The Illusion of the Ego

As life continually changes, so must our minds, beliefs, and behaviors.

“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.”

― Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

One of the foes that challenges us on our self-discovery journey is the ego. The best leaders and positive difference-makers excel at managing it. If we do not mindfully confront and negotiate with our ego daily, it can keep us stuck in the past, never letting go — and anxious about the future, never appreciating the present. It can also mentally imprison us, inhibiting us from living life to our highest and truest calling. 

We must not allow outdated beliefs and the shadows of yesterday to darken the footprints of tomorrow. Each day is a unique opportunity to move forward in truth. The following two, ego “I Am” statements can prevent us from changing our thoughts and improving our lives.

“I Am” What I Do

It is easy to fall into the trap of connecting our worth to the roles we hold, especially when navigating a society that glorifies titles and statuses. When we strive to conform to the status quo, we put ourselves in mental prisons. This act ultimately dishonors our wisdom, grace, and uniqueness. Every day, we must overcome the fear of being who we are. We are more than our positions and the labels society attempts to put on our existence. Realize our most authentic selves can never be compressed onto our resumes or validated by the number of followers we have on social media. 

“I Am” What Other People Think of Me

There is power in the virtue of patience; yet, we live in a culture of instant gratification. We can search for meaning, approval, and purpose through the opinions of others, even if it goes against our truth, values, and moral compass. Becoming consumed and obsessed with our reputations takes our mind, body, and spirit out of alignment. Legendary UCLA basketball coach and servant leader John Wooden brought a brilliant perspective to this constant internal battle by saying, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” 

As life continually changes, so must our minds, beliefs, and behaviors. Our ego is always lingering in the shadows, waiting to destruct and unravel everything we have worked to build. May the driving force behind what we do, say and think today be influenced not by an unhinged ego of fear, hate, and negativity but by an unwavering conviction of hope, love, and optimism.


P.S. If you are in search of a book recommendation, our team at The Daily Coach highly recommends Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. This international bestseller draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts.


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