What happens when the ego becomes overwhelmed is usually not pretty, to put it bluntly.
But there are many definitions of the word ego. Let’s make things easy and first clarify what we’ll be referring to in this article when we talk about the ego.
Interestingly, the word ego in Latin means “I”. So we know that these two concepts are linked. The ego is who you are beyond your physical life. Strip away all of the material things, and what is left? Just you. Or me. Or I.
Think about that for a moment. Who are you, really, beneath all of the influences of the external world? How do you define yourself? What makes up who you truly are? Your essence.
Well, some immediate answers come to mind. I am my personality, my beliefs, my attitudes, or my values. This list is a very good start.
But it is also as if the ego has its own identity. It’s own agenda. And while it is trying to protect you, it really just keeps you stuck.
The Tyranny of the Bruised Ego
For example, take the term “bruised ego”. What is happening here?
Well, this usually happens when someone gets vulnerable and then experiences rejection or a sense of failure in response. We have been humiliated, and this separate part of ourselves, the ego, must do something about it.
So here comes the anger & resentment. The pain & the hate. In order to teach you not to do whatever caused the upset in the first place ever again, the ego induces this chaotic response.
But today, the importance of getting vulnerable has been well documented. Take Brene Brown’s work for example. Her fantastic books and famous Ted Talk explain how important getting vulnerable and daring greatly are to the development of the soul.
But the ego keeps us stuck. Sure, it’s under the guise of protecting us, but yielding to the ego whenever things get uncomfortable will prevent us from growing and reaching our potential.
So, What Happens When the Ego Becomes Overwhelmed?
Things can get really ugly, really fast. The overwhelmed ego becomes violent and lashes out. It fuels fiery anger and smoldering resentment. It creates an environment in our bodies, minds, and souls that is not at all conducive to success.
Nothing good comes out of an overwhelmed ego.
So How Do We Defeat, or At Least Calm Down, the Ego?
There are many remedies for an overwhelmed ego. Prayer and meditation are pretty much always helpful, and can be applied here to great avail. A strong dose of self-care, exercise, or distraction can also ease the pain of an overwhelmed ego in the short term.
Longer term solutions include psychotherapy and personal development work.
Conquering the ego is no small feat, but freedom from its control is so worth it.
How do you define ego? Let us know in the comment section below! We love hearing from you <3
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