Seven Steps for Overcoming Ego’s Hold on You

Here are seven suggestions to help you transcend ingrained ideas of self-importance. All of these are designed to help prevent you from falsely identifying with the self-important ego.

1. Stop being offended.

The behavior of others isn’t a reason to be immobilized. That which offends you only weakens you. If you’re looking for occasions to be offended, you’ll find them at every turn. This is your ego at work convincing you that the world shouldn't be the way it is. But you can become an appreciator of life and match up with the universal Spirit of Creation. You can’t reach the power of intention by being offended. By all means, act to eradicate the horrors of the world, which emanate from massive ego identification, but stay in peace. As A Course in Miracles reminds us: Peace is of God, you who are part of God are not at home except in his peace. Being is of God, you who are part of God are not at home except in his peace. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place and leads to attack, counterattack, and war.

2. Let go of your need to win.

Ego loves to divide us up into winners and losers. The pursuit of winning is a surefire means to avoid conscious contact with intention. Why? Because ultimately, winning is impossible all of the time. Someone out there will be faster, luckier, younger, stronger, and smarter-and back you’ll go to feeling worthless and insignificant.

You’re not your winnings or your victories. You may enjoy competing, and have fun in a world where winning is everything, but you don’t have to be there in your thoughts. There are no losers in a world where we all share the same energy source. All you can say on a given day is that you performed at a certain level in comparison to the levels of others on that day. But today is another day, with other competitors and new circumstances to consider. You’re still the infinite presence in a body that’s another day (or decade) older. Let go of needing to win by not agreeing that the opposite of winning is losing. That’s ego’s fear. If your body isn’t performing in a winning fashion on this day, it simply doesn’t matter when you aren’t identifying exclusively with your ego. Be the observer, noticing and enjoying it all without needing to win a trophy. Be at peace, and match up with the energy of intention. And ironically, although you’ll hardly notice it, more of those victories will show up in your life as you pursue them less.

3. Let go of your need to be right.

Ego is the source of a lot of conflict and dissension because it pushes you in the direction of making other people wrong. When you’re hostile, you’ve disconnected from the power of intention. The creative Spirit is kind, loving, and receptive; and free of anger, resentment, or bitterness. Letting go of your need to be right in your discussions and relationships is like saying to ego, I’m not a slave to you. I want to embrace kindness, and I reject your need to be right. In fact, I’m going to offer this person a chance to feel better by saying that she’s right, and thank her for pointing me in the direction of truth.

When you let go of the need to be right, you’re able to strengthen your connection to the power of intention. But keep in mind that ego is a determined combatant. I’ve seen people end otherwise beautiful relationships by sticking to their need to be right. I urge you to let go of this ego-driven need to be right by stopping yourself in the middle of an argument and asking yourself, Do I want to be right or be happy? When you choose the happy, loving, spiritual mood, your connection to intention is strengthened. These moments ultimately expand your new connection to the power of intention. The universal Source will begin to collaborate with you in creating the life you were intended to live.

4. Let go of your need to be superior.

True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. Stay focused on your growth, with a constant awareness that no one on this planet is any better than anyone else. We all emanate from the same creative life force. We all have a mission to realize our intended essence; all that we need to fulfill our destiny is available to us. None of this is possible when you see yourself as superior to others. It’s an old saw, but nonetheless true: we are all equal in the eyes of God. Let go of your need to feel superior by seeing the unfolding of God in everyone. Don’t assess others on the basis of their appearance, achievements, possessions, and other indices of ego. When you project feelings of superiority that’s what you get back, leading to resentments and ultimately hostile feelings. These feelings become the vehicle that takes you farther away from intention. A Course in Miracles addresses this need to be special and superior: Special ness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive.

5. Let go of your need to have more.

The mantra of ego is more. It’s never satisfied. No matter how much you achieve or acquire, your ego will insist that it isn’t enough. You’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of striving, and eliminate the possibility of ever arriving. Yet in reality you’ve already arrived, and how you choose to use this present moment of your life is your choice. Ironically, when you stop needing more, more of what you desire seems to arrive in your life. Since you’re detached from the need for it, you find it easier to pass it along to others, because you realize how little you need in order to be satisfied and at peace.

The universal Source is content with itself, constantly expanding and creating new life, never trying to hold on to its creations for its own selfish means. It creates and lets go. As you let go of ego’s need to have more, you unify with that Source. You create, attract to yourself, and let it go, never demanding that more come your way. As an appreciator of all that shows up, you learn the powerful lesson St.Francis of Assisi taught:”…it is in giving that we receive.” By allowing abundance to flow to and through you, you match up with your Source and guarantee that this energy will continue to flow.

6. Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements.

