The ego is you as you think of yourself. You in relation to all the commitments of your life, as you understand them. The self is the whole range of possibilities that you’ve never even thought of. And you’re stuck with your past when you are stuck with your ego.*
Some look backwards for the answers, though I more and more suspect they are to be found by looking forwards.
Eckhart Tolle warns that with the ego comes the painbody: the part of us wanting to feel the wrongs inflicted upon us by people and circumstances, so proving we were right all along.
The True Self is open to the future that shows nothing needs to change to be our fullest self.
*From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.