Ep26: 8 Ways to Tell The Difference Between Intuition Vs. Ego

May 19, 2020

Do you know when your egoic or your intuitive voice is talking to you? How can you tell which voice is taking over your life decisions?

The question of is it the ego or the intuitive voice talking comes up so often when I talk to clients or students. For me, this is one of the best questions I can get from the people I help. So today I want to share 8 ways to tell the difference between your intuition and your ego and why it matters to know which one is taking over your life. I want to share how you can start shifting your mindset into recognizing your higher self more in order to build the life you want and start helping others find their own intuitive voice.

My hope is that at the end of this podcast episode, you get a clearer and better perspective about your intuitive voice and your ego. So listen in and enjoy!

Soul Stirring Quotes

“Our egoic self has a place in our lives, but it is not the driver’s seat.”

“Right answers become easy to find and effortless when we learn to attenuate ourselves to the part of ourselves that always gives us the right answer.”

“Start developing a relationship and a known awareness around who we are listening to – the ego or our intuitive self as a messenger.”

“Your intuitive voice is not critical of you, hammer on you or beat you up. It corrects your mistake from a beautiful place of kindness and compassion.”

“Your intuitive voice recognizes the challenge or problem, but it does it through the lens of staying solution-focused.”

Your intuitive voice is always going to encourage you to find some peace and some centeredness with respect to how you approach life.”

“Your intuitive self understands that the world is continuous.”

“Fear is an emotion that invites us to have a deeper relationship with ourselves.”

“A quick way to get yourself out of fear is to replace it with a child-like sense of curiosity.”

Your intuitive voice is not self-interested.”

“Your intuitive voice cares about empowering.”

“You start to understand yourself and everything in it in a much clearer manner as you go within yourself and focus on what is going on in your inner world.”

“You have the power to create the life that you need to create for you to thrive and flourish in your life and in the world, and really step up, serve and help other people.”

Episode Timecodes:

  • 0:33 The difference between your Ego and your Intuitive Voice

  • 4:45 How focusing on which side of yourself you are listening to can change your mindset

  • 8:25 Kindness versus Criticism

  • 9:56 Solution-focused versus Problem-focused

  • 11:07 Equanimity versus Anxiety

  • 12:33 Unity versus Separation

  • 14:17 Curiosity versus Fear

  • 16:21 Highest good versus Self-interest

  • 18:17 Empowering versus Domineering

  • 19:47 Inner focused versus Outer focused

Links Mentioned:

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Website: heatheraliceshea.com


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Episode Transcript:

The number one question I get asked as intuition teacher is how can I tell the difference between my ego and my intuitive voice. And not only is this the most asked question that I get, I also think it’s probably the best question I get asked because it really strikes to the root of how we begin to differentiate between these different aspects of ourselves.

So the whole point of this episode is for me to give you eight little nuggets of wisdom to help you begin to facilitate a dialogue between the ego voice you have inside of you and your intuitive voice that you have inside of you and make no mistake. Both of these voices are varying in different aspects of who you are.

Carl Young, you guys know I quote him all the time on this podcast. He’s my favorite clinician and psychotherapist and all around incredible genius, said that the human personality is a loose conglomeration of many different individuals, all vying for, you know, their day in the sun, as it were, they all have different wants and desires and fears and hopes, right?

So we aren’t just one person inside of ourselves. We are a loose conglomeration of many different things. And so I really think that this question, hey, how can I tell the difference between my ego and my intuitive voice really speaks to that. It shows that we are truly, truly, truly multifaceted and multidimensional beings.

Okay. So in a second, I’m gonna share eight things that I want you to start eight ways or eight things that you can start paying attention to that will help you start differentiating to develop a strong awareness around when you are listening to your ego and when you are listening to your intuitive voice. Okay.

