The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Big ego, small ego

We can all recognise the big ego.

It’s usually one or all of self-important, self-righteous and self-serving.

We don’t hear much about the small ego.

The small ego is self-deprecating and self-devaluing. The small ego is people-pleasing. The small ego is projecting our worst opinions about ourselves into the minds of others.

The small ego is saying, “What would other people think?”

Big ego or small ego, it’s all still ego.

And whether it’s big or small, our ego gets in the way of being our best selves.

Finding a way to overcome our ego, big or small, is hard.

But it’s necessary.

Because overcoming the very thing that is preoccupied with our self can allow us to bring the best version of that self to the world.

The distinction between “ego” and “self”

There is an important distinction, I think, between the ego and the self. The ego is the preoccupation with self. The self is the truth that lies within.

Ego is never sustaining or beneficial, and when we become aware that our ego is getting in the way, we must take action to overcome it and find humility again.

Self, on the other hand, is integral to everything that’s good in our lives. Without exploring our inner truth, our most vital self, we’re in danger of finding ourselves stuck on the wrong track until the tragic day when we realise just what we’ve done and how there’s no time left to undo it.

How to invest in the self

Investment in the self is work. And it takes time too, probably the rest of your life.

The good news is you can start right now, today, with reflection and self-exploration.

Don’t look for apps. Our predilection with apps and software is the survival psychology of our old brain trying to take a shortcut. There is no shortcut.

Start with a pen and a notebook, start today, and keep going until you’re done, however many decades into the future that might be.


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