This may be a difficult concept if you think you are your achievements. God writes all the music, God sings all the songs, God builds all the buildings, God is the source of all your achievements. I can hear your ego loudly protesting. Nevertheless, stay tuned to this idea. All emanates from Source! You and that Source are one! You’re not this body and its accomplishments. You are the observer. Notice it all; and be grateful for the abilities you’ve accumulated. But give all the credit to the power of intention, which brought you into existence and which you’re a materialized part of. The less you need to take credit for your achievements and the more connected you stay to the seven faces of intention, the more you’re free to achieve, and the more will show up for you. It’s when you attach yourself to those achievements and believe that you alone are doing all of those things that you leave the peace and the gratitude of your Source.

7. Let go of your reputation.

Your reputation is not located in you. It resides in the minds of others. Therefore, you have no control over it at all. If you speak to 30 people, you will have 30 reputations. Connecting to intention means listening to your heart and conducting yourself based on what your inner voice tells you is your purpose here. If you’re overly concerned with how you’re going to be perceived by everyone, then you’ve disconnected yourself from intention and allowed the opinions of others to guide you. This is your ego at work. It’s an illusion that stands between you and the power of intention. There’s nothing you can’t do, unless you disconnect from the power source and become convinced that your purpose is to prove to others how masterful and superior you are and spend your energy attempting to win a giant reputation among other egos. Do what you do because your inner voice always connected to and grateful to your Source-so directs you. Stay on purpose, detach from outcome, and take responsibility for what does reside in you: your character. Leave your reputation for others to debate; it has nothing to do with you. Or as a book title says: What You Think of Me Is None of My Business!

Hay House, Inc.



Tzaddi 19th October 2008 10:40 am

Dyer is such a wonderful synthesizer, reporting what he's read and learned. I am so happy to be reminded of these ideas from A Course in Miracles, especially the one about "being right or being happy" which became my mantra over twenty years ago when my work situation was suddenly thwarted by an impossible ego the size of the building we worked in. And Dyer's timing re' this piece, overcoming ego, is perfect because it's ego that will make us miss the ascension bus. Good for you, Dyer!

Pauline Sheakey 19th October 2008 4:06 pm

A truly Guided message...thank you...Blessings...Pauline

Seeker767 19th October 2008 9:09 pm

Thanks for this! Great self-improvement article!

Evita 19th October 2008 10:12 pm

This is a fantastic list for our world today!

Along with the work of Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer I have become in tune to personal ego and being able to let go of it in as many situations as I am consciously aware of (which is usually many today).

Living this way makes life truly blissful!

Mariù 20th October 2008 2:52 am

This is great! A quick, easy and direct reminder, Thank you!!! :smitten:

kamilla 20th October 2008 5:40 am

ON THE SPOT - Thank you!

Bill 21st October 2008 10:26 am

But remember who it is that has the ego. It is not the ego that is the problem, it is you identifying yourself with it. Acknowledge that the ego exists, and that is all. There is nothing "you" can do anyway. You are the ego. You "overcoming" the ego is just the ego "apparently" overcoming itself. :)

Mike 21st October 2008 6:48 pm

thats pretty much what i do... get rid of pride and you can be happy with a dollar or a million...


dingobully 16th November 2008 9:41 pm

This is exactly what I needed to hear at this point in life. You have my utmost gratitude.

wicky_boy 14th January 2009 10:24 am

wtf are you guys talking about?!

it sounds like a bit of sense being mishmashed into a whole bunch of nonsense.

all the comments here on this page appear sycophantic.

being offended is a reaction.

don't try to 'cure' this with more conditioning.

accept you are offended.

struggle to think about your reaction as objectively as you can.

seek cause of offense.

question the source of offense either within self or outside to seek clarity to see if the offense was caused by misunderstanding to gain more knowledge of oneself or another self internal or external.

Connic 19th January 2009 1:31 pm

Wicky boy, the way you started off your comment seems to me that YOU are offended by the Dr.'s sage words. It appears to me that your comment comes only from ego.

Now, with that being said, you may say MY comment comes from ego. I don't know, maybe you did this to see if you could offend some people here. Perhaps?

Luis 21st January 2009 10:16 am

Very concise and realistic synthesis of a positive way of thinking. :) It will for sure help me in this confusing moments.

Terry Wagar 17th February 2009 2:23 am

Eric Carlson and Joan Wagar, A,K,A, Doubleclick and Mrs Dash,( yes those are there nicknames they gave each other.) admitted to poisoning me while I was a plasma donor back in 2005.
Eric Carlson pedofied me behind prison walls and then framed me as a pedophile on march 26th 2007, I caught the crime on a audio recorder I put in Joan's purse.
there were people in authority helping them with this and nobody in authority will help they pretend nothing happened and refuse to investigate this.
Eric Carlson changed his hair color and his name but this is not hidden, only ignored by the authority's and media
I'm disabled from being poisoned and the hospitals refuse to admit I'm poisoned.
My Family is in danger from these people and I have no other recorse but to make these charges public.
My name is Terry Wagar,Im from Portland Oregon and I'm backing up these charges.
I have been threatened with harassment charges by a Sargent Walker, She is a portland police officer stationed at the OHSU hospital, for the non crime of reporting a multi murder conspiracy within that hospital.
They don't give

Dreamerdancing 21st March 2009 11:38 pm

This message will always timely. However my experience with students of spiritual evolution in Australia, where we are famous for cultural cringe, is that the negativity of ego is just as evident in those who say they are less than others. Negative comparison and toxic competition are signs of dangerous ego hold. I would add three more steps:

1. Clear all fears that feed your ego because fear is its favourite food.
2. Heal the wound where you first gave power to this aspect.
3. Keep using techniques to clear it every time you are in relationship conflict.

systematick 26th March 2009 1:30 am

Very well stated steps Wayne. I appreciate your writing up this article. I have added it to please stop by and vote for it if you get the chance.

