Why Your Ego Calls the Shots, and 7 Ways on How to Tame It

Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

Does this sound familiar?

You’re at the gym or in a yoga class. The person next to you is doing more reps or balancing in a challenging pose with ease, and something inside of you roars and pangs with jealousy. Even though your body is tired and spent, you choose that extra weight or push yourself to do another pose. Your mind angrily races with the thought: “no pain, no gain.”

Or how about this one?

You’re in a meeting at work, surrounded by your colleagues. One of them gets a recognition award for all of the hard work they’ve done on a recent project, and even though you clap for their achievement, you can’t help but feel a touch of resentment deep in your belly.

Welcome to your ego. Sometimes, it’s a quiet voice that sounds reassuring and steady. Most times, however, it’s loud, demanding, and maybe even downright mean. Its original intention was to help you, plain and simple. By being assertive and a go-getter, the ego was meant to propel you forward into work, activities, ideas, and innovation. Its entire modus operandi was to ensure you’re on your toes and at the top of your game, with confidence to boost! It calls the shots because, behind its intimidating facade, it wants to protect you from being bullied, pushed down, thwarted, and made insecure. From a healthy ego grows a powerful force for good.

However, if left unchecked, your ego can walk down the wrong path and become what you’re familiar with: jealousy, envy, and negative self-talk that leads to unproductive and unhealthy habit patterns. These shots are now coming from a place of poor self-confidence and a heap of triggers wreaking havoc in your subconscious. Now that you know this, it’s time to learn how to tame the wild ego and put it back in its place.

  1. Become aware of your ego throughout the day — like a doctor checks up on his patient, get in the habit of doing the same with your ego. We’re presented with a plethora of interactions throughout our day: work, family, errands, activities, etc. Naturally, our ego is going to be front and center for all of these events. Before you do anything to fix how the ego reacts, notice how it reacts at all! If you can become aware of it, you can easily steer it where you want it.

Writer | Yogi | Traveler | Creator of #YogaSouhl (www.aleksslijepcevic.com)