Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Ego is like a suit of armor; it is designed to keep us safe.
However, the days of getting eaten by Sabre Tooth Tigers or fighting on medieval battlefields have long gone.
But this safety mechanism known as the Ego still behaves like we are living back in those days and in the modern day where there is little threat, the Ego, gets carried away with itself.
The Ego is responsible for judging, justifying and fear.
As Humans we have 2 main priorities as a species.
#1 stay alive
#2 create more humans
If we do not maintain #1 we cannot do #2…
In the modern day world Ego is responsible for our Stress, Anxiety and worries…
There are 6 needs that the Ego must meet…
Need to Judge
Need to Justify
Need to Know
Need to be Right
Need to Look Good
Need to Get Even
We judge all the time and judgement is required to keep us safe when we are driving a car for example.
However, when we are judging another person based on their appearance, beliefs etc….this is where the Ego is getting over excited and dominating our thinking.
Because we don’t like to be judged, we justify when we make mistakes. A great example of this is being late.
“Sorry I am late…..traffic was crazy (justification)”
In this example we are getting our justification in from the very start of the conversation because this means that if we can provide a good justification, it may stop the other person from judging us too hard.
We do it naturally, I am sure you have done this heaps of times.
This is where we can start to understand that our Ego is very much a subconscious mindset.
Let’s explore the need to know…. Have you ever found yourself wanting to know more information than you currently have?
It is a common human desire, we all want to know more than we need too….but why?
Because the more information we have, the safer we feel.
Even more than that….the more information we have, the less chance we have of being wrong.
Because after all, if we are wrong, that will leave us open to judgement, ridicule and possibly being isolated.
Bingo, step up the Ego saying “I will protect you from all of those feelings” … hence why we need to know more than we need to.
The need to look good is all about being accepted in our tribe, social circle or culture that we belong too.
Imagine if you turned up for work wearing just your Borat Thong… yeah we would be judged and very probably isolated as people move away swiftly.
Hence why we feel we must look good, to be able to blend in.
This is why many sports fans like to wear their team colours and shirts when they are watching their team. It is the sign of belonging to a tribe.
What do tribes provide?
Safety…. Oh there it is again…the Ego, subconsciously saying that we need to dress in a certain way so that we fit in.
So, now we understand the Ego a little better we can recognise that it is primarily designed to keep us safe.
If we notice that we are coming from an Ego based behaviour, we can recognise that perhaps, we are fearful of something.
With this awareness and knowledge…we can then create choices and perspectives that will make us feel safe.
Because when we feel safe, the Ego calms down and just sits in the background observing and waiting for the next opportunity to jump into action and rescue us, to keep us safe.
Raise your awareness to Ego and you will become more confident, you will understand not only yourself, but others…
As a Leader, it is imperative to know the Ego well and to be able to regulate it in ourselves and in others.