Amanda Johnson

Love the life you have and have the life you want

What I’ve Learned from Breaking up with My Ego


Have you ever been in that situation when it came time to “have the talk” or DTR (Define the Relationship)?

I’ve had it a few times in my life. It’s not a comfy thing for me to do. But in each situation, I’m glad I did. It helped me get clearer on who I am and what I want and how this other person plays into that (or not).

A couple of years ago, I realized that I needed to have this conversation with someone who I had known for a very long time and who had been with me through thick and thin — my ego.

And I can tell you, it’s not easy. But having a clearer understanding of our dynamic has made my life so much easier.

We all have an ego.

And our ego has played an important role since a very young age. It  helped protect us from this big, bad world when we were at a place in our development when we needed it most.

And like with any relationship, there comes a time when we need to take a closer look at it.

We get to a point when we realize the ego no longer serves us.

So how do we let the ego down easy and reclaim our relationship with our self?

Recognize its individuality.

The ego loves to talk. A lot. The first place we can notice our ego is in our thoughts. And by the very nature of observation, when we can observe our thoughts (our ego) then we can be confident that we are separate from it.

When we recognize that we are not our ego, the conversation gets a whole lot easier.

Give it some love.

The ego just wants to be seen and heard. It wants to be acknowledged. So go ahead and give it what it wants. Say “thank you for sharing” when it butts in and gives advice on how to respond to that text message or comments on that woman’s attitude.

The ego isn’t trying to be a jerk — it just doesn’t know any better.

Next time the ego interferes, give it a wink and a smile.

Learn what matters to it most.

The ego gets its sense of self by identifying with all sorts of things — thoughts, labels, roles, material possessions. Remember, it is trying to protect us and is doing the best job it can to make sure we are okay. So it latches on to anything it thinks will make life better. Sadly, it doesn’t know that we are already okay. Take note of what it identifies with most — the car, the role as leader, the label of “shy,” the thought “I could never do that.”

Trying to force the ego to let go of attachments is impossible — but as awareness grows, the attachments will begin to drop away because we start to notice that we are separate from all these things.

Get to know its patterns.

The ego uses some incredible strategies to help us out in situations that seem scary or uncomfortable. Maybe the ego withdraws each time it finds itself feeling attacked. Or perhaps the ego puffs up its chest and yells at someone who confronts it.

Take note of these tendencies — they are just a way for the ego to help make sure we feel okay.

The next time the ego wants to crack a joke in a stressful situation, don’t say anything and notice what happens. I can pretty much guarantee that you will still be standing and completely unharmed.

Once we understand that we are okay without the ego’s help, then we are stepping into our truly awakened self.

Now the ego is pretty tenacious. (Some women wish more men were this way.) And just because we have this conversation once doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.

Having an ego is a part of life. Redefining the relationship with the ego is enlightenment. {Tweet That!}

What is one pattern you observe your ego doing in moments of stress or conflict? Share in the comments below and serve as an inspiration of self-observation to others.


Author: Presence Matters

Amanda Johnson has one mission: to help people turn their critic into their ally so they can love the life they have and have the life they want. She does this through her work as a writer and presence coach. After years of struggling with depression, motivation and finding any purpose, Amanda made a choice to transform her experience of life. She realized that when she resisted, judged or attached to “what is” she suffered and that this is true for all of us. From this place, the idea to help others cultivate ease and joy through “Presence Matters" was born. Amanda is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years’ experience performing, educating, facilitating and consulting for Fortune 500 companies with the personal mission to reach and change lives for the better. Her passion for helping others—be it a 2nd-grader or a CEO—and her ability to connect with and inspire those she meets are unleashed by her wit, charm, and eloquence, making her message resonate deeply with her audience. For more information and to work with her, visit

8 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned from Breaking up with My Ego

  1. Complaining: That is my ego’s stress relief. When something with deep stress or simply something irritating, even if I’ve already complained about it, or am aware I can’t fix it, my ego (if given the opportunity) starts complaining continuously and rambles and then starts complaining about every stressful thing in my life and once it starts, it is hard to stop. Lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stepping up so boldly and sharing with us one of your ego’s tendencies! I bet many of us can relate to this one – I know I can! When the ego “comments” on things in this way, it’s trying to connect to it and feel “alive” or “important.” Another thing I believe it is doing in these moments is trying to help us cover up that icky feeling we get in our bodies – maybe our guy or our heart. It thinks by complaining we can somehow alleviate that sensation. What it doesn’t of course know is that it’s okay to feel a little icky sometimes. That’s part of being human. And the more comfortable we get with being uncomfortable, the easier it gets. I’d love to hear what happens the next time you notice this pattern and if as you observe that is what is happening, see if your “true” self can make a different choice or just keep quiet. This self-observation and space from our ego’s tendencies is one of the first clues we are awakening. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have done a wonderful job with this article. Very wise and insightful. What does my ego do when the pressure is on? Meh. Blame, go on the attack, retreat, shut down. I like the idea of treating the ego as a separate entity – acknowledge it, humour it, but never, never let it run the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sara! I appreciate the comment and love your share!! What a wonderful thing to acknowledge (and how many of us can relate to) an ego that likes to blame, attack and retreat. And I love how you said “never let it run the show!” I’m curious to know what you start to experience as you begin to separate a bit more from it. There are days when I find myself just smirking at it.

      Liked by 1 person

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