Finding A Healthy Balance With Your Ego

Stop trying to kill your ego! Learn how to find a healthy balance with it instead

If only it was that simple. Attempting to kill your ego leads to self-disintegration as it’s based on the idea that the ego is bad. But the ego isn’t bad – It’s neutral. It’s an essential part of the human experience, and without it, you wouldn’t last for very long.

Although you need an ego, It is important to keep your ego in check and I’ll explain why in this article. Here we’re going to explore what exactly the ego is, how it works, and what you can do to find a much healthier relationship with it.

Understanding the ego

Ego bigger than oneself

The ego is a mechanism that gives you an identity and sense of self. The ego is responsible for your individuality, which involves your belief systems, your perceptions, and your attitudes.

The ego is not a concrete, stable part of you as it’s always in a state of flux. When a person’s ego inflates – They experience a stronger sense of self-importance, often leading to self-centered behavior. When the ego deflates, the person’s sense of self-importance diminishes which usually leads to characteristics associated with selflessness. This process is called ego dissolution.

Can you kill your ego?

By recognizing when the ego speaks through your tongue and shows through your behaviors, you can take measures to put it in its place. The more you make a habit of keeping your ego on a leash, the more disciplined it will become.

It is possible to temporarily kill your ego, but you cannot permanently get rid of it because you need it. People may be able to experience a state of egolessness during particular spiritual experiences, especially via the use of plant medicines. I’ll link a couple of articles about that here if you want to go into more depth.

Common misconceptions about the ego

The ego has been given a bad rap. People tend to see the ego as a flaw as if it’s something we’re better off without. This has led to a lot of confusion because many people believe they need to kill their ego – and view it as the villain.

The ego is a part of who you are. Here are some common misconceptions to address about the ego:

  1. The ego is a barrier towards enlightenment: The ego is not a barrier, but an essential part of any human. Although some people may experience windows of ego death, they cannot stay there and sustain their minds and bodies.

  2. The ego is the source of suffering: Although the ego is a big cause of suffering, it would be naive to say it’s the only reason why people suffer.

  3. People can kill their ego: The ego can be temporarily removed, but people cannot walk, talk, think, and experience life as an individual without an ego

  4. Egolessness is associated with spiritual growth: Someone who has a small ego is likely to experience desirable characteristics such as humility, respect, and selflessness as they will see all things as equally important. But having too small of an ego can cause problems too.

  5. The ego is al bad: A big ego is generally not desirable, and not aligned with the higher self – Although it can be beneficial. People with big egos tend to be more confident, assertive, and value themselves more. The key is to find a balance where you value yourself, but don’t become self-absorbed.

The problem with a big ego

Self-centered person with a big ego showing off

Why is it important to find balance with the ego?

A big ego often leads to destructive characteristics such as:

  • An exaggerated self-importance
  • The belief that you’re more valuable than others
  • Feelings of grandeur
  • Arrogance
  • Selfishness
  • Self-centeredness
  • Entitlement
  • Egocentrism
  • A lack of empathy and compassion

Therefore it’s important to find a balance with your ego. This is to have some sense of personal identity and self-importance to help propel your life forward, but not too much where it turns toxic and causes more harm than good.

Identifying egocentric behavior

Egocentric people see themselves as the center of the world. Besides leading to a superficial sense of satisfaction rather than genuine fulfillment, egocentrism makes people value themselves more than everything else.

The ego craves recognition to reinforce its existence. It grows via recognition, approval, and validation. These become key factors in inflating the sense of me, by affirming its existence.

The ego doesn’t discern where the attachment is drawn from. People will identify with anything in an attempt to reinforce their existence, even if they’re attached to grief or trauma. The more pronounced your ego is, the more suffering you will face when you don’t get the recognition it craves. Like an addiction, it craves more to stay alive.

By boasting, bragging, and wanting to be the center of attention, it becomes easy to see the child inside throwing a tantrum – shouting “Acknowledge me!” That’s essentially what egocentrism is: A young child throwing a tantrum because they’re not getting the attention they need.

Avoiding ego inflation through possession

Possessions are also a source of identification. The more you own, the more you identify with. Your sense of self is reinforced by the things you have. It becomes your house, your job, your partner, your hobbies. The more you identify with, the stronger your sense of self becomes.

If something the ego is attached to is damaged, it hurts the ego too. Think about it this way. If someone loses their car that they pride themself on as opposed to someone losing their car that is just a way to get from A to B, who is going to suffer more?

The more that you identify with something, the harder it’s going to be to let it go. This is why modest people with less tend to have smaller egos. They have less to identify with and focus on what’s truly important in the absence of all these distractions.

Identification via labels

Labels reinforce your identity and position in this world. Getting sucked into labels becomes easy because the ego further refines its purpose. Labels come in the form of jobs, titles, positions, status, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and a lot more.

Here are some labels that people identify with:

  • Your profession: A doctor, a lawyer, a police officer
  • Authority: Leader, manager, influencer
  • Demographic: Rich, poor
  • Status: Celebrity, politician, entrepreneur
  • Traits: Charismatic, funny, outgoing
  • Ethnicity or color: Black, Jewish, Asian, Native
  • Sexuality: Gay, Bi, Trans
  • Lifestyle: Party animal, womanizer, vegan
  • Religion and spiritual standing
  • Political leaning
  • Victim
  • Disabled
  • Addict
  • Criminal

Change is the enemy of the ego because it thrives off stability. When you change yourself, for the better or worse, the ego loses its grip on who you are. It will fight to reinforce its existence because the ego likes certainty.

Finding balance with the ego

Woman feeding her ego via social media

Let’s look at some things you can do to build a healthier relationship with it. Awareness is key if you want to put your ego in check because you need to catch it when it shows itself. See if you catch yourself doing anything on the list, and follow the measures to put it in its place.

Don't feed the egos!

Stop fishing for validation

Be humble

What would he do?

Don't use adjectives to describe yourself

What do you have to prove?

You don't need to be wrong right

It's not all about you

Stop talking about yourself so much

Don't be so materialistic

Your ego latches to everything that you have because it wants to identify. It wants to grow. It wants to thrive. And if you’re giving it fuel by constantly having more to identify with, it’s going to be harder to stay modest. It’s okay to have some things. Of course, you want to have a good life, and some things are essential. Just be cautious about how much you get, and how much you identify with.

Get off the socials!

There are a lot of positive aspects of social media, but there’s also a giant downside. Social media is designed to lure you in. It wants to feed your ego and make you feel good about yourself, because that’s how they get you to stay on. That’s why you keep coming back.

Learn to take constructive criticism

A big ego will take constructive criticism as a personal attack. It will try to defend itself by believing it is perfect. It knows exactly what it’s doing. So if you find that you have an issue receiving constructive criticism, fight the urge to defend yourself and hear out what the other person has to say. You might actually gain some valuable insights as long as your ego doesn’t bark them away.

Moral superiority is not your friend

  • Do you have Liberal or Conservative views?
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  • How do you feel about the Russia/Ukraine conflict?
  • What’s your stance on the Israel/Palestine conflict?
  • What are your thoughts on the COVID mandates vs anti-vax debate?

Start by jumping into the following article:


Dave 9 November 2023 - 11:53 am

Very good statement

Bill Dwyer 22 April 2024 - 12:51 am

Very helpful. Thank you. But you need to edit: your copy under the subhead “Bloating via attachment” simply repeats what is under the subhead “Avoiding ego inflation through possession.”

Daniel Hannah
Daniel Hannah 22 April 2024 - 7:55 pm

Thank you for pointing that out. I have now edited it. Glad you enjoyed the article!


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