The ego is blamed for everything - from relationship breakups to the start of wars! Oftentimes, people don't even realize that they are led by it and that it's responsible to a great degree for ruining their lives. In school we're not taught how to identify and overcome it. We learn that from life. But the right moment is key because if a person realizes too late that their actions are determined by their ego, it may be too difficult to place their life on the right track.
Fortunately, there is a way of identifying and overcoming our own ego. This can be done through several easy steps of self-analysis and a change in worldview.
It's hard for each person to understand that their life is led by their ego. Most literature on the subject identifies the symptoms of the ego, without really focusing on its core. The literature identifies arrogance, stubbornness, fear of wrong judgement, fear of failure, but still misses a key point.
All of these elements share a beginning - they appear only when you're dependent on the external environment, in order to make you feel the way you want to. When you rely on others' perceptions in order to feel good, that's when you'll fear their opinion, fear failure, you'll fight just to prove that you're right.
That is precisely why if you're met with failure you'll blame others for your situation in life. Here also lies the heart of the ego - a dependence on the external environment in order to feel the way you want to feel.
Don't compare yourself to others
Your ego will constantly compare you to others. This is its own source of power, the power we want to take back. When we compare our achievements and past results to those of others, we will always feel unappreciated. Sometimes we will fail at something and our ego will punish us by making us feel inferior and worthless.
If we succeed and beat others, it will make us believe that we're superb and undefeatable, something which is definitely an illusion. Our self-respect is completely subjective and must never be compared with others. If you do compare yourself with someone it needs to be with you yourself. Try to exceed your past achievements and always strive for development.
Focus on life
Life is a process, not a given, it's a journey, not a destination. When we begin to recognize life and its true essence, we'll realize that what we live through really does matter. In the process of life we discover all of the beautiful and unforgettable experiences. There's laughter, tears, kisses and problems. We find our true passions, interests and worries. In the process of life we find everything that makes it meaningful and magical. Our ego will make us constantly want more, without being able to realize and enjoy what we already have.
Forget the usual system
We're all part of a system, a large dominating system. More specifically, we're part of a system of rewards and punishments. When we were kids we were always punished when we made mistakes. This continued throughout school, high school, university, work and may even continue after death. Heaven or hell, reward or punishment? This system is simply a way to fuel our ego and completely destroy our ability to value ourselves.
The ego will make us feel amazing if we win and we'll always expect a reward for our successes. If we lose and fall, it will crush us, making us feel like a lowly insect. Forget this system and remember that we're not circus animals that need a reward in order to feel valued. We're independent beings, fully conscious and aware. We learn through experience. The only true reward we should seek is knowledge and the strength we gain throughout our entire life.