How do you overcome a fragile ego

The ego: what is the ego and what does it mean for your life?

In this article I want to explain to you what the ego actually is and what enormous influence it has on your life.

“Ego” is a term that is used synonymously with the term “self-image” in (spiritual) literature.

The problem with self-image is the following:

No matter what self-image you have of yourself - it is always an illusion. That is not you!

Your name, your title, your job, your environment, your thoughts - that's not you. It's just impressions from the external world that you have put together to form your self-image.

This ego has nothing to do with your true nature!

This may sound a bit confusing at first, but in reality it is pretty simple:

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What does "the ego" mean? (Definition)

When one speaks of the ego, one means the image that you have of yourself. Or to put it another way: Who you think you are.

This image (= ego) that you have of yourself essentially determines:

  • how you act
  • how you feel
  • and what status and self-worth you ascribe to yourself.

For example, if you see yourself as being unconfident and fearful, then you will behave in the same way outwardly. If you have a strong self-image (one would also say a strong ego), you will act accordingly.

So it makes sense to have a strong and positive self-image of yourself if you want to lead a happy and successful life.

But where do you get this positive self-image from? Is it innate or can it be changed at any time? You will find out in the next section:

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How does the ego develop?

We are all born without ego. As a small child, we have no idea who we are.

Small children therefore often speak of themselves in the third person, e.g. "Moritz is hungry" instead of "I'm hungry". Children also cannot yet distinguish between themselves and other people. In the eyes of the child, the person standing in front of him and the child are one, there is no separation into two separate parts.

In the course of development, shaped by the conditioning of its environment, the child develops a self-image, an ego. The parents call it "Moritz" and so the child thinks it is "Moritz". The name could also have been Max, Peter or Joshua.

The name itself is already fiction and yet this connection is solidifying more and more.

Then the parents come and say: "You can do it well and not so well, you are technically gifted and linguistically untalented, you are so and so and so.“The child absorbs these impressions and uses them to create a false idea of ​​himself.

What your surroundings tell you is all wrong. Nobody knows what you're good at, what you can and can't do.

So throw away everything other people have ever told you to do.

None of that is you. Only you yourself can know who you really are, no one else.

For example, I was always told that I was good at the technical field, that I was a "technician". Then I started studying electrical engineering. After a while, I began to have doubts and made my way to myself. I threw away everything that other people felt was right for me and started to be myself.

Now I know that I am not a "technician" but rather that I am drawn to spirituality and psychology.

These conditioning and influences naturally continue beyond childhood.

Every day one lives this false self anew. You build your own frame over time (based on the picture you have of yourself) and can then only move within this frame.


Somebody once told you (or in some other subconscious way) that you were shy. You recorded this message and built it into your self-image. You now act according to your self-image, move within this fictitious framework that you have built up and therefore cannot act otherwise. You can't break out of the ordinary.

The problem with the ego

So this ego, this false self, this illusion of you is holding you back from fully developing yourself.

It forms the framework of your possibilities. It marks out, so to speak, the playing field on which you play in your life.

And not only that: it also keeps you trapped in the role you play.

Again briefly to explain: Your ego is your self-image, which you have developed by identifying yourself with your ROLE: So with your environment, your title, what other people say about you or your job ...

Instead of saying:

  • "I do this job"
  • "I have this title"
  • "I don't act confidently"

or so you say:

  • "I am this job"
  • "I am this title"
  • "I'm not confident"

Do you see the difference

By identifying with these things, you are building a false self. You say: "I'm a rocker, a banker, a good-for-nothing, an emo, a scaredy rabbit, a so-called“You build a bowl around your true being piece by piece.

This creates another problem:

You - or rather your ego - immediately feel attacked when someone tries to penetrate through your false shell.

A doctor recently wrote to me angrily that she no longer wants my newsletter because I answered “Hey Sonja” (name changed) instead of “Hallo Frau Dr. So and so ”.

I can understand your feelings well. For years she has invested in this false self, in this title, and now I address her by her first name. This is a frontal attack on the ego in which she has invested hard for years. So it's totally understandable that she, or rather her ego, feels attacked.

Or point out to a rocker that he is actually totally insecure and gentle inside. He's about to hit you on the hat. Now he has worked so long to keep this appearance of the tough guy and there you come and uncover his true being.

So the ego can make life really difficult for you ...

And you will be trapped in your limiting self-image until you can finally detach yourself from it.

But is that even possible?

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Is It Possible to Overcome the Ego?

Imagine if you could just drop this illusion of yourself and freely decide how and who you want to be. That would be the way to ultimate freedom.

In addition, no one could harm us anymore because there is nothing left that could be hurt. (If you no longer have a rigid self-image, no ego, no one can attack you anymore, because there is nothing left that could be attacked).

Now it is so that it is not that easy. If that were the case, we would all happily hop around and everyone would only have the self they want.

You cannot completely dissolve the ego overnight. But what you can do:

Develop a more fluid self-image.

This is the first step. You are trying to transform your self-image from rigid to fluid. After that, it's easier to let it go completely.

That means you try to break your rigid self-image at one corner or the other and open it up to new possibilities. So you consciously leave your role and your limiting “playing field”.

This reads a bit complicated, so here's an example:

If your self-image has problems reaching out to other people, then you have to try somehow to break this self-image in order to let in new possibilities for action. You have to soften this rigid framework so that you first have the opportunity (and can see it in your mind's eye) how you approach other people. Because until you cannot “see” something in your mind's eye, you cannot do it in real life either.

In practical terms, this means: Go out and actively expose yourself to new impressions, new environments and new situations. Try to be open about this. You have to try to allow the possibility of something to happen that doesn't match your current self-image.

Your ego will likely resist it a lot because it doesn't want to change. It wants to stay the same as before. That means you have to actively force it, even if you are afraid of it. You have to go out actively and say to yourself: "I soften my self-image, I act outside of my role and do something that does not correspond to "me" (my self-image).

Another way to dissolve the ego is through meditation.

In meditation, you gradually let go of your self-image. You concentrate completely on yourself, your body and your breathing.

All of your conditioning, the opinions of your parents and friends, what your teachers or co-workers are constantly trying to teach you, will gradually fall away from you. This self-image, which you have acquired over the years and which is nothing more than an illusion, dissolves.

The more regularly you meditate, the more you will find yourself and your true nature.

Summary: the importance of the ego

Understanding the concept of the ego is admittedly not that easy. I hope I was able to explain it to you in an understandable way.

Here is a mini summary again:

  • Your ego is your false self. It's an illusion that you've put together in your head.
  • You always act according to your ego.
  • The bigger and more rigid your ego, the faster you feel attacked and hurt and the fewer opportunities you have to break out of this framework and do something that does not correspond to this self-image.
  • The solution now is to make this self-image more fluid, to break it open and to allow new possibilities for action.
  • You do this by stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that are beyond this framework and that do not correspond to your current self-image.

The more fluid your self-image becomes, the more opportunities you have to develop.

And maybe you can even let your ego go completely in the end and thus gain total freedom.

Then you arrived. That is the ultimate goal.

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