038: What is Ego?


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Everyone is talking about it but are we all talking about the same thing?

If we’re embarking on any sincere self-discovery work we have to know what the word Ego is actually referring to.

‘Ego’ comes up so frequently in self-help material and everyday conversation that its definition has begun to get more than a little fuzzy.

Without a clear understanding of what this word points to it can be difficult to understand our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors and why it is some of them keep returning.

In this episode, I take a step back from assuming I know what the word Ego means and attempt to piece together a collective understanding of what we’re actually talking about when use this tiny, but complex, three letter word.

Show Notes

  • Ego is the story I create to explain my existence. 2:58
  • People talk about ‘Ego’ a lot but I don’t actually know what it means. 4:35
  • The Ego is you as your personality, your character, your experiences. 5:42
  • The Ego is like a program on a computer. We are the computer, but something else has created the computer and the program… 6:23
  • It’s an important part of who we are and needs our love, care and management. 8:15
  • The Ego is like a program which keeps acting out behaviours from earlier experiences in life. It does this to protect you. 8:51
  • We put ourselves higher or lower than other people in order to feel better. 11:29
  • When you step back and ask, who am I? Who is the one that’s asking that? 13:22
  • The Ego can create friction when a person is trying to get everyone else involved in his or her own personal universe. 15:32
  • The Ego is not something you can fight. 16:39
  • It can be very difficult to show the Ego love and compassion. 18:21
  • The Ego can become dysfunctional when we’re not aware of how it’s behaving. 19:36

People are beginning to see the Ego as something to incorporate and befriend and not something to fight or rid yourself of. 22:24

  • The Ego sees whatever we tell it to look for. If someone has a ‘big’ Ego, he will look for and see all the things which prove his inflated sense of self. 22:55
  • The Ego is a conditioned aspect of our psyche which can be reconditioned. 23:54
  • Other people’s behaviours can trigger our conditioned self (Ego) and cause us to feel anger, fear, etc. However, this doesn’t mean their intention was to hurt us. 26:50
  • Our emotional triggers tell us that there is something inside of us which needs to be looked at. It’s a tap on the shoulder to pay attention. 28:31
  • Ben’s closing thoughts on ‘What is Ego?’ 29:51


Featured image by Aftab Uzzaman.
Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Podcast

The B is for Being Podcast is a collection of conversations with friends, psychologists, and thought-leaders on the most effective tools for uncovering authentic expression and navigating the obstacles we may encounter on the way to discovering ourselves.

About Benjamin

Hi, I’m Benjamin. I podcast and blog about authentic expression and self-discovery. I also make slow-videos for rest and reflection. You can read more about me here.

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