As per the dictionary it is defined as – “a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance”.
Analyze this - "he needed a boost to his ego" is a commonly heard sentence.
Synonyms of ego:
self-importance, self-esteem, self-worth, self-conceit, self-image, self-confidence; self-respect, amour propre
In psychoanalysis it 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.”
Ego is an interesting part of human nature. It does not exist in any other life forms other than humans.
Even amongst humans, a child is born without any ego and is at peace with the world and accepts himself or herself completely. It is only later as a part of growing up that the ego states starts developing this. A child then sees self as a reflection of what others see or think of her as.
The self worth of a child starts slowly starts developing subconsciously as how others look at him or her as. Slowly the siblings, parents, schools, Universities and colleagues help in reinforcing the ego that is building up. The world and its events start being seen in the light of how we want to be seen as in every situation. The transference comes outwards from mind to body, and beyond!
Unless controlled it is a part of an subconscious natural conditioning that is imbibed in our genetic make-up from centuries of evolution which taught us to struggle to survive and reinforced the belief that power, strength and capability to controlling others is the key to survival.
Hence we tend to build up that persona - the bigger, the riche, the more powerful the human being has the better chance to survive; hence, we start having assuming a personality that is larger than life or more than what we actually are.
Simply speaking Ego is actually what we are NOT. It is a self defeating effort of projecting grandeur where it doesn't exist.
It has a very damaging effect on our existence. It is like a cloud of Darkness that surrounds our purity and natural intelligence and makes us live in a world of make believe. Ego is THE one single factor that is to be blamed for most of the breakdown in relationships; be it at home, in the social circles or work.
What are the signs of having a false sense of the ego?
First and foremost what comes in a person is the overall dependence on the external environment. Want they want to hear about themselves or what others think of them has a high degree of importance in life.
An egoist will never however agree to this since it is a totally sub conscious act.
It brings about negative qualities as stubbornness, failure of judgment, failure of acceptance, etc.
This finally affects formation of positive relationships and reactions.
How to overcome ego
The first step to overcoming ago is about understanding the fact that there exists such an issue - a false ego which is clouding all relationships; and thereby the need to change. Acceptance of this fact is the key to bringing about a change.
You have to evaluate your self worth based on your own intelligence and overcome the mindset to depend on others – what they say or what they feel about you. You need to learn to have faith in your intrinsic personality without having to rely on others or on the environment around you to project it to you.