The Difference Between Your Ego and Your Soul

BY Elyse Santilli        September 23, 2016

One of my biggest transformational moments in life was realizing the difference between my ego and my soul.

It took me a long time and a lot of soul-digging to get it. Here is a simple explanation:

Your ego is:

  • The image you have of yourself.
  • Your social mask – the face you put on for the world.
  • Your titles and roles – like girlfriend, daughter, brother, sister, friend, colleague, writer, teammate.

You can learn to spot your ego. When your ego is in charge of your life:

  • You’re often caught in circling thoughts – thinking about the same things over and over.
  • You’re often consumed by your emotions – especially lower vibration emotions like shame, blame, fear and anger.
  • Your inner dialogue is heavily focused on anxieties, fears, doubts and self-criticism ­– you catch yourself thinking thoughts like: I'm not good enough; I'm not beautiful; I can't do this; I am hopeless.
  • You feel like your worth is dependent on external things – like whether you’ve got a romantic partner, a big house, an impressive job, an acceptable body shape or a huge circle of friends.
  • You desperately want validation from other people.
  • You’re easily upset or angered when things don’t go your way – like when there's a long queue at the supermarket or someone doesn't match your expectations of them.

Your ego is something you have to live with – but you don’t have to believe everything it says. Try not to take it too seriously. It's not the real you.

You can learn to become the observer of your ego – you can watch your negative thoughts and swirling emotions come and go without getting caught up in them. You can also choose a different response – by forgiving your negative thoughts and choosing to think with love, gratitude and possibility.

Your soul is:

  • Your spirit, essence, authentic self or truth.
  • Who you really are deep down below all the labels, roles, expectations and social masks.
  • Something that doesn’t change – you may change your name, body shape, career or country of residence, but the one thing that remains constant throughout all of your life is you – your consciousness.
  • Inherently worthy and enough – you are divine energy from the Universe and you are born inherently beautiful, valuable and powerful.

You can learn to spot your soul. When your soul is in charge of your life:

  • You get a gut feeling about things – you access your intuition or an inner voice that guides you.
  • You start to love and accept yourself unconditionally just as you are.
  • You often feel higher vibrational emotions like love, appreciation, compassion, inspiration, enthusiasm, peace, wellbeing and joy.
  • Your have burning desires and goals, but your sense of self-worth and happiness is not dependent on them.
  • You are forgiving of others and you are more easily able to accept people as they are, imperfections and all – including yourself.
  • Your decisions, desires and ideas bubble up from within you – you are less easily influenced by society or the expectations of others.
  • You love the feeling of losing yourself in the flow of something you love – like yoga, running, walking, painting, writing or cooking.
  • You often feel an indescribable connection with the entire Universe – especially when you experience a sunrise, a starry night sky, an old tree, or a quote that resonates with you.
  • Everything feels more effortless and magical – it feels like the Universe is helping to co-create your life and dreams with you and the right people, places and circumstances unfold in perfect timing around you.
  • You feel more free to be authentically you and live an authentic life.
  • You understand your purpose in life is to follow your dharma – your unique life path – and give your gifts to the world in the biggest way.

Your soul is eternal and always present, even if you don’t always feel it or pay attention to it. 

You can build a better relationship with your soul through stillness, meditation, prayer, spending time in nature, journalling, tuning into your feelings and intuition, and spending more time doing the things you love.

Learn to listen to your soul when it speaks to you – trust in it and act on the advice it gives to you.

Your soul is a source of unconditional love, compassion, courage, strength, wisdom, happiness and joy.

It cannot be harmed by other people’s opinions or external circumstances. It can’t be harmed by anything.

To be fair, it can be challenging to dismiss the allure of the ego and be led by your soul.

But even if you only manage to tap into this deeper part of you a few minutes a day, your life will improve in many magical and beautiful ways.

This is because even one teaspoon worth of love, wisdom or courage coming from your soul is a thousand times more powerful than a negative message coming from the ego.

Try to remember this.

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Elyse Santilli

Elyse Santilli is a writer and life coach at She is passionate about helping people discover their inner spirit, create their dreams and expand their happiness. For free updates and tips, sign up to her newsletter here

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