The ego can be seen in many aspects of a person’s character. It is often identified as arrogance, jealousy, fear, stubbornness, judgement, etc. It is also that little voice inside us that stops us from being in the present moment by using worry, fear and anxiety.
However, many people do not realise that they are driven by ego because they rationalize their behaviour, they think being driven by ego is about being arrogant and selfish and do not see how behaviours such as feeling guilt, self judgement, feeling trapped by the needs of others, being defensive and playing a victim can possibly be because they are being driven by ego.
ANY behaviour that causes you to feel a particular way which has it’s roots in the EXTERNAL reality is EGO. If you are dependent on the external for how you feel in the present then you are NOT being guided by spirit, you are being driven by ego. If you are dependent on the external to create your feelings you will be open to feelings of fear, judgement from others, blame, insecurity, etc because you have given up all your inner power to the external.
Being able to live with what is, in the present moment, without judgement or fear, no matter what is happening around and outside of you is true inner peace, it is being guided by spirit.
So, how can you take back your inner power and live a life guided more by spirit than driven by ego?
These are two simple ways of identifying your ego and becoming more aware of how it works and effects you.
Listen to your inner thoughts and see if you can identify if they are coming from spirit or from ego, from within or without.
If your thoughts cause you to feel negative, anxious, frightened, discontent, undervalued, then they are coming from without. You are allowing the outside world to be responsible for your feelings and your happiness.
Listen to the mantras/ that play through your mind throughout the day, do they free you or confine you?
The words you use are of great importance, if you hear mantras such as “You can’t do that” or “That will never happen” “Why is this happening to me” you have given all your power to the external to create your feelings. These mantras are backing up your ego.
Following the above two steps can take some time, you may want to journal what you find and notice the patterns that form. The more aware you become of how you are led by your external reality for your inner happiness the easier it will be to change your thought patterns.
If, for example, you find that you are always worrying about the reactions of others remind yourself that the reactions of others are not your responsibility, develop your own mantra to say to yourself at such times, “It’s not my place to control what others think.”
Or if you notice a pattern of blame, that it is everything and everyone else around you causing your feelings, develop a mantra such as, “Only I am responsible for my own happiness, no one else.”
Even if you only journal for a day you will be amazed at the thought patterns you have and how often you are driven by ego. Being aware of this is the first step to being more aware and responsive to being guided by spirit. To being in control of your happiness and inner peace.
“If you have inner peace, nobody can force you to be a slave to the outer reality.” Sri Chinmoy