Uniqueness is a Powerful Tool of the Ego
Contributor
Written by
Terri Kozlowski
February 2020
Blogging
Contributor
Written by
Terri Kozlowski
February 2020
Blogging

We are all born unique, that is a fact.  Unless you are an identical twin, no one on the planet is the same as you.  Even if you are a twin, your personalities do differ, so in your own way, you too are distinctive.  So, how does the ego use this to its advantage?  By trying to make you believe that your uniqueness makes you better than anyone else.  How can that be true when we are all different?  We are distinctive, but none of us is exclusive because uniqueness isn’t special; it’s commonplace. 

 

Differences are the underlying cause of conflicts, and we are all varied and plentiful because any two people whose differences aren’t embraced and acknowledged by each other cannot overcome the conflict.  None of us want to fit into a mold to become more like another.  The ego encourages our specialness; thus, the divide between us and others grows. 

 

The ego uses the differences to mask and hide behind and create a boundary between us that only exists in our minds.  So, how do we overcome the ego’s tool of uniqueness?  We don’t forget that we are all different, but we also should look at what we have in common.  We all have a lot more that is shared than we think. 

 

The things that make me different are the things that make me. ~A. A. Milne

 

Embrace Your Uniqueness

 

First, we need to embrace our uniqueness as well as those around us.  This acceptance is done by being authentically yourself with those you encounter.  By doing so, you allow others to see your vulnerability, and it encourages them to be genuine with you. Being open with others can be scary.  This fear is the ego trying to hide who you really are from another person, as protection against getting your feelings hurt.   But, by hiding behind the mask, you cannot authentically connect with others. 

 

Since we all want to bond with people, it’s part of the wiring of our brain, then we all need to embrace the distinctive experiences we have lived.  Through our own lens and perspectives, how we translate those experiences is unlike how someone else would interpret them.  My sister and I lived through our early childhood with the same parents but remembered things differently based on our personalities and perspective. 

 

We all do things differently; even if we have the same job, how we execute our duties most likely is diverse.  Neither is right or wrong if they both end with similar results, just unique based on our personalities.  No shaming, even if there is room for improvement, as we are all learning as we go. 

 

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. ~ Cecil Beaton

 

Develop Your Unique Skillset

 

We all have quirky traits, and we all can see that others have their own personality quirks as well, showing that we all have a unique character and dispositions.  We should be confident in being ourselves and proud of how we uniquely do things as we all have different talents and skillsets.  We should develop these skills to showcase the best part of our distinctive selves. 

 

We all know that no one is perfect, and we are all growing as we move forward through life.  Therefore we need to be open to hearing from others how we can improve our skills by genuinely listening to our friends and peers.  It’s not about doing it the way others do it unless it works better for you; it’s about being open to receiving correction and teachings from those around you as the universe is always providing ways for us to learn. 

 

By developing your talents, you increase your value to those around you, especially in the workforce.  Your skillset increases and your uniqueness is enhanced.  Yet, all you are doing is being your best self, using your innate skills, and thus are more productive with less effort because you are enjoying the process.   

 

Be careful not to allow this uniqueness to cause the ego to get exaggerated by having you think that you’re irreplaceable because that is not true.  Yes, your skillset is different from many, but others can replace someone with an inflated self-image. 

 

You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own. ~ D.M. Dellinger

 

The Ego’s Label of Specialness

 

Throughout our lives, we’ve heard someone say that we’re special and the ego has grasped that word and taken to new heights in our minds.  We think that our uniqueness means that we’re so different from others that no one will understand us, or that our quirks are so strange that no one will accept us.  The egoic mind perpetuates these lies as it speaks to us in our heads as its purpose is to keep us from authentically connecting with others.  It thinks it's protecting us, but it’s prolonging a lie and continues to perpetuate our suffering.   

 

We aren’t special, like the ego states.  Yes, we are different from others, but we are more alike one another then we think.  I am a survivor of traumatic childhood abuse, but I am not the only one.  My circumstances may be unique, but the emotional and physical sufferings are very similar.  Once I was able to share the experience with others, I found that others understood and accepted me and my pain just as I was.  

 

Whatever demons you are fighting against, despite the egoic mind telling you that you’re alone in the world, it’s a lie.  The sad truth is that more people are suffering than there should be.  We all struggle with life, and we are not alone; therefore, we aren’t special. 

 

Someone is going to tell you, 'There is no 'i' in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not—but there is an 'i' in independence, individuality, and integrity.'” ~ George Carlin

Seeing Ourselves in Others

 

Since none of us are special, then we are all the same, right?  Of course not, we are all unique.  However, we are all similar, and we need to choose to see the similarities instead of the differences. 

 

We are observers, and those things that we tend not to like in others are the things we don’t like about ourselves.  When we judge someone for choosing to overindulge in liquor, it’s our own angst with alcohol that is the issue, not the drinking they are doing. 

                                 

It’s our unique story that separates us, but the experiences and the emotions we feel tend to be similar. That is where we need to put our attention on the resemblances so that the gulf between us diminishes.  By understanding that we’re not the only one that feels a certain way, we can begin to build a bridge of connection.  The fact that we are all different is what makes us humans so beautiful. 

 

As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others. ~ Robert H. Schuller

Overcoming the Ego

 

There are several ways that you can overcome the ego yet still be uniquely you.  The first one is to stay grounded, which is done with help from your friends.  Your close friends will encourage you but also keep you from becoming arrogant. 

 

Also, remember to be kind to yourself.  Even if you do take a misstep, take it as a learning experience and move forward.  Then you need to reframe the story you tell yourself about the event.  The ability to view the situation differently coincides with developing a self-care plan that allows you to be refreshed and to give back from a place of love. 

 

Another great way to share your uniqueness with others is to help people learn how to do what comes naturally to you by sharing your talent.  This sharing does two things, it helps others learn a new skill, and it fosters our connection with people by showing the ego that connecting with them isn’t harmful.  Over time we learn that engaging with people isn’t so scary, and we tend to reach out more and more to others.    

 

What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden, and it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great. ~ Emma Stone

                                                                                                                        

 Moving Forward

 

Seeing the similarities in one another is how we consciously overcome the ego and authentically connect with people, even when we disagree.  But we all can be compassionate at the sight of the suffering of a fellow human being.  We can be considerate of one another as we cross each other's path.  Everyone wants to be loved and accepted, so consciously choose to love and accept all those who enter your life, even briefly.  You don’t know how a single kind word or gesture can change the attitude or mood of someone.  Be the kindness you want to see in your community.

 

We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other's opposite and complement. ~ Hermann Hesse

 

As you realize, the ego uses our uniqueness to keep us from authentically connecting with others instead of accepting one another, and becoming conscious about your mindset; you can alter the course of your life.   To receive more enlightening articles right into your email, fill this out now.

Do you need help in understanding the tools of the ego?  Do you need support in making authentic and loving connections with others?  Do you want a strategy to help you create a remarkable life?  If so, please contact me, and we can put together an action plan for you to be authentically you and for you to know that you are enough.

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