How to Reduce the Ego.

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The ego is that part in us which feeds off praise, compliments and success. When we live in the ego we are inevitably subject to feelings of superiority / inferiority, pride and worthlessness, success and failure. If we want to avoid these negative emotions we need to transcend the ego. If we can transcend the ego, we will find that people are instinctively more attracted to us, even though we are no longer trying to impress. It may seem a great paradox, yet, limiting the role of our ego can make a radical difference to our lives.

These are some factors which can reduce the power of the Ego.

1. Don’t Try to impress

Don’t speak about your own achievements. Don’t drop names of great people you have met. Avoid forcing your accomplishments and success into the conversation. If you have been successful in accumulating wealth, try to keep quiet about it. All these factors may impress your own ego, but, you can guarantee they will have little impact on other people.

2. Be aware of False Modesty.

Sometimes when we say. “O I’m absolutely hopeless”. Actually what we are wanting is for people to respond. ‘O no your not, your really good.” Humility means that we don’t take excessive pride in our achievements, but, it also means we don’t exaggerate our failings in the hope of gaining sympathy.

3. Be Careful of Flattery.

We need to be careful about receiving praise, in some ways it can be as difficult as receiving criticism. The problem is that the ego likes receiving praise and so we can easily become addicted to being flattered. Don’t seek out people who are keen to flatter us, as this is only feeding the ego. Also, be wary of flattering other people in the hope that they will return the compliment.

4. Don’t use your Religion / Spirituality to Impress.

It is a mistake to feel that the practise of a religion / spiritual path gives us a moral superiority over other people. If we feel any superiority we are missing the whole point of spirituality. Spirituality is about a feeling of oneness not of proving that one path is better than others. This can be one of the most insidious types of ego. This is because when we wrap up the ego in a sense of moral superiority, we can easily trick ourselves into thinking we are reducing the ego, when actually we are strengthening it.

5. Be Aware of the extended Ego.

Ego, is not just about feeling we are better than others. Our Ego can also be expressed via national / religious feeling. When we feel a pride or superiority in our religion / nation, there is still the same problem of ego but, it is expressed through an extended sense of reality. This sense of superiority / pride is just as damaging as if it was contained to ourselves. However, we can feel that because it is not directly related to ourselves, somehow there is no ego involved.

6. Don’t Speak badly of Others.

Quite often, when we speak ill of others there is a subtle attempt to make ourselves look better. We may not explicitly say it, but, when we point to someone’s shortcomings we imply that we don’t have these, and therefore we are much better than them. The important thing here is the motive. Be very vigilant; what is your inner motive for criticising someone else? If it is to make you feel / look better, be very careful. The irony of course is that when we criticise someone, often we have the same imperfections ourselves, it is just that we find it easier to see them in other people.

7. What is Your Motivation for Doing Something?

If nobody knew that you had done it, would you still do the action with the same intensity? Can you work without expecting reward and praise? If you can do things selflessly with no desire for people to find out, this is a sign you do not give importance to the ego. If you only do things in the hope of praise, then you are working to satisfy the ego. The sad thing is that if you really work selflessly, at some point, your efforts will receive much greater recognition because people will come to also value the selfless motivation behind the action. Try doing some things but not let anybody no about it. In the NT, this is what Jesus meant when he said. “and with you left hand.

8. Don’t rely on Your Physical Appearance to Impress.

If you rely on your physical beauty to impress this is definitely coming from the ego. This is not to see beauty is bad thing, far from it. But, real beauty is heightened by modesty and the absence of ego. Avoid paying excessive interest to your physical looks.

To reduce our ego, we have to give great importance to our thoughts and motivation behind our actions. We have to be very strict with ourselves and work out why we are doing something. To reduce the ego, requires great vigilence, we need to reflect on each action and motivation. However, to reduce the influence of the ego, is of great value, it is the key to achieving a sense of inner peace.

If you have any other tips for reducing the ego, I would be interested in hearing them!

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106 thoughts on “How to Reduce the Ego.”

  1. 8 notes , disappointing, summarising my character, and what ultimately leads to the majority of my personal suffering.

    thankful to be learning, but I still feel the act of removing my ego is egotistical in itself,

    time, thought, reflection and practice will lead to its dissolution

    great post thanks x

  2. I am very comforted to have found this website. It has reaffirmed my recent thoughts and has made me feel happy rather than sad, clear and purposeful rather than confused and self damning. I found it simple, clear and humble. Thank you for this site.

