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You may not realize this, but when your ego shows up in a situation it can push you to not hold yourself accountable for your own actions. On the opposite end of that same spectrum, ego can try to convince us that we should be accountable for things that are, quite frankly, none of our business, such as the approval of others, the timing of events and the details of how they unfold.

As we begin to regularly check our ego, we see that the entire universe is waiting to support us. Our Team [or the group of spirit guides and loved ones on the other side who champion and support us] loves it when we question ego, because it’s showing us what our soul was placed here to learn. It’s revealing where and how we need to work. The effects of this work ripple out through our spiritual lives, too. Every time we knock our ego into the back seat and insist on letting our Team drive the bus — and especially when doing so requires a lot of effort — it’s a small victory.

Three Ways to Work with Ego

The first of these is gratitude. When we express gratitude for the abilities we have been given, we immediately signal that we know our place in things. We send out a loud, clear message that we are not our gifts but rather the conduits for them. This can come in the form of a simple “thank you,” either spoken aloud or internally. We can regularly express our gratitude to our Team for the guidance and wisdom they provide. It is also shown through our action. We can demonstrate gratitude by speaking of our psychic gifts and the work we do to develop them with reverence. And we can honor all the messages we receive, without question. Whatever input we receive from Spirit, no matter how random it may seem, we can trust it. Doing so shows that we’re grateful and ready for more.

The second way to check our ego is to surrender our expectations. This starts with letting go of the time frame, which is one of the ego’s favorite ways to pop into our spiritual discourse. When we set expectations on timing, telling the universe it’s up to us to figure out exactly when everything is supposed to happen, our ego is in full force. It’s easy to turn this around, though, because we can simply release the need to know when. This simple step has a major impact.

RELATED: The Neuroscience of Letting Go

A quick side note on expectations: There is a clear difference between expectation and hope, and I would never want anyone to read this and confuse the two. Hope is better than expectations. It’s higher; it goes beyond the realm of the ego and into the realm of Spirit. When we have expectations, about timing or anything else, we can lead ourselves to so much disappointment. But when we lean into the idea of hope, even if it’s just a little pinpoint of light in the dark, it allows our vibration to immediately start to rise.

Expectations come with a need. Hope does not. And when we focus, even with total darkness around us, on the tiny pinpoint of light up ahead — the light of hope — there’s no disappointment. We either arrive in that light or we keep hoping for it. Hope never fails. While it’s important to surrender our expectations, don’t misunderstand me here; definitely keep hanging on to hope.

"When we lean into the idea of hope, even if it’s just a little pinpoint of light in the dark, it allows our vibration to immediately start to rise."

The third way to disarm the ego is to focus on celebrating others’ success and growth. I don’t mean just to do that when you have to — I mean to make a point of it. Lift up your friends. Honor your teachers. Get excited about what your peers are doing. Do it consciously and consistently. I absolutely recommend you start practicing this now and continue throughout your journey.

When we question the ego, we question scarcity. The ego wants to tell us that things like success, love, accolades and spiritual growth are finite, and that there’s only enough for the lucky. Then it suggests we might want to shove everyone else out of the way to ensure we are the sole recipients of such luck. This is all a farce — just lies, from start to finish. Don’t fall for it. The universe is inherently abundant; there is enough good stuff to go around. And I’m not the first to say it, nor will I be the last, but it is a universal truth that spreading the love makes it grow.

RELATED: How to Shift Your Relationship with Fear

When I celebrate other psychics — be they students in training, peers enjoying new levels of success or people who seem to be a hundred miles ahead of me in terms of their gifts and development — my ego shudders, because it knows I’ve got its number. The ego is highly intelligent, and putting my attention toward the achievements of others is the quickest and easiest way to outsmart it. As an extra challenge, I have to do this without beating myself up in order for it to work. In fact, I have to do it without comparing them with me at all. This isn’t easy, especially when we’ve been taught to compare and compete.

Try it out. Envision someone you admire, or perhaps even envy, receiving praise in a way that activates your ego. See yourself responding with “I’m so happy for you.” Try to mean it, with absolute gratitude for the exact place you are because it’s the exact place the universe put you. Then let yourself be excited, because you can know that your Team is taking you there — not to that exact version of success, perhaps, but to your best version of success. If you want, you can even thank the universe for that preemptively: “Thank you for showing me the reflection of my own accomplishments, even before I have achieved them.”

These three fantastic methods to work with the ego — expressing gratitude, surrendering expectations, and celebrating others — are available to us anytime we need them. I often find myself activating them right in the moment, as soon as I feel that little twinge that tells me ego is acting up.

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