The Ego
  • The term ego has many definitions. Sages say it is the only barrier between us and true enlightenment. Whether we define it as self-esteem, self-importance or our arrogant, stubborn nature, ego isn’t something to be discarded, as it has tremendous functionality in this world.
  • The term ‘ego’ comes from the Latin word ‘I’, which Sigmund Freud chose to describe as ‘es’(in the German language), later translated to the English word ‘ego.
  • People associate conceit (narcissism), arrogance, big headedness, or simply being smug with being egoistic. People who have an aura of superiority, pomposity, or pride can also be termed ego-centric.



What’s The Best Way To Define Ego?

Psychology defines ego as a neutral concept which is one of many aspects of ourselves. The ego is then simply one’s individuality, the thoughts, behaviours and experiences that make a person unique. It is the part that perceives reality, making sense of all the information around us.

Sigmund Freud divided the human psyche into three parts: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the primal, wild part of our mind, the ego is the ‘conscious mediator’, the rational part of our mind making all the decisions, and the superego is the conscience.



  • Self-Concept: Our own self-image, the way we perceive ourselves.
  • Identity: Our social status, physical characteristics and abilities.
  • Self-Perspective: Our own unique view of ourselves and the world around us.
  • Self-Worth: The ability to see the good in ourselves, someone who deserves good things and values being themselves.
  • Self-Esteem: It is a positive sense of self-worth, our own confidence, and the need to fulfil your and others desires.
  • Individuality: It is our own unique self, as each of us has our own thoughts, needs, abilities and preferences.
  • Personality: The unique traits, quirks and other qualities that make you who you are. Example: Cheerful, quiet, or bossy.



  • Egoism is the belief that our moral behaviour is based on taking care of our own interests. Taking care of ourselves is actually a rational, desirable activity. If we take care of others while neglecting ourselves, we become worn out or suffer burnout. Example: Flight Attendants warn passengers that they should be putting on their own oxygen masks before helping anyone else with theirs.
  • Egotism means having a really big ego. Egotists are always talking about themselves.
  • Egocentrism is when one only sees their own perceptive and thinks that the world revolves around them. The focus of an egocentric person is only themselves.



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