The ego has been the source of many a good article and usually, the article is not very flattering for the ego.
What is the ego - what does it mean and does it do? Psychoanalysis says the ego is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. The ego is the image you have of yourself. It's a mask that you wear and want others to see you this way. Unfortunately, it can come in the form of jealousy, fear, control, expectations, need, etc. It's not necessarily your true self; it;s not your soul self.
How do you know when the ego is getting out of hand or not working in your favor?
When you get caught in the mindless act of brain chatter - thinking in circles. That little voice inside of your head that tells you - you aren't good enough.
When you get consumed by fears, doubts, self-criticisms and basis self-inaccuracies. The ego is out of control.
When your self-worth is dependent on stuff - external stuff like fancy clothes, expensive jewels and cars, a hot partner, etc. Nothing will be enough and that is the ego.
When you need validation from others that you are the "be all, end all".
These statements are your ego rearing its ugly head! BUT - there is a good side to the ego. There is!
You'll know the ego is not in control and you are in control when:
Your inner voice or intuition guides you and you listen. Follow your heart.
You can accept others as they are - no judgment. You just know that everyone has a path and you accept this as truth.
Things feel a little effortless because you know you are in the right place and this is your time. You know that the universe wants what's best for you so you allow life to unfold. You don't force things; you don't beg to God for something and you don't throw tantrums. You allow the best to come to you.
You have taken the time to nurture your passions which lead you to know your life purpose. This can change in life so always remain open and curious about opportunities. Listen to your intuition and see if it's speaking to you with a mask on or from the heart, with open honesty.
View and meet others from your highest self. The ego doesn't like this and can't exist in this environment. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the nice quality of relationships you have with others when you meet them from your highest self.
Use your ego like a mindful tool and source of information. You know if that chatter is right and in alignment with your true self. Listen and respond with your truth. The ability to believe in yourself requires a healthy development of ego, to process your surroundings, in a way that supports your life vision and personal values.