Make it a habit to be a spectator of your own thoughts — self-reflection is an important and necessary tool for peace and growth. Through self-reflection we can see the space in which we have progressed, and we can simultaneously see the void that reminds us of how far we have to go.
Constant self-reflection requires constant discipline and the ability to curb one’s ego.
Curb your ego. Ego: a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Let’s not get this twisted — I’m not advocating for you to beat yourself up or to deny yourself the love and importance that you deserve.
But sometimes, just sometimes, you have to get out of your own way so that you can grow in deeper understanding of your own truth and the truths of those around you.
Maybe you don’t think you need to curb your ego, but I’d venture to say that your ego creeps into your own personal growth journey more than you even recognize. It’s a slow move, smothering your own progress ever so slightly without you even realizing it.
Here are five ways to curb your ego on a daily basis:
1. When you are having a discussion with your coworker or spouse or a loved one, let them complete their thought before you chime in with your own ideas, interpretation, or advice. People need to be heard, and when you hear people, you’ll learn, too.
2. Do something nice for someone else. Buy a stranger coffee, make the dinner that you know your loved one would love, take out the trash instead of asking your spouse or roommates to do it — the list can go on and on. But doing an act of service for someone else, no matter how small, keeps your own ego in check.
3. When you ask how someone’s doing or how their day was, give them the space to actually tell you. If there seems to be something beyond “fine” (and there usually is), dig a bit deeper. Show up for that individual in the way that they need.
4. Read news and consume media that does not reflect or represent your own self, vision, values, ideals, or likes. The best way in which we can grow is learning from the differences that exist within one another. If we’re constantly feeding our own echo chamber of thought, there cannot be any growth.
5. Breathe before you respond. Take a second and sit with your own thoughts for a moment — or more than that. When we react from a place of anger, fear, or extreme levels of negative emotions, we stop progress in its tracks. Negative experiences and feelings are part of life, but it’s how we react to those feelings that makes the difference in the resolution. Our reactions to what is thrown at us sets the tone and course of where to go from there.