The word “ego” has its roots in Latin, meaning “I,” or “self-identity.” It is the conscious part of who we are.
Which is interesting.
Because somewhere along the etymological line, we’ve drifted away from that original meaning. Instead, we’ve started using the word “ego” as a synonym for “arrogant.”
We speak of compliments as being “ego boosts,” and we often describe arrogant people as having a “big ego,” but by its original definition, the word “ego” has nothing to do with arrogance or inflated self worth. Whenever I hear someone say, “Oh, she has such a big ego.” I laugh because what they are really saying is, “Oh, she has such a sense of self,” and isn’t that what everyone wants?
I vote that we bring back the original meaning of the word “ego” – for good – and begin embracing it. Especially as women.
Have you ever thought about who you are? I’m not talking about your roles or social identities. You can be a friend, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother, or daughter, but being these things don’t necessarily represent whom you are inside. To have a true sense of self is to know your purpose, your vision, your values, your goals, and beliefs. Not what others have determined for you, but what you have discovered for yourself.
If you’ve never thought much about your inner self, it is likely you have become defined by your identities. Many people build their lives around their identities – wife, mother, girlfriend, and so on – and when those identities are taken away, they become completely lost because they have don’t have a grasp on their true inner self, and often aren’t able to articulate their own visions, goals, and dreams beyond what has been imposed on them.
For example, someone who is rooted in her identity as a wife will see her entire existence as a wife. Maybe, ever since she was a little girl, the importance of being a good wife was heavily stressed upon. As a result, she will do what her husband feels is best for her. She will spend all of her time with her husband, sacrifice her own happiness for his, and when it comes to important decisions, such as career, she will make sure her husband is in approval of her actions. Her husband is the central focus of her life. Think: Porsha Stewart from RHOA. But that’s not living. Where do her dreams and goals come into play? Where are her beliefs?
If you don’t know your true sense of self or identity, you may end up losing yourself. There is no better time than now to let go of all the beliefs and goals that don’t suit you. This is your life – live it! Stop pursuing others’ goals or living up to their expectations of you. And it’s okay if you don’t know your inner self or “ego” just yet. Discovering and unraveling it is a life long process. The best way to start is to simply begin thinking about who you are, your key values and thoughts, and who you’d like to become as well as your dreams, vision, and goals. The more you uncover about yourself, the more self-aware you will become – and that’s when you begin to live a happier, conscious life. Below are a few questions to get you started on your self-discovery journey. Seek your ego!
What is the purpose of life?
What is my goal in life?
Why did I choose this career?
How do I spend my spare time?
What is my motivation for doing what I do?
What really makes me happy?
Am I as happy as I want to be?
Is it more important to be rich or to be happy?
What are my future plans? Why?
What are my secret dreams and ambitions?
About the author: Mariah Thompson is a 20-something year old writer living and loving in Atlanta, GA. Follow her on Twitter.