You Are Not Your Personality – The Egoic False Self

We reside on a planet where cooperation is paramount to our success. When we cooperate with each other, our boss, our partner, our leaders or anyone else you have a relationship with; life will flow with ease. When we resist – our life experience feels out of control and complex.

First let’s define the word cooperation: An act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action.

So why do we resist cooperating with each other?

Resistance comes from two places:

1. The need to be in control.

2. The false ego living itself out.

Most behaviors are subconscious programs that run on automatic pilot. We run them, we experience them, yet we don’t change them even when it’s apparent they no longer benefit us.

The False Self

The false ego or false self is the individual that the mind considers itself to be. Usually this fake self is not one of humility and togetherness – rather it is one of untold negative stories about itself and its experiences in life.

The false self needs to feel like the “King of the mountain” or the “Queen of the land” in order to feel safe and secure in this World.

The false self wants to be heard and be the center of attention. And the false self program is the one that creates all the problems in your life through self-sabotaging behaviors and patterns.

I’m not proposing you rid yourself of the ego. I think that would be impossible at the moment. Instead, become more aware of yourself, and your unconscious behavior, by being fully present in every moment to the best of your ability.

The point to remember is to not denounce yourself or your unconscious automatic behavior. Just observe and see if the behavior really serves a powerful purpose, or is it just the ego simply trying to get more attention.

Making the ego the enemy or believing you can win the fight against the ego won’t work. The ego will just come in through the back door when you do that. You can’t fight it and you will never win the fight against the ego, because as soon as you begin to fight the ego – you become part of it.

The ego isn’t actually the ego as you believe – the ego isn’t in reality the ego if you recognize it. If the ego is working inside of you – you wouldn’t even realize it.

The ego implies that you’re not even conscious of it. Individuals who have the largest egos don’t even know what the ego is.

They cannot acknowledge the ego as the ego. The instant you recognize the ego or see it, it’s no longer the ego anymore. What it is as soon as you recognize it – is just an old pattern of behavior. It is an unconscious program that runs in your body computer.

Once you realize you are behaving egoically – just by looking at it – you can start to dissolve its impact on you and your behavior. Some freedom will come to you by simply doing this one thing.

Laughing is an effective way to loosen the grip of the ego. When you see an egoic pattern in yourself, like when you need to express your opinion on something that may be non-relevant. You’ll be able to observe the egoic “want” to affirm or express the opinion that you believe you need to express.

Catch yourself – and say to yourself, “do I really want to say this now?” What could happen if I simply kept my thoughts, feelings, and opinions to myself?”

Just drop the egoic pattern that you identified and see how it feels inside of you. You may also feel somewhat reduced or lessened in the beginning because you have failed to assert yourself from the egoic viewpoint in that scenario.

Take Away

Are you aware when you are in “ego mode” and what do you do to change these limiting patterns in yourself?


This post is written by Justin Mazza from Mazzastick Personal Growth blog. Be sure to sign up for his free newsletter and receive a copy of his latest eBook: The Personal Growth Handbook – Personal Development 101.


20 Responses to You Are Not Your Personality – The Egoic False Self

  1. Francisco says:

    Has anybody read the book “Awareness” from Anthony De Mello. There he explains very well the difference between the “I” and the “Me”, being the Me just the Avatar that is form by your beliefs, your job, your thoughts, your clothes… While the “I” is the conscious behind the Avatar… very interesting

  2. I don’t know much about all that ego stuff. It sounds to me like you’re talking about just changing our patterns of behavior. And you’re right, when we try to change ourselves into a better person we will commonly find ourselves slipping back into old patterns. We need to be vigilint. We need to be aware when it’s happening so we can stomp that old pattern out for good.

    The battle between the “old” self and the “new self” we are trying to make is a difficult one. But it needs to be fought if we ever wish to become the people we know we can be . . . and to live the lives we wish we could live.


  3. Francisco says:

    I have beliefs, I am not my beliefs.

    I have thoughts, I am not my thoughts.

    I have feelings, I am not my feelings.

    I do things, I am not my actions.

    I am the consciousness that creates and then observes my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions.

  4. AaronMorton says:

    You can’t be present if you notice your behaviour because noticing is a feedback mechanism that requires you to have done your behaviour first, thus looking to the past. Being present is part of letting go of any outcome and thoughts and noticing what is around you. The downside of the advice of being present is it typically discounts the value of looking back as a learning of your behaviours and looking to the future for how you can further whatever you are attempting to achieve. 
    All three components of time have their place (the brain will always have a representation of time) and it was enjoyable to read your account of being present Justin.
    Thank you

  5. Justin says:

    Hi Francisco,
    I will definitely check out the book Awareness by Anthony De Mello. We are in a sense both, but the eternal I is the real permanent version while the ego is a temporary one.

