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The human ego is how we derive a sense of self. It’s always looking for a stronger sense of identity, and it does that via a feeling of superiority. It cannot tolerate inferiority.

The ego lives in pain and lack. It never feels like it’s enough, so it is constantly trying to add to its sense of self to feel superior.

It starts in childhood – I can jump higher than you, or my picture is better, so I am superior.

As an adult, it does it, subtly usually, through the following avenues:

Appearance, the body, including clothes – I look better than you, so I am superior

Possessions – I have nicer things than you, so I am superior

Social position – I have a better social position, so I am superior

Achievement – I won these awards, so I am superior

Knowledge – I am more highly educated. I got a higher level of education / did that specialization, so I am superior

Travel and experiences – I am more cultured, more well-traveled, and more well-rounded, so I am superior

Identify with ancestors – my ancestors did this amazing thing, so I am superior

Nationality – my country is the better one, so I am superior

Coolness factor – I’m cooler than you and care less, so I am superior

Resentment, grievances, anger towards others – you are bad, so I am superior

Piousness – I am more religious and morally superior

Victim identity is also a very powerful form of identity – I had these bad things happen to me, and you don’t know how that feels, so I am superior.

Seeing lack of wealth as morally superior

Putting someone else down because they are rich/thin/beautiful – women will call other women a bitch for this; it comes from their ego because they feel inferior, and it makes them feel momentarily superior (it’s also the reason their ego will deny themselves ever becoming that)

Another sneaky way the ego comes in is thinking that little old you who never wants to stand out has no ego like other people when the sole reason you hide and stay small is because of your ego – if I am not visible, no one can put me down so I won’t risk being inferior.

Additionally, it will hold you back from asking for help, applying for a job, going for a promotion, promoting yourself, or asking for a sale – the ego avoids the possibility of rejection at all costs.

The egoic mind absolutely needs to be right. I’m right, and you are wrong, so I am superior. The most comical “I’m right” opinion I hear lately is “you’re wrong, Niamh; the ego isn’t a bad thing.” Maybe they are right 🙂.

And just for fun, here are a few things the ego mind likes to silently say to itself to feel superior:

I have a more impressive future vision than you.
I have a better marital relationship than you.
I have more well-behaved kids than you.
I had a better pregnancy than you.
I have a better job than you.
I had a nicer holiday than you. I went to a more exotic place.
I eat more organic food than you.
I bake better cakes than you.
I have more serious problems than you.
I had THE most awful thing happen to me.
My kids get better grades than yours.
My grandchildren are by far the best and most beautiful.
The list goes on 🙂.

As you can see, the ego runs rampant throughout our lives.

Obviously, there are varying degrees of attachment to it. If you know someone with a strong attachment to ego, have compassion for them because they suffer greatly. No egoic need that is met will ever bring lasting fulfillment. Remember, the ego lives in a continuous state of lack and FOMO – fear of missing out.

The way you detach from the ego is through vigilant awareness. Your true nature has no attachment to achievement, being better, status, what people think, etc. Your true nature marinates in the joy of stillness and silence. It does not judge. It approaches life with a sense of lightness, humility, and spontaneity.

Another way to detach is through daily meditation. The more connected you are with your inner stillness, the less distracted you will be by the ego.

The more you can release yourself from egoic attachments, the more lightness, joy, and freedom you will have in your life.

However, please do give yourself some grace with trying to detach from it. It’s not that easy. To quote Rag ‘N Bone man, “I’m only human after all,” and it’s all part of the crazy human adventure that we are here to experience.

Want to invest six weeks of your life consciously and purposefully detaching from your ego? Click the link in the comments for details of my Live Lighter Solution program, which kicks off in September – an incredible early-bird bonus for those who sign up first.

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