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The ego is a small three-letter word that causes most people tremendous trouble.
In this post, we’re going to provide you with some of the best quotes available to help you understand more about this belligerent part of psychology that all humans deal with.
An uncontrolled ego will, without a shadow of a doubt, turn you into a selfish person – or even worse makes you “egocentric” which has disastrous effects on your overall development and your quest for a more fulfilling life.
Before we get to the quotes, let’s discuss a little more about the ego.
The word “ego” gets tossed around a lot. It can be a little (or large) part of yourself that simply is on the lookout for how something can benefit you, fulfill a desire, or improve your social standing. You might have read that and thought – “what’s the big deal? That doesn’t sound so bad.” The issue with the ego is how it operates and how insidiously it can hijack a person.
The ego is most likely an evolutionary necessity, in an ancient world where we struggled to survive, having some desire to be at the top is helpful. The problem is that when it gets too big it begins to take at the expense of everyone else around you and pulls you into a trap of accumulating more than you need, as well as becoming a slave to your desires.
In very ancient times, accumulating wealth and power was said to be the key to happiness. However, we know that’s not true (depressed, lonely billionaires are not rare and powerful politicians are some of the most despised people on the planet).
So, how will these quotes help you? Understanding the ego is a subtle and difficult thing – as the great philosopher and speaker Alan Watts stated, anyone who confidently states that they have “grown” beyond their ego is missing the point.
A big ego can make you feel important, and it’ll cause you to behave in ways that slowly but surely bring out the worst in yourself.
- “The ego-self constantly pushes reality away. It constructs a future out of empty expectations and a past out of regretful memories.” -Alan Watts
- “More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.” – Albert Einstein
- “A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.” – Jillian Michaels
- “When the ego dies, the soul awakes.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, and fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
- “If you want to improve, you must be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epictetus
- “The ego hurts you like this: you become obsessed with the one person who does not love you. blind to the rest who do.” – Warsan Shire
- “Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.” – John Lennon
- “Dissolve your ego before it dissolves yourself.” – Maxime Lagacé
- “The biggest ego trip is getting rid of your ego, and of course, the joke of it all is that your ego does not exist.” – Alan Watts
The biggest ego trip is getting rid of your ego, and of course, the joke of it all is that your ego does not exist.” – Alan Watts
- “There are two circumstances that lead to arrogance: one is when you're wrong and you can't face it; the other is when you're right and nobody else can face it.” – Criss Jami
- “We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.” – Rabindranath Tagore
- “The ego is not master in its own house.” – Sigmund Freud
- “Let us be more simple and less vain.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- “Enlightenment is ego's ultimate disappointment.” – Chögyam Trungpa
- “To feel that life is meaningless unless “I” can be permanent is like having fallen desperately in love with an inch.” – Alan Watts
- “You can either be a host to God or a hostage to your ego. It’s your call.” – Wayne Dyer
- “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” – Criss Jami
- “As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You’re not thinking about loving; you’re just being love, radiating like the sun.” – Ram Dass
- “If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.” – C.S. Lewis
- “Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.” – Marina Abramovic
- “On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” – Michel de Montaigne
- “Awareness and ego cannot coexist.” – Eckhart Tolle
- “No, you’re not big. No, you’re not. You’re small in time and in space. And you have this frail vessel called the human body that’s limited on Earth.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
- “Silence is the respite of the confident and strong.” – Ryan Holiday
- “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.” – St. Vincent de Paul
- “The ego is your self-image, it is your social mask, it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval.” – Ram Dass
- “I am sufficiently proud of my knowing something to be modest about my not knowing all.” – Vladimir Nabokov
- “The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something.” – Muhammad Iqbal
- “Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight.” – John Bradshaw
- “Big egos have little ears.” – Robert Schuller
- “The Ego is a veil between humans and God. In prayer all are equal.” – Rumi
- “Ego is the immediate dictate of human consciousness.” – Max Planck
- “Flattery is all right so long as you don’t inhale.” – Adlai Stevenson
- “The ego is always looking to find something – the spirit can see what’s already there.” – Marianne Willamson
The ego is always looking to find something – the spirit can see what’s already there.” – Marianne Willamson
- “The ego relies on the familiar. It is reluctant to experience the unknown, which is the very essence of life.” – Deepak Chopra
- “Ego is about who’s right. Truth is about what’s right.” – Mike Maples Jr
- “When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful.” – Harbhajan Singh Yogi
- “Destroy your illusions so you can see reality. Destroy your fears so you can take risks. Destroy your ego so you can see life.” – Maxime Lagacé
- “The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.” – Pema Chödrön
- “She was a wicked thing sometimes. All full of want. As if the shape of the world depended on her mood. As if she were important.” – Patrick Rothfuss
- “If you think you're smart, think twice to be smarter.” – Toba Beta
- “The ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything.” – Richard Rose
- “Ego interrupts intuition.” – Danielle LaPorte
- “You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.” – George Clooney
- “The ego isn’t a real thing, it’s just the unexamined mind.” – Thibaut
- “When you lose your ego, you win. It really is that simple.” – Shannon L. Alder
- “The ego is antifragile. When attacked it inflates to protect itself.” – Michael
- “Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive.” – John Boyd
- “The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody's ego, that's it, game over.” – Gordon Ramsay
The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody's ego, that's it, game over.” – Gordon Ramsay
- “Our ego is our silent partner – too often with a controlling interest.” – Cullen Hightower
- “Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.” – Gary Hopkins
- “All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.” – Eckhart Tolle
- “My opponent is my teacher, my ego is my enemy.” – Renzo Gracie
- “The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it's egotism.” – Robert Frost
Final Thoughts on Ego Quotes
That brings us to the end of our list. We hope these ego thoughts have helped fuel your understanding of this side of your psychology. Becoming more aware and conscious also means being less selfish and egocentric, as the two simply will not co-exist.
And if you want more inspirational quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 57 Self-Awareness Quotes to Know Yourself Better
- 75 Empathy Quotes That Demonstrate Compassion for Others
- 65 Karma Quotes About the Actions & Consequences of Life
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.
Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.