Have you heard the phrase, ‘having a big ego’? We sometimes say this when talking about somebody who is a show-off. But why do we say this? The word ego, comes from the Latin word for ‘self’; therefore, if somebody has an overbearing personality, we can say they have a large sense of self, or huge ego!
In Psychology, the Ego is not used in this context. The Ego first became known when Sigmund Freud wrote about it. He said there were three forces at work in every person’s psyche.
The Id, is the main part of the personality that is with us from birth. It is purely subconscious and its main priority is to get our desires met. Babies cry when they’re hungry and their parents give them food. On a primitive level, you could say it is our survival instinct; however, the id wants more than just survival – it wants pleasure!
The ego, is the part of our psyche that controls the id’s desires. If we didn’t have the ego to control our instincts, then society would break down, as people wouldn’t obey the rules. If they wanted a large amount of money it would be easier to rob a bank than to work for it! The id doesn’t care how its desires are met, as long as they’re met. The ego does its best to get the id what it wants without causing chaos in the process. This can be positive when the id wants something worthwhile, such as having a loving family and a good job, but it can be negative if it wants to drink and smoke and sleep with lots of different people. The ego will do its best to get the id what it wants and sometimes this can cause anxiety.
Read More: Working With The Ego
There are actually three parts to the human ego, Id, Ego, and the Super Ego. Let’s start with Id, Id is a primal instinct we are born with, this is the part of our mind that drives impulses and desires of what our human body and mind need. The Id serves to make sure we get what we need to satisfy our basic desires and strives to get us what we need when we need it. For example a new born child does not understand patience and having to wait.
When a new born needs feeding, comfort, cleanliness or sleep the child will cry out and not stop until the need is fulfilled. This is the job of the id to protect from hunger, pain, fatigue or any other discomfort. Without this part of our instinct we could not survive. This part of our mind is regarded as the unconscious part of our persona that is the basic life force, striving to get us the primal needs and protection for survival. It is the part that protects us from danger and death. Id is also the genetic build-up of our personality, the parts that are genetically taken from our parents, grandparents etc. And through all of these inherited genes makes us what we are and how we handle this world, and all the challenges it brings.
Read More: Understanding The Ego
Human beings are always striving to improve themselves. It is not just a social imperative, but comes from a inner sense of always feeling there is something else we should be doing with our lives, or doing what we do better. Or as that old adage says, we think that ‘the grass, is always greener on the other side’. Adding to the sense of discontent with what they have. People rarely appreciate this, until they no longer have it. Sadly, for many this realisation often comes too late.
We live in a society, where success is measured in terms of material success or social standing. We cannot entirely blame peer pressure for this, for the way in which we are made, means that ego is something that often leads people around by the nose. I believe it is primarily a inner motivated force. Though we will often try to blame others when things go wrong, as they often do.
A poor man becomes rich, the moment that he discovers the treasure hidden in his heart. You do not have to look far to find your fortune, it lies in waiting beneath the exterior that you show to the world.
Deep within you is the answer to all of your dreams, if you just look within and stop looking everywhere but yourself for the answer to happiness.
Yes it is that simple, it only takes a change in attitude a dropping of all the barriers that keep you far from love. That is all you need to do.