Ego finds what it wants in words and the soul finds what it needs in silence…
Last week we looked at the ego and this week we are going to look at the difference between the ego and the soul. It’s very healthy to be ‘aware’ of your ego and to check-in with whether it is you or your ego acting out to certain scenarios that no longer serve you.
Let’s investigate the difference between the two. The soul seeks to serve others and ego seeks to serve itself and seeks for external recognition. The soul sees life in general as a ‘gift’ and ego sees everything as a competition and will do whatever it takes to win! Whereas the soul enjoys the ‘learnings’ along its merry way, during its journey.
As a leader, partner or parent, check in with what is driving you. Do the things that feed your soul and not your ego, and you will be happier, more influential, more abundant because you as the soul focus on the ‘we’ – whereas the ego focuses on the ‘me’.
Your ego is not your amigo…
Put simply, your ego is not your friend. Why? Because it’s not grounded in love, and compassion. It needs to win all the time, and be right all of the time. If the ego doesn’t get its way, it is often offended and therefore becomes quite ‘judgemental’ about everything, and sometimes revengeful.
But …. If we apply the concept of ‘perception is projection’, you can begin to understand that if you have a tendency to be highly critical of others, you, yourself, has a very strong inner critic. This is why you project the critic external of yourself to feel superior.
The ego is powerful …. the more airtime you give it, the bigger it becomes. Ego is never satisfied, it never rests, it always wants more and is constantly comparing with others and always identifying success by their achievements.
A healthy, balanced ego understands when it is not doing well – a healthy ego takes feedback and is very self-aware because it knows when it is beginning to judge … by acknowledging that when one finger is pointing at another person… there are three fingers pointing right back at you!
Eckhart Tolle said that ego is no longer ego when you know there is ego.
A little more kindness and a little less judgement…
We all have an ego, so we need to integrate it and work with it, balance is the key to developing a healthy ego. We can’t get rid of it, we are bound together for life!! But a healthy ego allows us to grow up with a loving sense of self. It accepts the dichotomy that resides in every single one of us, it helps us solve problems creatively and gives us the capacity to develop meaningful relationships because we understand that an unhealthy ego is like a shield, protecting us from the outside world, but also preventing us from loving ourselves, our lives and really loving others.
An unhealthy ego will tell you to stick to what’s comfortable, it likes to avoid uncertainty, and has unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. An unhealthy ego is rooted in fear, anxiety, limiting beliefs, and toxic thinking patterns.
And this is why you need to starve your ego, and feed your soul. Together they make strange bedfellows – they are not always comfortable together, but you can work with each to create harmony, knowing when your ego is present and what you need it for, and feeding your soul, so it steps up, and keeps your ego in check!
Do not confuse the voice of ego with that of intuition…
An unhealthy ego never feels good enough, it uses anger to communicate, so it’s very reactive and defensive, because it is driven by fear not love. It tends to blame everyone and avoids those courageous conversations. It is highly critical and avoids apologising. The ego has a chip on its shoulder, it feels a sense of entitlement or grandiosity, and is unable to demonstrate compassion or understanding towards people who hold different opinions or beliefs. An unhealthy ego knows how to wear the mask!
A healthy ego is resilient, happy, and thinks before it speaks, it has time to ponder, reflect and thinks in terms of possibilities. A healthy ego is optimistic in nature, sees that everything (even failure) is an opportunity, it seeks to understand, appreciate and it comes across strong, curious and confidant … it knows it can handle any tricky situation. It knows how to embrace imperfections and practices acceptance, compassion and cooperation, with integrity and authenticity!
When our ego is healthy we can navigate challenging moments in life, sit in vulnerability and not be overcome by fear. A healthy ego allows us to genuinely appreciate our strengths, accept our imperfections, and also to love ourselves unconditionally.