Click here to read the Arabic version of this article.
There is a very fine line between Self and Ego.
Today we hear a lot of talk about self, how to deal with the self, how the self has been neglected throughout our childhood and teenage years, and how to mend that neglect by giving “the needed attention to the self”.
However, very few people out there have been addressing the subject of Ego presence within us, with the intention of increasing awareness to the fact that there is a very fine, almost invisible line differentiating between Ego and Self; and that most importantly, their relation to one another is absolutely inverse – growing one directly belittles the other.
Words like self-love, self-esteem, self-worth, self-empowerment… yes, even self-employed can easily and more often be addressing the ego within us disguised in as “self”.
Self-love can very easily be greed in disguise, self-worth can be self-sabotage in disguise and self-empowerment can be a lack of confidence in disguise.
This does not mean we should not care for ourselves; however, it is just intended to initiate a clarification statement differentiating between Ego and Self.
What is Ego
The word itself originates from 19th century Latin and literally means “I”.
Anything going along the lines of:
- Sense of entitlement or
- “Amour Propre” which is the french of “self-love”
Are different facets of Ego.
It is proven in psychology that the formation and development of Ego begin along with the development of our primal personality parts.
That is basically when we started acknowledging possession or even before that; when we first knew we could refuse or accept things and as a result, we said NO or refused to eat by tilting our little heads to the opposite side of the spoon.
Yes, Ego is deeply rooted in us.
Ego is loud, stubborn and self-important. It makes us believe we’re the most important person in the room.
The Ego thrives off of other people’s constant approval, self-validation, it is always in need of attention and gratification.
Mainly, the Ego is about how we constantly compare ourselves to others and is definitely not a trait of the self.
What is The Self
Think of looking at a sleeping newborn.
The Self generally refers to the authentic being, untouched, pure, serene.
It is someone’s soul, their center and core.
The Self refers to our higher self, the part of us deep within connected to God, Nature, The Universe, Eternity, Allah… however, anyone calls it!
As opposed to the Ego the Self is quiet, assured, grounded, and deep.
It is the only part within us that knows what the right thing to do is, even if by choice we listen to our Ego voices instead.
In difficult times more than ever, we ought to listen to the voice of our higher self and follow thoughtlessly.
Mainly, the Self is about constantly comparing ourselves to ourselves with the intention of improving.
Here are some traits of Ego vs traits of Self.