Ego gets people blazed, murked, murdered, knocked out, or outright embarrassed when it gets out of line. And the internet shows us this at a level you couldn’t see without the cameras.
All you see when you login to social networks like:
And to a smaller degree, Facebook and Twitter is ego on display like a billboard on the motorway or highway if you’re in the USA).
It’s to the point of it being obvious that the person is insecure and is trying to hide their insecurities with superficial BS to make you think they’re special and important.
Validation is one thing, but insecurity is something else.
Can the ego be tamed?
I’ve always said that everything revolves around self-esteem. The ego included. You can do more than tame it; you can almost get rid of it.
I mean that in a no-bullshit kind of way. But to do that, guess what? You first need to get your ego in check.
Let’s talk about it.
1. Buy a homeless person a sandwich
I’m being dead serious. It doesn’t have to be a sandwich. It can be anything from the supermarket or whatever shop is nearby.
One time I was in Stockport at around 7PM before the pandemic after seeing family.
A homeless guy was sitting outside near the Marks And Spencer near the newly built “Rock” (Google it).
He asked for some money. I said how much. He said £10. He told me his leg was damaged, and he’s awaiting surgery, which is a problem when you’re homeless, hungry, and have no money.
I told him I’d be back in 5. He probably thought I was chatting shit. I returned and gave him £20 after drawing money from the Lloyds ATM (or something like that).
I stayed for almost an hour and talked a lot with the guy. In moments like that, you realize you’re no better than the next guy, regardless of outward circumstances.
Money is the only difference, nothing else. And it’s not money I’d miss. Ego means nothing and even fades away when you talk to these people and listen to their stories without judgment.
All that judgmental BS is exactly that. It’s the ego attempting to feel better about its insecurities at someone else’s expense.
That’s not confidence. That’s being weak.
2. Get out of your bubble
Ego isn’t just about bragging and being arrogant; that’s an obvious trait. But it doesn’t end there. The ego is also about insecurity, being judgmental, who you are compared to others, and things like that.
One way to keep your ego in check and boost your self-esteem is first to get educated.
I don’t mean formal education. I mean getting educated about things you judge without context and learning to understand the world and people within it.
Growing up, all I knew was:
- The city.
And thinking certain things about certain people because of the bubble I lived in, as everyone does.
Once I started to READ books, read articles on the internet, and try to educate myself in all the ways a person can, only then did my mind start to open up a lot more than it did.
I didn’t pick up a book until late 2012.
I started to get smarter, wiser, and less judgmental (a trait of being educated).
Once I also started to get about, move around, see places, faces, and speak to more people, this started to shift even more.
Keeping your ego in check isn’t possible if you’re stuck in the same place you’ve always lived, with the same information you’ve always read, and with the same beliefs you’ve always stubbornly stuck to.
You don’t even have to go overseas these days to do it. Start with what you have and the country you’re in.
3. In the words of Brand Nubian
“Don’t let it go your head, no!” Everybody love a star, when he on top .”Don’t don’t let it go your head, no!” Nobody comes around when the star start to drop.” – Brand Nubian
Lord Jamar, Grand Puba, and Sadat X said it best in their old-school classic, a song I was TOO young to have grown up on.
Think about the last time you accomplished something, no matter how big or small.
- You finished university and got your degree.
- You just hit the biggest sales numbers in your business to date.
- You hit a new milestone for followers or subscribers.
- The girl you fancy “complimented” your looks.
- You bought your first house and paid off the mortgage.
- You survived the pandemic.
- You won the lottery.
And so on.
Whatever that thing looks like for you, never let it go to your head. The moment you do is when life becomes harder than it needs to be.
Why? Because your ego is now in the driver’s seat, and you’re in the back, unable to do anything about it.
When that happens, everything is about validating yourself to the extremes, even if it means disrespecting people, pressuring people, bullying, pleading, fishing for compliments, or whatever else.
Success and money mean nothing if you can’t enjoy it because you feel like shit, and success becomes a crutch for your happiness.
4. Surround yourself with “bigger” people
Start a mastermind group full of people on the next level or multiple levels above you. Better yet, go to business events and meet entrepreneurs to realize the “special” snowflake you think you are isn’t all that special.
When you surround yourself or talk to people who have reached, achieved, or accomplished something you haven’t done yet, all that egotistical bullshit washes away and starts to mean much less.
If you’re in the presence of someone who has gained a little more than you have (health, money, fans, etc), you can no longer brag about what you’ve done without making yourself look stupid.
There’s always someone with more or less in this game we call life, and stepping out of your comfort zone to associate or talk with people you can learn from will keep your ego in check and tame the beast.
5. Remember where you came from
I started in South Manchester, Levenshulme, a deprived area of many in Manchester. One where nobody had anyone to “look up” to in a positive or business sense.
There were no entrepreneurs like that, or businessmen and women, or celebrities, local politicians, youth workers, or anyone else who made it in a way that was visible and inspiring.
A lot of shops shut down purposely because of the crimes going on. They left and never came back.
I’ll NEVER go back to where I came from as far as living there. I’m more than where I came from, BUT I’m not more important or better than anyone who might still be there.
Where you come from is responsible for who you are today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life. No amount of success will change that fact, no matter what lies you tell yourself.
Always remember that. And always remember where you come from to keep your ego in check. Especially if where you come from played a major role in making you who you are today in a positive context.
The moment you start thinking you are special because you’ve progressed from your hardships or you’ve moved to a nicer place, is the moment you should think about WHY you’re here and what played a role in getting you here.
Ignoring that is just mental gymnastics and will only make your life (and ego, plus self-esteem) more problematic than it needs to be because you can’t fight the truth deep down.
6. You’re not a special snowflake
I started my first business back in 2013 (official business), selling:
- Video games.
And within months, I was killing it. Especially once the winter came around and the new year as well. It was a time when I made more money than I ever made (coming from nothing).
I could buy what I wanted without thinking about it, and the money was rolling in fast.
That all ended when PayPal stood in the way and froze the account, causing the business to implode at killer speeds.
I had nothing after that but debt up to my eyeballs and no money to even shop at Tesco. Every little didn’t help as I was helpless.
I never felt like I was (or in the present day) more special than someone else because I can do most of what I want without stressing or asking for permission to do whatever that thing might be.
The money never tainted me like that. But being on both sides gave me context. I made my way back up the ladder and have achieved a lot low-key since then (relatively).
In the grand scheme of things, though, I’m no special snowflake. And what I mean is:
- Physical differences.
- Genetics (being prettier, etc.)
- Being born with certain advantages.
- Subscriber counts on YouTube or followers on Twitter.
And all the rest of that shit that people brag about and scream about at the expense of their self-esteem? That’s all an illusion.
Once all that disappears, or you can’t access your bank account anymore because they froze it like they did in Greece.
Or you can’t flex or buy jewellery to look important to other people. Or your “followers” are taken away from you… That is when you’ll realize you ain’t the big man you think you are in the grand scheme of things.
That’s an illusion you created or society created for you based on arbitrary, made-up measurements of importance that you attach to your self-esteem to feel better than the next guy supposedly below you.
That’s it for now. I’ll update this more when I’m back on the lappy.