Ego is more than just your pride. It can also be a part of self-pity. Ego is identity
without awareness. And I say awareness, because once you become aware of it, it no longer has power over you. For example, once you become aware that a feeling was generated by the decision you made as a child, that distinction gives you a choice in who you’re being. Next time you get upset; take a moment to realize that you’ve been feeling those emotions almost daily since childhood. Those feelings are part of an ego defense/justification system. It’s a game the ego has become good at winning.
Most of your emotional reflexes are habitual and they occur without you even trying to have them. That’s why the ego doesn’t like changes in behavior. It wants to wallow in excuses that are made for old habits. And it will constantly seek justification for what feels normal.
“I’ve had such bad relationships that I don’t date. I would rather remain celibate, because I don’t need anyone for anything.” (That inner voice is the voice of ego) With that inner statement in the way, one can remain aloof and not take chances. If somebody doesn’t like them, then it doesn’t matter.
Do you have the courage to identify yourself as something separate from your ego? Can you say, “I’ve been a jerk, or a liar”? Your ego doesn’t like it, and it may not be the truth, but do it anyway. The first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit that you’re addicted. And we are all addicted to our egos. Maybe it’s time to outgrow the ego. Maybe it’s time to realize that the future is going to need something more than ego in order for success to occur.
When you relinquish justifying your ego, you’ll find that it clears a way for making things happen (like dating again). Admitting that you’ve been a jerk is humbling, and it’s a way of striking back at the ego. When it hurts, that’s when you know that you’ve become attached to your ego. And it’s in those moments, when you’re fighting that inner beast, that you’ll want to bring reinforcements through sharing. Admit the dishonesties that you’ve had with yourself and ask others to join you in acknowledging them. Sharing your dishonesties and making renewed commitments is a great way to add allies to the battle.
Once you realize that who you want to be is who you really are, you’ll see how rationalizations are like thieves, stealing your potential. And there is no greater dishonesty than when you lie to yourself.
So how do you know when you’re fooling yourself? The answer is: when you lose focus on what you want.