The Mind vs The Inner Voice & Intuition: How do you tell the difference?
I – like many of you reading this – have always lived my life dictated by my mind. Since I was a young girl, it was constantly filled up with expectations from others – from society, from teachers, my mum.
It was filled with all that comparison, all the competitive gunk from peers, parents and teachers. It was filled up with what the media told me I should be like or look like.
My mind was filled with feelings and thoughts of low self-worth. For as long as I could remember, that was how I self-identified. Especially in the area of achievement – be it school grades, college GPA, getting into the badminton team etc. I was never enough.
I was never enough for my parents, I wasn’t beautiful enough for the guys I liked, I was never good enough for my friends, which was why they abandoned me.
I think my entire existence before 25 can be summarised by “I’m not good enough and never will be”
Feeling like you are not worth whatever you want is one of the biggest pains and conscious fears that we all experience in our lives.
The Mind or The Ego
Depending on what you call it, the mind or the ego, it’s the conscious bit of yourself.
It is where all the programming is. Your beliefs accumulated over the years from mum and dad and Mrs Harris at school, the media, your friends from all ages, what you’ve experienced yourself in life, the vicarious experiences of others. They are all up there in your head.
There are also the rules. The shoulds, coulds, need tos. Things that you don’t actually want to do, but feel obligated to for whatever reason.
It is also where the fears and worries reside. The what-ifs, the if-nots, the I will never make-its etc.
For many of us, our minds govern our entire existence. It is always telling us what to do and what not to do.
We spend a lot or all of our lives trapped in the stories our mind/ego tells us.
So we never chase after our dreams, live (and die) by our fears and allow our inner critic – made up of mum, dad, Mrs Harris, the media, our math teacher from high school etc – to crap on our self-esteem, prevent us from growing….
That’s our ego’s purpose. To protect us. To warn us. To keep us safe.
But in doing so, it keeps us in the past, it holds us back by playing the negative tapes we’ve stored in our heads for years.
How does your mind/ego sound like?
Loud. It’s always very loud and trying to tell you what to do. It might be pretty angsty and shouty (mine is) and very negative. It is very critical and punishing.
It might actually sound like a voice of a parent or teacher.
Also it can’t SHUT UP. If you have been very used to making decisions from your mind (many of us are) over the years, it always takes over whenever you are deliberating life choices and decisions.
It is angry, fearful and hasty. Mine always reacts out of fear and pushes me to do things I’ve usually ended up regretting.
It has a false sense of urgency and impatience about it that can be very difficult to ignore.
The intuition, the gut or the inner voice. This always appears deep in your body.
Some people feel it in the stomach or gut (I do), some people feel it from the heart. Some people actually hear a voice speaking to them. All of us will feel or hear it differently.
Sometimes they manifest itself physically. Like you meet someone or enter a place and you feel something suddenly.
Or if you think of something and an emotion or gut feeling comes up – pay attention to all these sensations and emotions.
Some of us trip up here because we get confused by the fearful mind.
There are tools available to help you differentiate the mind from the intuition, but it does take time and practice.
Tapping into your intuition and inner voice is like flexing a muscle. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you can’t seem to be able to hear your gut speak to you.
So how does your intuition/inner voice sound like?
The thing about the innervoice/intuition or whatever you call it is that it is usually very calm, quiet and at peace.
It has a very wise, calming, kind energy, which is also why it tends to get drowned out by the frantic, frenzied, stern energy of the mind.
For many of us who operate from the headspace all our lives, it can be even harder to hear what the inner voice has to say to us.
For some of us, our intuition doesn’t speak but it gives us nudges or sensations.
How do you differentiate both?
This takes practice but there are two key things to pay attention to:
- The energy and the vibe that the voice gives off
- Where the voice is located – head, heart or gut?
The key thing that needs to be remembered here is that we have all been in our headspace for so long that to even be able to hear our inner voice come through and identify it accurately is a great achievement for most.
So be compassionate on your journey to listening to the inner voice.
Just always remember that your intuition is always there for you and it always has your best interests at heart.
It just knows what you need to do. And all you need to do is just trust it.
To find out more about how to tap into your intuition to lead the life that you have been dreaming about, join the challenge below:
With 10 years of experience as a Researcher (MSc) in Psychology, Neuroscience, Mental Health, Consumer and Organisational Behaviour; I help action-oriented, time-strapped people and solopreneurs crush their inner critics, navigate toxic workplaces and relationships and build their self-esteem so that you can have the freedom, happiness and confidence you desire. I spend the rest of my time daydreaming and downing cups of tea/coffee – my life’s vice. Ask me any question and I will answer it in a post.