Ego starts forming in young children as we gain awareness that we’re different to other people and we start to build our sense of self – our identity. We don’t really understand ourselves or the world so we rely on others to cue our self-beliefs. If someone calls us smart, our unconscious mind will remember that and, like a greedy little hoarder, stash it in our ego. And, if we never reflect on our ego, that childhood belief might remain part of our sense of self forever, and our actions might start to revolve around protecting that self-belief. As our ego continues to develop, and hopefully strengthen, we begin to rely less on others for caring about our self and more on our own beliefs and opinions. However, that’s not always the case.