We all strive from an early age to put our best foot forward, but are we being true to ourselves? We strive to be successful by society’s perspective, but ultimately that usually leads to us living out someone else’s life rather than our own.

“In our eagerness to present ourselves as the greatest and smartest, we hide our true natures,” writes Jay Shetty in Chapter 8 of Think Like a Monk. Who you present yourself as – your persona – is complex and made up of different things based on who you’re around and the situation you’re in.

“We are a certain person at home, alone, but we present the world with a different version of ourselves,” writes Shetty. The biggest question remains – who are you when no one is watching, and how do you figure that out?

“To contemplate the difference between yourself and your persona, think about the choices you make when you’re alone, when there’s nobody to judge you and nobody you’re trying to impress,” writes Jay Shetty.

When you reflect on who emerges when nobody else is around, you get the truest glimpse into who you truly are.

“The false self that builds us up, just as easily tears us down,” writes Shetty. The ego that tells us we are brilliant and successful has no defenses when our weaknesses are exposed. But who are we without the ego?

Jay Shetty explores the double-edged ego and some of the lessons he’s learned about the ego in Chapter 8 of Think Like a Monk.

“If you don’t break your ego, life will break it for you … When my world was rocked, my self-esteem plummeted,” he writes. Low self-esteem is the flip side of an inflated ego. The two extremes are equally problematic.

Ego is two-faced. One moment it tells us we’re great at everything. The next, it’s labeling us as failures. When we stay focused on the ego, we are blind to who we truly are. It’s hard for us to get that programming out of our heads and move on.

Chapter 8 of Think Like a Monk teaches you all about the ego, how it manifests in our lives, and how to examine and fix any ego problems you may have. Grab your copy today.