Your worst enemy…it’s not your childhood bully, it’s not your ex, it’s not a Prius driver. It’s YOU. You are your worst enemy.
YourSELF. Your EGO. The ego is the part of your brain that dictates how you feel about yourself and others. Your ego is controlled by you, you are the driver. So make sure you drive carefully…
Let’s explore the ego. You’re unemployed and desperately looking for a job. You come across a job posting for a managerial position. The job offers great benefits, a decent salary, and is at a Fortune 500 company. Your first thought is, “SCORE! This is perfect.” Then, all of a sudden, you think, “there is no way I can get this job. There are probably too many people applying for this plus I’m not even qualified.” You skip over the job posting, shut your laptop down and go mope on the couch.
Overall feeling: “I’m a failure. I’ll never get a job.”
Second scenario. You’re waiting in line at the cash register. The person in front of you has 20 coupons in his hand and a check in the other. You immediately roll your eyes, yell out a big “PFFFFFFTTT,” huff and puff, and manage to spit out “OH come on.” Once it’s your turn, the clerk asks you to wait so that she could go get a price check on your item. Your nostrils start to flare. Once you leave the store, you can’t help but think that you’re the only normal person in this world.
Overall feeling: “People are so stupid. I wish I could punch everyone in the face.”
That voice that convinced you that you’ll never get the job was your ego. The desire to punch Mr. Coupon man in the face was the result of your ego. Feelings of fear, hate, despair, and anxiety are all created by you. It is true that your evironment plays a role in this. Perhaps you were bitten by a dog when you were four so now you’re scared of dogs. Or your ex-girlfriend cheated on you so now you don’t trust women. But you are in control of your emotions at the moment the Shih-Tzu starts sniffing your leg. Once the dog approaches you, your ego reminds you of that fear and that voice tells you to run. You immediately believe that the dog is going to bite you. Meanwhile, the Shih-Tzu (one of the dumbest dogs everrr←my ego talking) sniffs your leg then starts licking his ass.
So it’s very important to understand that your ego plays a huge role in ruining your day and potentially ruining your life. The ego is a false sense of who we really are and allows us to set expectations on ourselves and other people. On the other hand, one can argue that there is a positive aspect to the ego. It gives us power and self-importance. With the ego comes a feeling of confidence. Then again, is it a false sense of confidence?
There are ways to keep yourself in check and not allow your opponent to take control of how you think, speak and act. Here are a few things you can do to tame that ego:
- MEDITATE. This will allow you to be mindful and aware of the present moment.
- BREATHE. Sometimes taking a deep breath will center the soul and relieve anxiety instantly.
- FIGHT BACK. Now, I don’t mean you should fight the guy at the grocery store or bark back at the dog. Fight back the ego. Every time you have a negative thought, tell your ego to go F itself. Repeat, “I am not my ego.”
- GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Do you have social anxiety? Are you afraid of commitment? Do you feel embarassed to go to a restaurant by yourself? Do what feels impossible at the moment. You will overcome it. It will soon be part of your comfort zone. Ask yourself, what’s the woooorst that could happen??
- GIVE. Be a sharing person and put someone else first. Give more compliments, donate, be helpful. But it’s important not to advertise your good deeds for that would be your ego talking.