Your ego is your defense—showing up whenever you pretend to be someone you're not. That's why finding the space where the true you abides is paramount. These workbook questions were curated by Martha Beck. The goal is to continue the conversation and go deeper into the lesson. Your answers are private, no one else can see them.
What is the one thing that you most identify yourself with (your looks, your job, your family, etc.)? Who would you be if that were to disappear?
How do you think others see you? How many of your choices are made to maintain this image?
Think of any area where you judge yourself as either inferior to others or superior to them. This is your ego jockeying for position. Fess up to that, and you'll have moved beyond ego—simply by recognizing it.
Are you constantly feeling disrespected? When is the last instance you felt you were treated badly? Why?
What choices have you made that are genuine expressions of who you are and in alignment with what you want from life? What choices, in hindsight, took you away from the person you really are, into an image fabricated by your mind and your society?
List choices you're facing now, whether big or small, and explore which are the ego-driven options and which represent those of your true self.
A lot of what we think of as ego is based on fear—of not being good enough, of not meeting others' expectations. How much of your relationships are based on what you think other people expect from you? Start by thinking of those closest to you.
What role do you play at home, at work or in the world? What roles do you assign others? What would happen if you were to become aware of these roles and make them less important?
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 6, 2013