In buddhist circles it is usually said that we are trapped by our notions about ourselves.
Sometimes I think not-self is as dangerous as the self, we end up trapped by that notion too, almost making a thing of the ego, a devil to be fight and conquered, the subject of struggle, confussion and worry (because we deny to admit that we don't understand).
Whatever we make of the ego, it is not by creating more concepts that we awake or get liberated, but by abandoning completely concept creations. Can we do that? Or is it too much for our egos?
Let the ancient master speak:
Cast off completely your head and skin. Thoroughly withdraw from distinctions of light and shadow. Where the ten thousand changes do not reach is the foundation that even a thousand sages cannot transmit. Simply by yourself illuminate and deeply experience it with intimate accord. The original light flashes through confusion. True illumination reflects into the distance. Deliberations about being and nonbeing are entirely abandoned. The wonder appears before you, its benefit transferred out for kalpas. Immediately you follow conditions and accord with awakening without obstruction from any defilements. The mind does not attach to things, and your footsteps are not visible on the road. The you are called to continue the family business. Even if you thoroughly understand, still practice until it is familiar. (Hongzhi Zhengjue, 1091-1157)