Ego vs Self

Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Get Off the Sidelines, Ken's Blogs, Love versus Fear

Ego vs Self

Do you find that there always seems to be someone in your life that is full of ego?

I don’t mean someone who simply talks about themselves a lot, but rather someone that does it so much that it drives you crazy and you don’t even want to be around that person any more. It seems like every time they open their mouth it starts with the word “I” and you hear the word “me” so much that you almost break into song … “me me me me me”. Now don’t get me wrong, those people that know me will be more than happy to tell you that I slip into “ego” myself every once in a while.

For me it seems like I’ve always had someone in my life that represented ego, so much so that I consciously tried to work my sentences to avoid the use of the words “I” and “me”. The more I thought about it, the more I started to see a pattern. Whenever I was around someone that “represented” ego, I would find my body subconsciously shrinking. My shoulders would tense up, anger would slip in, and I would find myself trying to extricate myself not only from the conversation, but right out of the room. It would actually bother me that much. It seemed like my subconscious was telling me to become as small as I could possibly make myself, and run as fast as I could away from the situation. It didn’t matter who else was in the room, just get out of there.

I was thinking about this a while back after I wrote a blog about people in our lives representing mirrors of what we see in ourselves. So I tried to dig a bit deeper inside to see what it was that triggered a reaction when I was with someone that started to set me off with their ego. If this was a representation of something I saw in myself, then what was it I was seeing?

I think I’m getting close to figuring it out. I don’t mean figuring out what the text books and self-help books say, I mean figuring it out in my own subconscious. It doesn’t make sense that I should find myself wanting to leave a room every time “Mr. or Ms. Ego” pops in. There are lots of other people that I’d like to be talking to, and I need to be able to let it go.

In my mind, and for me specifically, there seems to be an internal conflict between “ego” and “self”. I’ve seen this comparison in textbooks before, but I needed to figure out what it represented to me. And what I found is that whenever I saw ego represented externally, my internal response mechanism was to shrink. So here I am talking to colleagues, telling them to be all that they can be, to follow their heart, to take however small steps they needed to in the direction of their dreams, and I would start to shrink every time I saw “ego”.

I found that even when I would achieve a significant milestone, my conscious mind was telling me not to use the word “I” and “me”. And then I’d end up not being able to celebrate accomplishments with anyone because I couldn’t find a way to share without using those two words in a way that felt right. Cool, I may not sound like Mr. Ego, but I found that it was also keeping me in the mode of “playing small”.

For one second let me use a sentence with the words “I” and “me” in it. Ready? I have been on an incredible healing journey over the past couple of years and I have learned a lot, and I have lots of stories to share, and people need to hear my stories, and I want to make a real difference in the world. Oh, I better scratch that sentence because it sounds like ego and people will stop reading at this point. But I can’t scratch it. I can’t play small.

So how do I do it? How do I try to follow my own dreams and make a difference, without always talking about me, and without starting to sound like Mr. Ego? I do a couple of things.

1. I have started an Accomplishments List. I actually keep this on my computer and every time I have even a moderate success, I add it to my Accomplishments List. I don’t share this list with anyone, but at least I’ve expressed some satisfaction to myself and that feeling of accomplishment isn’t locked inside of me. I let myself have that brief “moment of glory”, if only with myself. I believe that this is a necessary release, something that helps us realize in our own minds that we have something to offer, and it can help to remind us that we can do anything we put our minds to and we shouldn’t play small.

2. I have connected with a group of like-minded people that meet once a month (we call it a Mastermind Group). It’s a safe place where we take turns celebrating our accomplishments, and also serve as a sounding board for whatever is holding us back. It gives us another place to release without worrying about how we sound to others. We hold each other accountable, and this helps to ensure that we are always taking steps in the direction of our dreams. It’s amazing what happens when people take the time to see the magnificence in others and help them to shine a light on any fears that are holding them back

3. In conversation, I try to share enough of my story without jumping on a podium (I admittedly have to be careful with this as when I get on a roll, I don’t know when I’m going to stop), and let the conversation flow. If the other person wants to hear more, they’ll ask. I find that when I ask someone to tell me more about their story, it’s like I’ve given them permission to use the words “I” and “me” and the words don’t bother me at all when that person uses them. So I try to give the same courtesy to others.

It’s a very fine line that we walk, the line between Ego and Self. So I’m working through this. I want to tell my story. I want to make a difference, and I don’t want to play small. And now when Mr. Ego walks into the room, I thank him for the reminder of what I might sound like when I slip into Ego mode myself.

Do you find that there always seems to be someone in your life that is full of ego?

If you do, don’t let it make you play small. Let it simply serve as a reminder of how you’d like to express yourself.

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Namaste, Ken

Written by Ken

Ken Jaques describes himself as a Health Care Evolutionary, Community Builder, and Speaker. True healing begins when we treat root causes instead of just masking symptoms. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only patient who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.

Ken is creating a platform to connect People, Patients, Practitioners, Partners and Promoters, enabling a collaborative effort to help shift the focus on health from I-llness to We-llness. Check out the pilot at

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even I-llness becomes WE-llness” ~ Malcolm X


  1. I Will have to come back again whenever my course load lets up – nonetheless I am getting your Feed so i can read your site offline. Thanks.

  2. Great article – I have been meaning to write an article on Ego for a while – I like your perspective. Following you on network blogs and will add you to my blogger reader list xxx

    • Thanks Sara, appreciate the feedback and the follow. I’ll check out your blog on networked blogs.
      Cheers, Ken

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