Why Is It Beneficial to Work on Your Ego?
Recovery can entail massive behavioral, emotional, and physical changes. You're learning how to reset and retrain your mind to live without drugs or alcohol. This, of course, can be a daunting task!
When it comes to your recovery, your ego can be one of the key factors in predicting your success. But what exactly is ego? And why does it matter so much? Let's get into what you need to know.
Understanding the Ego: What It Is (And What It Isn't)
Your ego refers to the notion of who you believe yourself to be. In other words, it's how you perceive yourself. Sometimes, this image is accurate. Other times, it's completely unrealistic.
The ego controls numerous life functions, ranging from integrating new information to how you tolerate others. It can also affect brain processes like memory, problem-solving, and impulse control.
Ego isn't inherently bad. We all have opinions and feelings about ourselves. Likewise, there's nothing wrong with feeling confident and having intrinsic goals. Furthermore, it's normal to pursue your needs and do what you can to fulfill them.
But an overinflated ego can become quickly problematic. If you have this kind of ego, you may think you're above other people. You might assume the rules don't apply to you and that you're entitled to what you want. People with overinflated egos may struggle with:
poor impulse control.
chaotic and unsatisfying relationships.
the pervasive feeling of emptiness or hopelessness.
serious legal or financial issues related to making reckless decisions.
poor work performance or difficulty maintaining a job altogether.
vulnerability and honesty with themselves and other people.
Why Should You Work on Your Ego?
Any of those listed risk factors can heighten the risk for relapse. After all, recovery requires diligence, accountability, and courage. However, if you persistently struggle with those issues, you may find yourself struggling in your recovery.
Beyond recovery, ego problems also tend to perpetuate mental health issues. For example, you may feel more depressed or anxious. Or, you may want to feel close to other people, but you fear intimacy. You might also want to make an important change, but the fear of failure or rejection keeps you stagnant.
Working on your ego allows you to address some of these barriers. It's a vulnerable process, but it encourages you to embrace your true self, rather than the falsified self you're embellishing. Over time, this self-acceptance can harness greater happiness, peace, and love.
How Do You Work on Your Ego?
Keep in mind that working on the ego is a lifelong lesson. You don't need to worry about "fixing yourself" overnight. There are no real shortcuts in this healing process.
Become More Aware of Your Ego Triggers
When does your ego really manifest itself? Who are you with, and what are you doing? When do you feel the need to impress other people? What other feelings are you experiencing at the same time?
Some common ego triggers include:
being around new people (and wanting to fit in).
trying to prove yourself at school or work.
being around highly successful people.
feeling triggered by a traumatic memory.
getting rejected in any form.
feeling controlled by something or someone else.
Practice Taking Opposite Approaches
Sometimes, the best decision to make is the one you least want to make. For example, if you think therapy is pointless, consider actually going to therapy. If you've scoffed at the idea of attending a meeting, it's worth trying it out a few times.
Take on a more curious and open mindset. Stop assuming that you always know the best answer and engage yourself with growth.
Spend More Time Helping Others
Acts of service keep you and your motives in perspective. While it's normal to focus on yourself and your goals, it's important that you don't become consumed by them.
Give back and consider volunteering when you can. Support others. Focus on making the world around you a better place.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits of Working On Your Ego
Ego work allows you to integrate a more realistic framework for yourself and your recovery. It encourages you to let other people in, and it also opens more possibilities for self-awareness.
At The Resurface Group, we help people in all stages of their recovery. We're here for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to learn more.