  6. Justin says:

    Hi Trevor,
    I still to this day experience old unconscious patterns that do not serve me. The best thing I can do is bring them to my awareness and improve the limiting behavior into one that serves me and the greater good.

    I have studied the ego a lot and a healthy ego is good just like a good protective parent. It’s when the ego get’s out of control, like an over-domineering parent where we tend to not enjoy life anymore.

    So, we need to become aware of the ego and where it is not serving us anymore. Perhaps, even working against our best intentions.

  7. Justin says:

    Well said Francisco. :)

  8. Justin says:

    Hi Aaron,
    Present awareness is what caused me to begin my personal development journey back in 1997. Yes, there is a few seconds of delay between behavior and conscious awareness of it. 

    The gap for me is so small now I can stop limiting egoic behaviors in their tracks where as before I would have to allow it to play out and then later reflect on it.

    It was as if I was viewing myself and my limiting behaviors from outside of myself.

    When I began reading personal growth books I would always read books about the area I believed I needed to grow in the most.

    Take Care Aaron. :)

  9. Dan Erickson says:

    The older I get, the more aware I become, but it’s an intentional process.

  10. Justin says:

    Awesome Dan, me too.

  11. Lea says:

    I never thought of my negative mindset to be my false self. That is actually a really good way to acknowledge yet distance myself from those feelings and adjust.

  12. Nikki says:

    This is very relevant to me currently and I am grateful for having read this… 

  13. AaronMorton says:

    Feelings have a direct relationship to the proximity at which the external stimuli is. Thats why you are more likely to be directly affected by something like the starving of African children if you were right there with them than if you were watching it on TV.
    And so when feeling bad one of the worst places to be is presently in the moment. But when you are feeling alive and energised the best place to be is right there in the moment.
    Take care, Aaron Morton

  14. Corina says:

    Don’t feelings also relate to memory, say for instance you feel in a way because some sort of memories are coming back to you? Or feelings that relate to music, pictures, some voices we never heard before, but there’s some soothing effects that the voice has on us – or maybe its message, or all together…are feelings mental energies we applied, invested/magnified with time in our relationships to others, to objects, to the processes of life?

    Because good feelings are more appealing, should one not try to “invest” at all costs and always in the very “proximity” of oneself and conduct that awareness and observance that are real investments in one’s “I”?
    Like being total present and let go of judgments and prejudices?
    How difficult this task could be since being present in an aware manner requires one’s detachment and let go of labeling, judging, just letting things, people, life to flow gently…without intervention?
    Should one feel divided when attempting to observe the “I” and the “Me”? Who observes and who decides what’s observed ? Who is the “I” that is not definitely “Me” and when is “Me” apart from “I” and should they separate for ever? Who stays and why, who goes and where? Can memory erase all the false belief system? How? How quick or how well? ….I would love to hear more about these many questions I raised..

  15. Justin says:

    Hi Lea,
    Negativity in yourself is a signal make you become aware that your thoughts, behaviors, actions, etc are out of alignment with who you really are.

  16. Justin says:

    Wow, a lot of good questions here Corina. Let me just say that our awareness is always evolving and expanding even though at times it doesn’t seem this way.

    We will eventually raise our awareness high enough where we no longer resonate with the “little egoic me.”

    Like anything in life the more we do it the more automatic it becomes. We weren’t born being judgmental/ critical of ourselves and other people.

    We observed this behaviors in people close to us and copied that behavior. Once we realize that observation works for us and criticism’judgment doesn’t, we will be on the road the becoming our “higher selves.”

  17. Justin says:

    Great to hear Nikki. 

  18. torque says:

     true, but in a sense the ego serves only as a cloud that distorts vision, making it impossible to make the best possible decisions. Gurdjieff wrote about all this before. have to say, most of his writing, are being rediscovered, or rewritten. he was very odd, and a somewhat irritating way of his writing. one example would be he writes stories with meaning instead of straight data, though i’ve recently found that this way its all easier to fathom in the long run..

  19. Lisa H. says:

    Hi Justin,
    I like how you distinguish your ‘real self’ from your ‘self’. The false self is all ego driven. Operating from ego breeds emptiness. It is the appearance of having everything on the outside, while really having nothing on the inside.  I also like what you said about people who have the biggest egos don’t even know they are operating from it. That is so true. If the ego gets big enough, there isn’t room for anything else, including consciousness.

  20. Pingback: Self-Acceptance: 5 Practices for Releasing Self-Judgement

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