happiness

How To Put Your Ego in It’s Place!


Note: I refer to the voices in our head as our ego. My interpretation of the ego is that voice that warns us when we could potentially face harm, humiliation, disappointment, or any other form of distress. However, this article does not address auditory hallucinations, which are completely different. Please seek the advice of a mental health professional if you are experiencing the latter.  

We all have voices in our head that create an internal dialogue that drive us a little crazy. These voices are collectively called our “ego”. Sometimes our ego helps us by warning us of danger. More often than not though, our ego stifles our growth and progress through its incessant negative and disparaging comments. It often puts us down, tells us we’re not good enough, says we’re incapable of doing something or being someone, and reinforces our fears and self-doubt. The end result? Total paralysis or feeling “stuck” so we can never really move forward with our lives or go after our dreams. This article will show you how to put your ego in its place so you can finally step into the incredible person you were born to be!

Step 1: Understanding your ego

The ego serves a purpose.

That voice in your head has been around since humans could first walk. We evolved that voice for a reason; that is, to ultimately protect us from harm. However, today there are no saber-toothed tigers lurking around corners waiting to chomp our heads off, so this protective mechanism doesn’t serve the same purpose in our modern world. These days our ego chimes in whenever we are facing any unfamiliar situation. e.g., when we want to take a big risk and start a business but our ego says we’ll fail, or when we get ready to ask for that raise at work but our ego says we are not worthy, or when we want to find that dream relationship but our ego says we’re not good enough for him/her, etc. Our ego wants to offer its two cents to help save us from humiliation, disappointment, and the self-criticism that happens from “failure” or rejection. It’s great that our ego “has our back”, but the problem is it usually ends up convincing us to not take that risk at all because of the potential negative repercussions. Real growth, progress, and fulfillment come from taking risks and getting out of our comfort zone, which the ego hates!

Where did it come from?

It’s important to understand where your voice comes from or who its “influencers” are because it will help you realize that these voices are not your own! When you hear this voice, who does it sound like? Does your ego say things that your parents told you while growing up? Has your ego been influenced by a traumatic or humiliating event in your life? See if you can identify similarities between your ego and the people in your life. Once you can see these links, acknowledge this fact and realize that the ego’s voices are always influenced by an external source; it is not who you are or who you could be!

It’s always going to be there.

At first blush this fact may sound hopeless or depressing, but if you accept this  then you can stop resisting or fighting your ego but instead choose to simply not listen or believe it. What a relief! It may also help to know that our awesome self-help idols like Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, and Marie Forleo all have that voice in their head but have learned how to put it in its place, and so can you!

Step 2: Taming your ego

Personify it.

Naming your ego will help you disconnect your identity from it. It also adds some humor to this whole concept, which will make it so much more fun! I have a few fond names of my own: the soul sucker, dream crusher, gremlin, or one of my absolute favorites: that crazy b**ch! Realizing it has a separate identity from you is helpful in acknowledging that what it says is not who you are. So choose not to listen to it.

Get out of your head.

I’m a huge fan of getting our groove on when the voices in our head begin to torment us. So turn up the music and dance! Or try exercising. Go for a walk or a hike. Just do something physical so you are not sitting there and yielding to those negative voices.

Be present.

When your ego starts yapping away and causes all sorts of fears, anxiety, and stress, turn your attention inward. Notice how your body feels. Pay attention to your breath. Listen to your inhales and exhales, but also feel the air going through your windpipe and into your lungs, and then back out. Feel your body and notice any tension, particularly in your chest or stomach. Being “present” will immediately get you out of your head. Practicing this will help you quickly recognize when your ego is steering the ship so you can take back control of your thoughts and feelings!

Step 3: Embrace your inner Heroine/Hero! 

At this very moment, within you there exists a brave, feisty, confident, and unstoppable Heroine/Hero. A superhero who has all the talents, skills, and abilities to create anything you could possibly want for yourself. All you need to do is remove the ego, the negative thoughts, and the self-doubt that mask your inner superhero. Turn up the volume on your inner warrior to help you overcome any challenge or obstacle that stands in the way of you creating an amazing life for yourself. Now that you know how to put your ego in its place, it’s time to bring out this superhero and start taking bold action on your life! I know you can do this!

This week’s challenge: What does your inner Heroine/Hero look like? Share with me in the comments below!

Chinh Pham is fear conqueror, life coach, Hot Hula Fitness instructor, wellness guru, and lover of life! She helps people in their 20’s and 30’s embrace their inner Heroine/Hero to become badass in their life and career.

To learn more about Chinh, check out her virtual home, Facebook, and sign up for FREE updates here!

 

 

  • Juan G

    My inner hero is a very muscular me.  He is well dressed and stands up straight. He has very good posture. He is a leader. He has authority, but he is very respectful and does not abuse that authority. He helps as many people as he can. He has a beautiful wife, and 2 very beautiful children.

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

      Juan, your inner Hero sounds awesome! I love it. Hold this vision in your mind’s eye and you will create it for yourself! :-)

  • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

    Your point about being in the present is such an important one. Nothing shuts up those voices in our head quicker than taking action. The simple switch from an “am I good enough to do this?” mentality to an “I’m doing it, regardless,” mentality is all it takes to silence their whiney voices.

    And though the voices and their unwanted words will return, you can always shut them up again with some more action. As the saying goes . . . 

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Cheers!

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Woohoo! I love that you talk about just taking action. Just do it anyway! That’s always been my motto despite the fears, self-doubt, and ego that likes to kick my ass every once in a while. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I’ve dealt with voices beyond the norm: I was able to tame them, but voices in one’s head may not always be “the ego,” they may be caused by mental health issues such as schizophrenia where the brain is actually changed.

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

      Very true and thanks for bringing up that distinction Dan!

  • http://howaboutcake.com/ brad waters

    Step 1, understanding the ego’s purpose, is such a good point to make. We don’t have to hate or conquer the inner voice, but understand where it’s coming from and form a relationship with it. That voice can be very helpful at times- telling us a lot of information if we choose to observe it openly, rather than hang on its every word. Your article makes a great overarching point about how to develop personal responsibility and “emotional intelligence”.

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Thanks for your input Brad! I agree, if we hate or resist our ego it only becomes more powerful!

  • Stef B

     haha, I want to share my ego… Its a little gremlin with pointy ears, who bears the name of a Coward. He wants to take what is rightfully mine. That’s when the me, the superhero walks in. A brave and courageous man appears. He stands tall, he fights for no glory,he only wants to help those in need, and lead all free man and women into better life. He is a giver, never a taker. 

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Awesome Stef! That’s exactly what our inner heroine and hero can do for us: not just battle our ego and remind us how amazingly strong and tough we are.

  • http://www.balanceddaily.com/how-to-stick-to-your-resolutions-in-2013/ Johnny@ Balanced Daily

    My inner hero is a little more muscular than me. It has a great swagger and is comfortable in his own skin. He’s funny and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He has a great way of connecting with people, but he isn’t worried about what anyone thinks of him. He’s fun and conscientious. He’s a doer! 

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Your inner hero sounds awesome Johnny! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  • Bahare_sarlak

    my inner heroine is a teacher who is fund of herself by teaching . she’s kind and love to do things for others.she is a talented swimmer also she is a famous translator  in her country.

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Your inner heroine sounds amazing Bahare! Thank you for sharing :-)