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Column: Let the ego go

Photo by Trinity Eaton

The word “ego” always had a negative connotation in my mind. Like most people, I associated having an ego with being conceited and horrible. If you told me that I had an ego a year ago, I would have been offended. It wasn’t until recently that I learned it’s actually something we all have, and it isn’t inherently bad.

Egos are our sense of self, and they can aid us with acknowledging our accomplishments or practicing self-love. It’s important to have a healthy ego and regard yourself as an important person. However, egos can become bad when we constantly feed them in negative ways to the point where we feel that we don’t have any more growing to do.

Our egos can get in the way of friendships, romantic relationships and even our self-esteem. It’s one of the worst forms of self-sabotage because it isn’t recognizable unless you’re willing to accept imperfection.

As much as we try to deny it, a lot of people don’t like to admit when they’re wrong. Our egos tell us that we must always be right and control everything. It causes us to do things like not raise our hand to guess answers in class or argue when someone has a different opinion.

What I’ve come to understand is that a lot of things are out of my control, and one of my favorite games is “The Sims 4,” so I’m obviously a control freak. Coming to this realization was scary for me because my ego made me think that I could control every outcome.

Controlling everything is impossible. We can’t control things like what people think about us, if our package will arrive on time or if we will get hired for a specific job. I had to understand that being okay with every outcome was the only way to protect my peace.

It’s also impossible to never be wrong. Embracing mistakes and admitting when you’re wrong starves the ego, and it helps us understand that it’s normal to not be perfect.

Another thing I realized was that my ego was preventing me from being open-minded. Everyone has different opinions, and it’s senseless to allow our egos to make us upset about them. I’ve had my fair share of arguments, but when I look back at them, I realize that some could have been avoided.

Nowadays when I catch myself arguing I think about the fact that everyone has different perspectives, and we’re all at different stages in our journey. Everyone won’t think the same way, and that’s okay.

Being closed-minded means choosing to only hear your ego. On the other hand, being an open-minded person means being someone who’s willing to grow, and I think growing is one of the main purposes of life.

It’s so beneficial to be mindful of your ego, and taking the steps to release it has been the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I’m happy to be growing into the person I want to become, and I can even successfully say that I spend a little less time playing “The Sims 4.”

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