Our being, called self, is according to Carl Jung what corresponds to our true nature. It is a conscious (ego) and unconscious whole. To conquer the self is to make the unconscious part conscious according to a process called individuation. The ego is the perception we have of ourselves. However, it is only a small part of our essence. The more insecure we are, the more rigid our ego becomes and the more impervious its contours become, so that we are no longer able to become aware of the conscious part of our being.
This is why it is necessary, in order to discover our nature, to be comfortable with a certain vulnerability so that our ego lets its guard down. When we work to make our ego permeable, it can listen to the echoes emitted in the depths of our unconscious. To overcome the ego is to receive the self as a reward.
There are a thousand ways to destroy the shell of the ego to make it porous. The first is simply to live. Existence is finally the most beautiful school to become humble. Its tumults and its backwash come to flay each more our belief to pierce our true essence there. To escape its lessons, we would have to deliberately live cloistered or perch in our ivory tower.
If, on the other hand, our ego resists the assaults of a conciliatory or even complacent entourage, we will not be able to resist for very long the judgment offered to us by our reflection in the mirror. We can deceive the world but it is more difficult to deceive ourselves. There is always a little voice that echoes in our ears even though we do our best to ignore it.
Finally, if we have not succeeded in overcoming our ego after the confrontation with these two adversaries, it may be that we prefer to live in lies or ignorance, in which case our happiness remains fragile because at any moment the truth may come out.