1. Self-Awareness: Experiencing Ego & Observing Ego

“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

Thomas Sowell

Do you know that just because you’re aware of reading or listening to this post doesn’t mean that you’re self-aware? Those are two different things.

Self-awareness is the first step you need to take to improve your mental wellbeing. If you’re not aware that your quality of life isn’t good, there’s no reason to improve it.

How to achieve self-awareness?

By starting to differentiate between the part of yourself that experiences everything that happens to you from the part of yourself that observes how you experience your life. If it seems confusing, have a little patience. Soon, it will be much clearer.

You identify with your thoughts, emotions, sensations in your body and often with your life events. For example, if you get a promotion at work, you feel an emotion we call happiness, and then you think: “I’m happy.” 

But in fact, happiness isn’t you. You’re the one who’s experiencing it due to the factors that cause that particular emotion. The feeling usually doesn’t last long because it’s soon replaced with other emotions caused by other factors. 

So, if the day after your promotion, someone scratches your car in the parking lot, you’ll feel anger, and if someone asks you how you are, you’ll tell them: “I’m angry.”

You can’t be either happy or angry. You can only feel those emotions. That part of you we’ll call the Experiencing Ego.

When you identify the part of yourself experiencing the life you live, it will become easier for you to notice that there’s also another part in you observing that experiencing part of yourself.

The part that analyzes and observes what the Experiencing Ego is undergoing we’ll call the Observing Ego.

Noticing the difference between these two parts is the first crucial step toward building self-consciousness.

When you manage to do that, you should try to direct more your conscious attention to the part of yourself that’s observing rather than to the part that’s experiencing. In time, it will turn into an automatic reaction.

Hence, in connection with already mentioned examples of happiness, because of the promotion at work, and anger because of the car damage, you’ll no longer say: “I’m happy” or “I’m angry”, but “I feel happy” or “I feel angry”.

However, you’ll be aware that happiness and anger are passing feelings that change due to various factors. By doing so, you’ll no longer go from extreme joy to excessive sadness.

You’ll start experiencing all those emotions more moderately because you’ll know that they aren’t you but that they’re your reactions to events

Thanks to this, you’ll become a more stable person who isn’t easily thrown out of balance by life events, which results in a better mental health.

Once you become aware of your Observing Ego, you have a tool to observe what’s happening in your life without identifying with it.

Then comes the next challenge you need to overcome in growing your mind: Objectivity towards Yourself.  

Share this post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *