A narcissist has an inflated image of his or her own importance. This person’s ego is sky-high. This creates a constant need for admiration, and expresses itself in a lack of empathy for others. Regardless of the outward image, there is usually a fragile layer of self-esteem that is vulnerable to even the smallest criticism.

The word narcissist is taken from a Greek myth. Narcissus was the son of the nymph Lyriope and the river god Cephisus. The god Apollo admired and loved him for his incredible physique, and he was known for his exceptional physical beauty. Walking by a river, Narcissus noticed his reflection in the water. Falling in love with his own beauty, and realizing he could never obtain the object of his desire in another, he killed himself.

Don’t be a narcissist. The downfalls of ego-centrism may not lead to suicide, but they do evidence themselves in physical and mental symptoms of poor health. To free yourself from your ego so you are not so “full of yourself”, try the following 4 tips.

1 – Find Out Who You Really Are

You may be the best at something, the strongest, the handsomest, the smartest. This or some other reason may be the source of your ego. However, in most egotistical people, this is not who they really are. Let go of your ego for a minute. Find a moment of seclusion and tranquility. Define who you really are, what is actually important to you, and learn to love yourself, warts and all.

2 – Understand That No One Really Cares

You may have the biggest ego on the planet. When it comes right down to it, no one really cares. Though you may be flooded with praise, people have their own lives and issues to deal with. Is a very humbling moment when you realize that your self-destructive, egotistical mindset only matters to you. Freeing yourself from this superficial way of thinking can keep your ego in check.

3 – Realize That You Can Learn from Others

The smartest person on the planet understands that he knows very little. “Pride goeth before the fall”, and the egotistical man or woman is going to experience a very humbling fall indeed. Regardless of gender or age, cultural or socioeconomic background, people have a lot to teach you if you can just put your ego aside for a minute.

4 – Give Yourself the Right to Lose

There are not too many instances in which you should intentionally aim for second-place or worse. However, you don’t always have to win. When your ego forces you to accept nothing but perfection, the amount of pressure you put on your mind and emotions is too great for anyone to bare. The effort you put into something is just as important a reward as where you are recognized in the pecking order of achievement.