That Voice in Your Head... Is Your Ego

21 February, 2018

That voice in your head that guides you and responds when you ask who you are… is called your ego. But, do you know what it really is?

Your ego is the product of the emotions, thoughts and memories you’ve accumulated over your whole life. But it also has to do with specific beliefs that make you see reality how you do and believe that this is the only true way.

The ego tends to adopt labels, like a nationality or a race. It also identifies with everything you possess, including the way you view society. But what happens if you lose this at some point? What happens if you have to give up your nationality because you go to another country or if you lose your possessions?

When everything you identify with disappears, you sink into an existential crisis because you think you’ve lost your identity. It happens because you forget that you aren’t that voice in your head. You aren’t your ego, even though your ego does form part of you.

“The greatest lie is the ego”

-Alejandro Jodorowsky-

What is the purpose of that voice in your head?

You might be thinking that if the ego is somewhat  “negative”, then why is it there and why is it so hard to keep it from driving our lives? Well, the ego is nothing more than a survival mechanism. Because, from birth, we unconsciously build up our ego.

What do parents do as soon as they have a baby? They give it a name, the first identification. Then the baby starts to grow and understands that there are possessive words like “mine.” He starts to identify with them: “this doll is mine, not yours”.

The voice in your head

As the child grows, their environment will teach them rules and customs. They will understand what they can and cannot do, and will start to behave in a certain way. On top of this, they will also soak up the beliefs that predominate in their family: “all men are the same”, “if you say no to everything, people won’t like you”…

That voice in your head enables you to survive by quickly learning the rules of this game called life. You know how to get people to like you. However, the ego is always looking outside of you, making you believe that you need a relationship, lots of friends and external approval to be happy. But that’s not actually true.

“The ego is the artificial individuality created by family and society. Your mental cage.”

-Alejandro Jodorowsky-

Behind the ego is your true self

To break out of this identification with the ego, reflect on the difference between what this voice is dictating to you and the person you truly are. Each time you judge someone or you compare yourself with someone, you need to know how to stop and say “wait, this isn’t me, this is just what my ego says I am.”

It is that voice in your head that will yell out, “she’s better than you,” that’s going to make you feel unworthy. Your ego can destroy your self-esteem. It is that voice in your head that will make you always feel insecure, even when you’re in a situation you know you’re good at. This is what you need to understand.

Identity and self-esteem

Listening to the voice in your head, or your true self

Behind the ego is where your true self lies. A self that you don’t usually listen to, even though it’s trying to get your attention, believe me. A self that says “end this abusive relationship”, but who gets drowned out by the ego saying things like, “what will happen to you if you’re single at your age? Better stick with it.”

Despite the fact that this voice in your head has helped you survive since birth by adapting to the society you’ve grown up in, there is a point when it’s no longer useful, and actually becomes your enemy.

So, unless you educate it, whenever it can it will make you compare yourself to others. It will make you feel like it is others who determine whether you are happy or unhappy… And then, as the years go by, this identification will probably get stronger.

Free yourself from the need for fame, the need to win, to always be right, to be superior, to have more. Free yourself from the need to attach yourself to things and people, free yourself from feeling offended when someone says something you don’t like. That voice in your head is your ego, tame it.

Do the exact opposite. Disassociate yourself from it, question it. Sometimes the ego is a great liar and identifying with it is a huge mistake. It won’t be easy to get it to step aside or to take its authority away. In fact, it may even make you doubt whether you can be anything without it. Cover your ears. In many cases, the ego is just a fake, the voice of your fears.

A woman's face covered by flowers.