Distinguishing Your Ego

by Mark Ivar Myhre on October 12, 2010

Is it you or your ego talking?

If you’re wondering whether or not you have a problem with your ego, you can get a pretty good idea by answering these questions.

How much time do I spend ACTIVELY thinking and feeling?

Do I engage my thoughts and feelings, or do I put things on ‘automatic pilot’ – just sort of coasting along…?

Do I ponder, evaluate, create opinions, make positive judgments…?

Or do I vegetate in front of the TV, or vegetate through life in general…?

Am I just going through the motions day after day after day?

Am I an active participant in my life?  Or do I withdraw, only coming out of my shell when I’m forced to?

And to a lesser extent, am I willing to FEEL my feelings?  Do I seek out my feelings?

When it comes to wondering if you’re ‘being led around by your ego’ – perhaps one of the biggest determining factors may be your WILLINGNESS to EVALUATE your life.  And to QUESTION your ASSUMPTIONS.

Here’s a habit I’ve developed:

I will often question my own thoughts.  When I hear a thought in my head that sounds a little ‘off’ – I try to catch myself and say, “Is that really true, Mark?”

Or, “Where did that thought come from?  Cause it sounds like nonsense.”

More and more, I try to be AWARE of what thoughts are going on in my head.  Because as much as I love to talk about how important it is to feel your feelings, I’m really more of a thinker than a feeler.

But for most of my life, I did NOT evaluate my thinking.  And I never questioned my assumptions.  Oh, I questioned everyone else’s.  But never my own.  “Hey, if I think it; if I believe it; it HAS to be true!”

Meanwhile, being cynical of everything else.  Especially if it didn’t conform to what I already believed.

That’s a recipe for a life controlled by ego.

And when you think about how many people never question their own thoughts, then you can see how we live in a world controlled by ego.

The person who never lives with uncertainty or ambiguity or confusion is a dangerous person. The people who ‘have it all figured out’ are a threat to themselves, and to you and me.  (Don’t make me list the obvious examples!)

Because that’s a textbook case of a life ruled by ego.

Anyway, that’s one way you can take charge of your own life, and make sure you’re NOT being led around by your ego – by consistently questioning your thoughts and assumptions.

I’ve found most people really are too lazy to think for themselves.  Much less EVALUATE their thinking.  And that means some other part of their consciousness has to do the thinking for them.

But just because you’re a thinker doesn’t mean you won’t have an ego problem.

Remember, your ego is closer to you than any other part of your consciousness.  It is ALWAYS with you.

When I first really ‘got it’ that I have an ego, it terrified me.  It’s like sitting alone in a dark closet for a while, and then all of a sudden realizing there’s someone else in there with you.  It was that kind of a feeling.

(Not that I’m trying to scare you here…!)

Another way to discover more about your ego is to look at the stories you tell yourself.  I’ve often written about ‘the little story’ we all create as a way to make sense of the pain, the shame, and our own limitations.  It’s a way to explain the way things are.

In addition to ‘the little story’ it’s also quite common to create stories around fear and anger, for example.

Fear stories.  That’s how we create imaginary fear.  You couldn’t go around being scared without a collection of stories.  You HAVE to create stories to be afraid.  I see so many people who work themselves up into a lather over imaginary stories about what ‘might’ happen or what ‘could’ happen or even what ‘will’ happen.

There’s a very good chance all of those stories are produced by your ego.

Also, with anger stories.  “I have the RIGHT to be angry!  Look at what they did to me!” The sad part, the poignant part; that’s a true statement.  You really do have the right to be angry.  Just like you have the right to me miserable.

Of course, you have the right to forgive, too.  That’s the part which gets overlooked!

Those anger stories come from the ego more often than not.

Because you’re really a good, honest, loving person at heart, right?

Anyway, these are just a few ways to learn more about your ego.

First, spend the time evaluating your thoughts and assumptions.

Second, listen to the stories you tell yourself, especially the stories that make you scared or angry.  (Pity stories are good for ego discernment as well.)

Third, remember your ego stands closer to you than any other part of your consciousness.  With practice, you CAN learn to distinguish its voice quite proficiently.  And then, a funny thing happens.

You see the world more clearly.  You understand things better.  You become wiser.  And of course, it becomes much, much easier to read other people.  You can see other people’s ego games a mile away.

So it becomes much more difficult to be a victim, or to be manipulated or controlled by others.  Because their efforts will seem so obvious and so clumsy.  It’s like you rise above the crowd a little bit, and you can see the parade better.

That’s just one small perk of learning about and healing your ego, which you can do by going here –


Can you imagine what would happen in your life if you stopped the fear stories?

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