About the Author: Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Coach, Integrative Master Hypnotherapist, EFT & NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer and Reiki Master located in Seattle, Northern Lights Life Coaching www.northernlightscoaching.net & Embrace Change Hypnosis & NLP www.embracechangehypnosis.com. Kate offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding Path, Purpose and Peace. Kate focuses on integration of mind, body, spirit wellness. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and embracing change. She is passionate about creativity, travel, personal growth and enjoying life. She has another wellness-related business offering Salt Therapy, Salt Works Saltariums. Salt Therapy offers an all natural treatment solution for respiratory and skin problems. All three businesses operate as Dba's under Total Well Resources, LLC. Kate is a speaker, writer and event facilitator. She is also a radio show host on Contact Talk Radio, www.ctrnetwork.com/embracechange hosting "Embrace Change with Kate ".
What is Ego and why do we need to let go in order to have healthy relationships with ourselves and others? Is ego good or bad? The dictionary definition would not indicate any negativity, so how and why is ego a problem.
Ego – a definition of a person’s sense of their own worth, self-esteem, valuation or perception of self
While the above definition does not say anything about ego that would lead someone to the conclusion that ego is negative in any way, it is the attachment of ego to situations and circumstances or occurrences in our daily lives that leads to much of our own suffering and unhappiness in life. There is really no need to make a judgement about ego, as being bad or good. It is tying it to what is happening outside of ourselves that causes problems and leads to judgement.
For instances, when someone says something offensive or negative to us or about us, if we hold on to that and let it affect us, it is ego that we are giving in to and suffering as a result. Or, if we try to gain acceptance or approval from a group or a person and we are rejected or snubbed and we react to that in a way that alters the way we think of ourselves again, that is ego. If we allow ourselves to feel “less than” or “more than” based on their judgement, we are reacting to ego. Ego can also be an over attachment to our own interests, where they become our central motivation without concern or regard for others.
It may be easier to understand what ego is not. Ego is not self-esteem. Ego may be attached to self-esteem, but it is separate from healthy self-esteem. Some people think you are talking about conceit, arrogance or over-aggrandization of self when you mention ego. Some call that having a “big head”— building one’s self up to unrealistic proportions in one’s own mind. This can be a part of ego, but it is not necessarily the only manifestation of ego and one does not need to be projecting this extreme characteristic in order to be bumping up against ego. There are less obvious and outrageous ways in which ego can be an obstacle to us and our best and healthiest presentation of self or healthy self-esteem.
We are often dealing with ego when we feel resistance to something or someone that causes us to go against our own best interests or to be uncaring about the interests or intentions of others, sometimes reacting in a rude or unfeeling way to project a sense of superiority to others. When you have a strong response to someone or something they are doing, it might be good to question whether you are bumping up against their or your own ego. It may or may not be the case, but it is probably a good starting place to look at. Looking at this aspect of yourself and learning to let go in these situations, will be a very freeing and self-affirming moment. When we see ego in someone else, it is almost certain that we should look at our own. We can never change to actions of another person, but if we are reacting to somethings perhaps that is a message and we can change our own actions and responses.
Ego is selfish in a way that does not serve self well. It might involve anger or resentment and usually includes the need to be right and get the last word in. If you feel it in your body – there is usually a lot of tightness, you might feel shortness of breath and getting a headache or having pains in your neck and back are common physical manifestations. This can’t be good, right? Ego is an internal battle that is a no-win for anyone, if you decide to fight it out. The only way to win is to take a deep cleansing breath and let it go! Whatever it is, -- just step back and let it go. It steals your peace and joy! That is really too high a price to pay. Love yourself completely and hold yourself in the highest self-esteem. Let ego go and you will be happier and healthier!
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This Guest Blog will feature contributions from experts & other advocates on topics that speak to integration of mind, body & spirit wellness.