Setting Ego Aside

Photo by Orkun Azap on Unsplash

A friend of mine recently turned me onto Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. I streamed an episode called EGO and was hooked. I’m not a particularly mindful person, but one of my many resolutions for 2021 is to become more introspective. This podcast highlighted the concept of ego and how it means more than just arrogance. It helped me understand that not only do I have an ego that unwittingly takes over external and internal conversations, but everyone around me has an ego that they are waging a tug-of-war against.

It’s Not Just Arrogance

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that ego meant egotistical, but it’s not as simple as a one-dimensional, undesirable trait that people have. Oprah’s conversations with leaders in mindfulness and spirituality defined ego in the vain of “alter ego” — an entity that is separate from your actual self. It appears as the voice in your head that casts doubts on personal accomplishments, that tries to draw a line separating yourself apart from others, creating enemies as a strategy to stand out from the crowd. There is no collectivism or unity in the ego — it thrives on judgment and the need to feel special.

The most poignant part of the episode was in her conversation with Eckhart Tolle who talks about the struggle between ego and consciousness. They conclude that to truly confront and diminish ego is to understand what you are doing, why you are doing it, and actively work to cast aside the pretenses of the ego.

Do It Like No One is Watching

I’ve spent several days updating my personal website after a few years of neglect. Throughout the process, I often found myself second-guessing decisions on what content to include, how to describe myself, and the perception of others. This is a habit I also engage in with smaller format content creation like Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms.

So I asked myself — Why? What’s the purpose?

Why would I want to curate a version of myself to seem like something that is less organic than how I view myself. You should not have to discount your accomplishments like you should not lie or falsely represent yourself. Neither path is an authentic approach to expressing your true self.

Originally published at on February 3, 2021.



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