior to the other, and no one is. We are all individuals, and have our own stories. What one person may do, another person may not. The ego wants us to feel superior, and that our actions are above others, but no one is perfect, so these actions are not helpful to a mindful path.

4.Constant worrying-When the mind is in the past, or in the future. The overwhelming thoughts takes us out of the present moment. The mind can not be calm when this happens. It is always good to recognize when this happens, so you can bring yourself back into the present moment.

5.Trying to control someone else-We can not change how others think or behave. Telling someone what they should do is the ego trying to control others. No one has a right to tell others what to do with their lives, unless it affects that individual personally. You can guide, and advise others, but allowing others to make their own decisions is important. We are all our own individuals. Let them be their own individual.

6.Having negative thoughts about yourself-It is easy to overlook our own negative self-talk. We see our faults more prevalent than others. This negative self-talk just leads to misery, and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think badly of yourself. You are less likely to be confident enough to do what you need to do to help you overcome your doubts. If you are not able to do what you need to do. It can cultivate a negative self concept. One should learn to be aware of the negative thoughts, and push those thoughts away when they appear.

7.Being a perfectionist- We want ourselves, and our lives to be perfect, but the problem is that will never happen, so that ideology will set you up for failure. Striving for perfection will lead you on a road to misery, and depression. The best option is to accept that life is not perfect. Learn that flaws and weaknesses exist, and that learning to grow, and strive to be the best you can be is all you can do, and that is okay. Remind yourself that the perfect life does not exist. That perception is all in the mind, or a creation by societal standards. Accepting imperfection can lead you to happiness, and peace of mind.

It is easy to fall into these traps. Learning to stop the ego from consuming the mind takes a mindful person, and mental strength. I will say, it is difficult not to fall into these traps, but awareness of these traps is a start. After that, it is about practicing mindfulness to rid the ego from taking over.