In the one case, and on the one hand, you don’t want your ego to be dictating to you, the decisions you make in your life. It doesn’t hold the wisdom. It doesn’t hold the awareness that you really should be bringing to bear on, you know, the challenges you face in your life. And, you know, the questions that you are trying to figure out about yourself, others, and the world.

So, you know, I certainly believe that, you know, our small selves, our egoic self, as it were, does have a place in our life, but its place isn’t the driver’s seat. Right? Like we really do not want that part of ourselves that does have a place. We don’t wanna, you know, drive in the car. We want it in the car. Right? Cuz it’s a part of us, but we don’t want it driving the car. And also just a caveat here.

I understand, just to define the word ego, I define the word or the concept of ego within the context of this podcast episode as just being, you know, it was kind of our small self, the self, the part of us that’s maybe stuck in fear that isn’t really feeling like we’re our most empowered, the part of us that’s not too concerned about growing and self-actualizing. It’s really kind of just a part of ourselves that only really cares about staying in our comfort zone and keeping body and soul together. You know, when we’re being chased by a wild animal, our ego self is super good at keeping us alive, but other than that, it probably doesn’t have any position in terms of making decisions to help us, you know, evolve and grow and become the best we can be.

That’s really what our intuitive voice is for. And I conceptualize the intuitive voice just as being the part of you. That has access to greater wisdom. The part of you that knows the right way, knows the right step for you, knows the thing that you need the most, even if you can’t consciously understand it yet, we are conceptualizing here, the intuitive voices being that part of you that already knows the answer. If you could just learn to listen to it more, right? Okay. So that is really what we’re doing here.

So the first thing I wanna talk about before we jump into these eight ways is this. This is a bit of a mindset shift. As you think about these eight things I’m gonna talk about, I want you to shift kind of into this mindset.

A lot of times when people are trying to get answers to things, what they do is they look for the right answer. They look for the best answer and obviously that’s amazing. Obviously at the end of the day, that’s what this is about. It’s about getting better, faster, more accurate, more awesome answers to your problems, and a life.

Right? So I get that that’s what we’re after, but we don’t find the best answer by beginning by looking for the best answer. So how we really actually learn how to do, to listen to and let our intuitive voice guide us is first by not being so concerned with the answer to the question we’re asking, but being super concerned with focusing on and becoming aware of the source of information that is providing us with the answer. Right? So let’s think about it like this. So in other words, it’s learning to pay attention to which part of yourself you are listening to, because if you’re listening to your ego, it’s probably not gonna give you the answer you wanna follow. And if you’re listening to your intuitive voice, it’s probably going to give you the answer that you wanna follow.

So if we shift our focus, from trying to figure out, you know, which is the right answer in any, in the millions of scenarios, you are going to be posed within your life, right? It’s never ending. You’ve got so many decisions to make, so many problems to solve, so many things you’re gonna encounter in life, right? Should I buy the gluten-free bread? If so, which brand? You know, I mean, it’s a silly example, but it’s literally never ending, the number of questions and decisions you are going to be asked to make in your life.

So that is pretty exhausting to just constantly trying to be figuring out the right answer. But if we will learn to attenuate ourselves to that part of ourselves that we know always gives us the right answer and just focus on that part of ourselves, well then right answers become super simple to find. It becomes almost effortless because we’re concerned with the messenger. We’re having a relationship with the messenger, not the message, right? We’re in relationship with the part of ourselves that has the ability and knows the answer to the question, you know, that has access to that information and not just this one specific, you know, the outcome to this one particular challenge I’m facing, right?

So that’s the mindset shift. I want you to begin to understand that how do we tell the difference between our ego and our intuitive voice? We start developing a relationship and a known awareness around who we’re listening to: the ego as a messenger or our intuitive voice as a messenger.