Mike S

Azakeal 10th April 2009 4:32 am

HI wayne

Thanks for sharing. With regards to 'stop being offended', shouldn't we also recognise and acknowledge when we've been hurt by another so that we can learn to heal this part of ourselves? And also have compassion for those who still feel offended easily?

With letting go of needing more, what if you desire more love, happiness, friendship, etc? Right now, for instance, I'm desiring to have more self-love and acceptance.


ThisIsMyVibe 23rd October 2009 6:02 pm

Very powerful, even the list alone! I am saving this to read it again more thoroughly so it registers more deeply with me. Thank you for this.

loveleigh 28th November 2009 12:00 pm

I love this message, thank you.
Blessings xx

oneness 10th February 2010 5:57 pm

This reminded me of some Marcus Aurelius quotations:

"Take away your opinion, and there is taken away the complaint, [...] Take away the complaint, [...] and the hurt is gone"

"Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you. Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature. From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return."

"All things are woven together and the common bond is sacred, and scarcely one thing is foreign to another, for they have been arranged together in their places and together make the same ordered Universe. For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth. Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe. We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe."

Peace and love, always

alternatereality85 7th April 2010 9:47 pm

I stumbled across this page from a forum discussion elsewhere on the web just recently, and have to say it is a great outlook and perspective to have on life, and is largely in tune with a lot of feelings I've formulated myself after some traumatic events in my own life in recent years, particularly numbers 2 through to 5.

"Sing yourself on down the street
Sing yourself right off your feet
Sing yourself away from victory, and from defeat
Sing yourself with fife and drum
Sing yourself to overcome
the thought that someone's lost, and someone else has won"

alofa 19th November 2010 12:50 am

Thank you :)

Steve ananta 30th January 2011 5:09 pm

great information. thanks a lot :thumbs:

lennyseeker 19th February 2011 10:19 am

"Ego" doesn't have a hold on you. "Ego" or objective awareness is an aspect of you -- it is you. It isn't at odds with the inner or subjective awareness. These awarenesses are always in harmony. They move together. One is not superior to the other and one is not dominant or more in control.

These divisions of the self are illusions -- they don't actually exist. So referring to them as if they are is always a distortion. :)

Warmly, Otho

PaulWSutherland 13th November 2011 8:20 am

I have ready many of Wayne Dyers books but I especially loved the movie, The Shift. Again Dr Dyer went into how the EGO is responsible for holding us back or for us allowing the EGO to be in control. I also loved the way he expressed EGO as to Edge God Out. Brilliant. :thumbs:

SpiritOfTruth 24th February 2012 8:16 am

I agree with this poster to some degree. I'm happy to go about my daily work and I enjoy my job. However, there are colleagues who don't like me because of my nationality and who make my working life a misery because I have to sit and listen to them swearing and cussing all day long.

I'm not a saint. I can't 'rise above it' and sit there and not have it affect me or my work. I don't see myself as having an ego problem or that I'm self important.

And yes, I am offended by these people who have no consideration whatsoever for others.

The only way to deal with these people is to ADMIT I am offended, report the issue and let my employers take formal action on my behalf. Not doing that would just lead to their unacceptable behaviour continuing to affect me and my life and that of others. So no, I think the healthy ego has it's place in our life.

ConnectWithInspiration 8th March 2012 3:50 pm

I love how you have expressed these ideas. Well said Sir!!!

I believe the same that Ego/Form and Formless live in constant harmony. They are mutually colloborative and make the world go around. Too much attention on form can cause the distoration of isolation from the oneness but we can't live without ego/Form. The game of life would cease to exist without the form.

The illusions have their own value...

Nicolas 31st December 2012 6:34 pm

I am so thankful to you for making this article because it was fundamental for me to find the missing parts i needed in my head to get things going the way they should be. You can't realise how much this helps me and how much of a difference it will make in my life. Thank you .

tignerd 10th December 2013 11:51 am

i agree with you here. But would like to add that you cannot disconnect yourself form the source because you are the source. It is confusing when you guys preach something and then later on contradict it.

AskAngels 28th December 2015 10:44 pm

I definitely appreciate the eloquent way Dr. Dyer would break down larger teachings into simple digestible truths...

But WHY overcome the ego? I think Albert Einstein said it so beautifully, in the context of the "rational mind" here:

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”.


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Wayne W. Dyer

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He's the author of 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.

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