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Ego vs Authenticity – an exploration

Ego. Such a common word. We all understand when it is said that someone has a big ego. Yet, when we need to define exactly what it is, it is common for one to find some confusion around it. What is the ego after all? And why are we relating it to authenticity in this conversation?

Ego as a concept

For us at Elevate Your Best, the ego is a concept we can approach from several perspectives. This takes us to one of our favorite universal affirmations here: understanding is power. The more we understand something, the better we can use it to improve our position in life.

These are powerful tools, both ego, and authenticity. Despite the ego being usually related to a negative trait someone might possess, these feelings are better related to the errors in judgment. For example, an action one might commit in relation to their own ego rather than the thing itself.

The ego is a projection we send outside of us. It is a form of communication in which we are projecting ideas. These projections tend to be of great importance to us, and we might see ourselves defending them fiercely on a subconscious level.

Authenticity is related to what we identify with on a deep emotional level. The usual challenge with authenticity a lack of understanding what it is. For example, it is usually about identifying it in ourselves and recognizing it for what it is.

The ego is not the opposite of authenticity, and one can exist within each other. Therefore, the ego is an image, and this image might be authentic with who the person really is, or not. Saying that one has an inflated ego suggests that the person has a bigger and more valued image of themselves than what they actually represent in reality.

This Is Who I Am

Imagine you are in a gathering of sorts, and there you go drink a coffee. You poor something for yourself, drink it. When you are finishing, someone from the event staff gets close to you. You know who they are, so you greet each other. the person stops for a while beside you to take a look at the group. You know you are going back to where you were in a few seconds.

In this case, this person is beside you for a reason. A desire might surge inside of you to say something and start a conversation. Maybe a question pops into our heads: should I say something? This image might come from a conscious or unconscious place. A person that is not conscious about their own ego may be triggered and manipulated into behaviors and situations inauthentic to them.

Serious losses might bring huge consequences to an unconscious ego if the image we have of ourselves and our lives loses something which we cannot live without. It can be that a child who brought to a mother the image of a happy family. If that child was a victim of a disaster and lost its life, it may leave the mother with an image of a happy family that is now impossible. It may take some time to accept this loss. In other words, the denial of the child’s sudden absence in her life can lead to great suffering.

The trap of the ego

When we fall into the trap of believing our selves are in reality the same as our ego, we open ourselves to depression. We might not be living the same experiences as we visualize of ourselves. When our lived reality is different from what we believe it is supposed to be, we tend to fall into sadness, upset, and even deep depression.

Remember what we spoke about on the Elevate Your Best Episode #016 Choose Your Word Wisely. “Should” is a word to be careful with, as it inspires emotions related to assumptions and expectations. We know how Assumptions Lead To Frustration, as we spoke about in episode #026.

It is necessary to understand how to better understand our ego and become more conscious about it. As we say on the Elevate Your Best Podcast, understanding is power. The better we understand something, the better we can use it in our favor.

Wild Ego Vs. Serving Ego

When we don’t have an awareness of the ego, seeing it as this image we project to the society, we might develop a wild ego. This is an ego out of control. It leads us to be easily provoked by others when the image we wish to maintain is threatened.

When we

  • understand the ego as this image
  • that we are not quite there yet
  • that this is ok, as we are on the way to getting there

We can

  • use the ego in our favor
  • use this image as a guiding compass
  • project it as a form to commit to others who we wish to be
  • exercise being accountable with our word

When the image we wish to project is not exactly who we authentically are, we might develop a wild ego. Accepting the necessary path to get closer to this image and using it consciously as such, allows us to nurture a serving ego that helps us in pursuing our life vision.

Follow up on our entire conversation about Ego Vs. Authenticity at the Elevate Your Best Podcast #022 below.



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