  3. The words “big ego” jumped out at me, like a voice, the other day. I’ve been fighting with everyone. Thanks for putting into words what my subconscious has been trying to tell me. Its also easy to point out the flaws in my friends but this article made me look at myself.

  4. hi…
    I read this blog when I had been told by some one , that I have EGO. & then I realized something , which I was unaware of ! I felt m down to earth & you may not believe I had (have) ego of the same!
    This article helped me to understand better and I am really thankful! Please let me know if u know any thing about how can I clear out my Ego out of me!
    What is diference between Ego & Pride!!

    Thank you!!:)

  5. Hello,
    I read books by Matthieu Ricard, and what I understand about ego and the elimination of ego is that it’s not about not having a sense of purpose, but it’s more about the way I relate to the world, how my sense of self is not imposed onto others and that I control my needs and emotions and their effects on others and my own thoughts.

    This being said, I am a beginner, and I need to learn a lot more. This website is wonderful and I too wished that I had discovered it before, but I am glad to have found it now!

    Best wishes!

  6. In the last part of this post you talk about being strict with yourself and vigilance.
    Gautama Buddha tried the most extreme form of being strict and vigilant; he almost died doing that.
    Then one day he heard a teacher trying to instruct his pupil about playing a string-instrument. The teacher said: “if the string is too tight, it will break. If the string is too loose, it is unfit for playing music”. Buddha then came to the conclusion that the same should be true for working with the mind:
    One should practice, but not too harsh, but also not too loosely. When the practice becomes a daunting task that leads to loosing courage and abbandoning the practice altogether, the string broke. When the practice becomes a distraction just like watching TV, only when it suits you, it will not help much, the string is too loose. So while I agree with you that a lot of effort is required to reduce the ego; this effort should be applied wisely. Not too much, not too little. This may not seem like much, but I have found that actually this is one of the most difficult things in spiritual practice; to tune practice into music.

  7. I enjoyed reading your article…very helpful ideas on reducing ego. Another way to reduce ego and anger, I find, is to stop comparing…oneself to another, one’s accomplishments to anothers, one’s contributions to another’s….and also to stop defending the ego from criticism. I smolder very quickly on any hint of “unfair” criticism just because I feel any criticism is a blow to my ego. My ego then leads me to act in ways I regret.

    I am now trying to reduce my ego-centric ways by seeing criticism as well-meant advice, putting myself in others’ shoes, cutting other people slack, and thinking more about making others happy.

  8. im 15 years old and i have alot of problems trying to stay calm at school because im always so full of anger, this info has helped me today because i have since calmed down and am back working again, thank you 🙂

  9. The ego is full of solutions to every imaginable problem/challenge issue.

    The ego believes itself superior to everyone and every thing.

    The ego will disagree for the sole purpose of being “right” irregardless of the facts, and will consider no other.

    It will find fault in everything and everyone exempting itself from any practical or rational observation.

    Nothing that you will ever do will satisfy the ego be it a cookie recipe, meeting objectives in the workplace or any casual observation.

    The ego demands recognition and manufactures ways to be in the spotlight.

    Simply put, the ego doesn’t do anything it doesn’t want to do and everyone to follow it’s (lead)….

    The ego seeks praise accepting no responsibility whatsoever and is full of excuses to defend itself and the position (it) takes.

    People who aren’t loved and do not love themselves have the biggest egos of all.

    Egotistical people even exploit others that have ego “issues”.

    If you ignore or challenge the ego…it just gets louder fighting all the more for attention.

    All the ego wants to do is argue!

    The ego’s drive is for power, control, celebrity status and success at all costs even, if it means making itself vulnerable or destroying other peoples lives.

    The ego considers nothing.

    Knows everything.

    And yet, knows nothing at all!!!

    In fact, the ego is a LIE.

    The ego is not real, a fraud!

    Don’t take the ego too seriously!

    Laugh at the ego!!!

    The ego is a fool.

  10. Here is a recepie to elimintate the EGO.

    1. Never Criticize,
    2. Never Condemn,
    3. Never Accuse
    4. Never State a absolutt opinion about anything, use words like; i think, As I see it … etc.

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