It is one of the first things that we develop about ourselves. It gives us a sense of who we are, and a sense of defence or protection from potential attacks! But ironically, this is the thing that actually breaks us, hurts us, brings us down, affects our relationships, and eats up our capacity to love too! This thing that we give much importance than it ever actually deserved – this thing called EGO!
The people who don’t tend to get affected by other people’s comments, remarks, attacks etc are the self-assured ones who never gave any prominence to the ego. What could anyone possibly take from a person who doesn’t have anything that can be taken? That’s the belief in self that a self-assured person has! It’s unflinching, unwavering, resolute and gives confidence to others around them too. It commands respect from most people automatically. And people believe people who believe in themselves. People break people who believe in egos. Because that’s the power we have given them when we create a fake bubble that is fragile enough to be broken. It’s not that they intended to break it. But since it’s a bubble, it’s so fragile that it can easily be broken.
A few signs that we may be feeding our ego are:
- If we get affected by feedback
- If we get agitated when someone misbehaves with us
- If we keep thinking of past quarrels and how else we should’ve given it back to them
- If we get hurt easily
- If we engage in behaviours out of fear of getting hurt
- If we are super guarded about ourselves
- If we try to prove a point
- If we are not flexible and have our own rigid ways of thinking and seeing the world
- If we are not open to considering other’s views unless they prove themselves
- If we are open to only a few people whom we think are worthy
- If we find it not so easy to appreciate others in as many words
A few signs that we are self-assured are:
- We tend to be more amused with people’s comments than get affected or angered.
- We don’t try to prove ourselves or our point.
- We are open to considering others views irrespective of their background or familiarity
- We don’t have too many rules for others’ existence
- We don’t lose it because someone did not ‘listen’ to us
- Even if someone misbehaves, we see it as their behaviour rather than a personal attack
- We do what we love to do without feeling awkward about what other’s might think of us
- We exist freely and we give room for others too
- We are flexible
- We don’t measure people by standards
- We are ready to take feedback without getting into a feeling of being threatened or attacked
- We know how to be happy since we don’t carry too many monkeys
Self-assured people hence are lighter in life. Not too many monkeys to carry based on others’ perceptions and behaviours. No big deal of getting hurt because it’s only the ego that can get hurt. Not the heart, which is always open. You see them more cool and even-tempered. They neither think too much of themselves nor others. They appreciate people’s excellence and uniqueness without comparing themselves or putting themselves down. They know how to appreciate their own uniqueness too. They believe there’s enough space for each person to exist in this world without having to compete and prove one over the other. Competition is in a healthy spirit – not to prove or disprove.
When you get things right, if you build your ego instead of confidence, then there develops a fear of not getting it right the next time. However, if you are self-assured, you won’t be overly affected by rights and wrongs as you are always ready to learn. And you see the larger picture of life where we are just a small speck of dirt. Right or wrong, successful or not, that aspect of us doesn’t change!
So, how do we achieve that state? By reminding ourselves every time we feel hurt that it is the ego that’s taking that ride, not the heart. The more we call it out for ourselves, the easier it gets for us to not engage with it. The more we give it importance, the more it takes prominence. The only way you can beat it is by calling it out each time. Question your understanding and expand your thinking. There’s always more than what we know. If we remind ourselves to be humble every day as we wake up, the heart will help us overcome the ego. So much of love gets lost in translation because of our ego. It doesn’t preserve us in any way. In fact, it creates reasons to be broken each day. Find an example around you of a self-assured person. Observe how they think, how they react, and how they conduct themselves. Anytime when you find yourself in an egoistic territory, quickly ask yourself how would that inspiration of yours respond in this situation. And you’ll find your answers to get there. The heart is never afraid of being hurt. It always knows it can heal. It is the ego that is afraid of being hurt. Because it gets broken!