Ego, contrary to conventional gender perceptions, does not limit itself to inhabiting the minds of only men. Sadly, numerous people fall victim to the grasps of ego and because of this, are unable to advance in their respective fields of career, studies, relationships and most importantly, they become terribly unsuccessful in their attempts at growing towards becoming an overall better human being (which is what we all should aspire to become). Ego, which brings with it arrogance and pride, will result in a stagnation of self; one becomes fearful of carrying out certain tasks which can result in a growth of self, all because of the fear of failure.
We believe that ego, however difficult, should be shooed away from one’s body and mind because it causes nothing but immobility in the growth of a person. Refrain yourself, a Hijabi, from feeling superior from the fellow uncovered sister– Resist from talking back to your father with blank arguments when he gives you advice merely because your pride has been hurt and dive into the creation of that piece of art that you have been dying to make but have been too scared of its potential failure and the pain it may bring along with it. You can do so in three simple steps:
1. Honesty is key
Let’s face it: The most important person we have to be honest to is none other than ourselves. Failure to be honest towards oneself, to embrace and accept one’s own scars and flaws, is a major indication of a burning ego. When one practises honesty, tasks will be far more easier to carry out because once she has been honest about her abilities, her limits and her flaws, she will already be able to analyze and decide on the angle from which she should begin her work from, depending on the said abilities, limits and flaws. With that comes an impeccable end result, be it a book, an art piece or even a composed song. When ego is omitted and honesty is applied, the artist knows no boundaries.
Pro-Tip: Practise being honest as a part of your daily routine, and from there you will realize how easy it becomes to slowly admit that maybe, the argument you had with your best friend last week was your fault and maybe, you really are not that great yet with that paintbrush so you will have to put more hours into making yourself better.
2. Don’t be a control queen
A huge part as to why ego persists in the minds of some of us is because we feel that we, and only we, possess the knowledge into how to make a certain something work; for example, it is only I who knows how to carve this rock into the perfect circle. As a result, any offers of help from fellow colleagues, teammates or even loved ones are rejected, for their knowledge on carving the said rock shouldn’t be greater than yours. You are offered a sharper chisel and the suggestion of a better hand placement but you refuse to accept these because of how you think it is only you who knows best. In the end, your rock doesn’t take a perfectly circular shape. You have to accept that other people have astounding abilities too, and it is not solely you that has been gifted with talents and brains.
Pro-Tip: One way to start doing this is by not keeping to yourself and socialize and understand better the thoughts of your fellow colleagues, teammates and loved ones. You will feel your ego, pride and arrogance slip away once you accept that everything in life is a team effort, requiring the strengths of many different people, not just one.
3. Remembrance of the Most Perfect
There is a reason why ego is perceived with negative connotations: It is because with ego, as said, comes pride and arrogance, and these two are the basis of someone who thinks she is the epitome of perfection. This is wrong because as believers of the Muslim faith, we all know the only perfect being around here (and everywhere else) is Allah SWT.
Pro-Tip: Praise Allah, and let it come from your heart every time. The utterance of Alhamdulillah shouldn’t merely be a simple, meaningless and habitual expression. With this, the believer should realize that every success comes from Allah SWT, because if it weren’t for The Most Perfect, you will have nothing. Learn to understand the difference between striving for perfection and being blinded into thinking that you are perfection.