Okay. So it’s learning to say, okay, wait a minute. I know I’ll get to the right answer in a minute. Let me focus on who I’m listening to for that answer first. Okay. So right now I’m gonna give you the qualities of kind of your egoic, mind, the perspective, the qualities that it possesses and why it possesses them. And then we’re gonna talk about the qualities and juxtaposition to the egoic quality. We’re gonna talk about the quality that your intuitive voice will hold. And so, as you’re going about your day and you’re, you know, really focusing on listening to that inner guidance, you can ask yourself, okay, the answer that’s coming to me right now, or how I’m feeling, you’ll be able to sort of map it on to these eight different ways.

Okay. So the first one is kindness versus criticism. So the first thing to know about your intuitive voice, it’s not critical of you. It doesn’t hammer on you. It doesn’t criticize you. It doesn’t call you names. It doesn’t beat you up. Right? It’s actually very kind and your intuitive voice will absolutely call you out on mistakes.

It’s not that your intuitive voice is just this like, oh, so loving all the time. Although it deeply, deeply is. Your intuitive voice will also correct you. It just does so from this beautiful place of kindness. You know, it’s like, okay buddy, we didn’t get that one right this time. Or maybe you’re not looking, you’re missing something here, but it’s always your intuitive self.

That part of you is always gonna be super, super compassionate, super sweet versus your ego is just kind of like, well, you fricking moron, you know, it doesn’t really hold the capacity to be patient with you like your intuitive self does. So if you see yourself, if you are being really mean and nasty to yourself, super, super critical, that is not your intuitive voice. Okay. That’s your ego. You’re probably scared. You know, it might be, you’re listening to somebody else’s tape in your head who used to criticize you all the time. That is not the intuitive voice. Okay. So if the answer you’re looking for is coming from that voice, it’s being critical. We probably know that that’s not the one. We wanna try to jump over here and ask yourself. Hmm. Well, if I were being kind to myself, what would I say about this? Right?

The second one is solution-focused versus problem-focused. Okay. Your ego loves problems, problems, problems, problems, problems, problems, problems, problems. It thrives on problems. The drama. The issues. That’s where it feels comfortable. Because that’s what it knows. Right? So it likes to focus on the issues. It likes to focus on what is different. It likes to focus on what is conflicting and in some ways that’s great because we do need to learn to, you know, notice differences in things, but we should always be doing that from the perspective of finding a solution.

So when your intuitive voice is looking at a problem or an issue, it does it through the lens of staying solution-focused. So it recognizes the challenge. It’s like, okay, you know, this is the thing that’s wrong. Okay. How can we fix it? So it does see the problem. It just does it through the lens of, okay, we’re moving towards fixing it. It’s not interested in the problem for its own sake. It’s interested in the problem insofar as paying attention to the problem allows you to discover a really awesome solution.

The third is equanimity versus anxiety and equanimity is just again, $10 word for peaceful. So our ego really lacks the capacity to fully embrace, you know, a peaceful way of being. Its default state is really to just kind of be on high alert. And again, there’s utility in that to some extent, but we never really wanna be making decisions when we are in a state of duress, when we’re feeling anxious, when we’re feeling scared. It’s just not a really good place to be. And your ego will absolutely keep you there. Why? Because your ego thinks that anxiety and fear keep you safe and they don’t. They do not keep you safe.

So your intuitive voice. Is really focused on looking at whatever it is you’re up against from this place of, okay, let’s take a deep breath. Let’s pause and let’s just know that we’re okay. Know that we’re okay. And let’s, you know, kindly focus on a solution, you know, let’s just, yeah, it’s crazy. Yes. Ooh, stress. Okay. We recognize that and we know to stay in that state doesn’t really help us. So your intuitive voice is always gonna encourage you to find some peace and some centeredness with respect to how you’re approaching life.

Number four is unity versus separation. So if you catch yourself in sort of this black, white, you know, cold, hot, you know, us versus them, I live in Florida and football is really big here. So if you’re a Gator fan versus a Florida state Seminole fan, right? Like, Ew. Gross that’s total separation and duality.

And of course the ego, you know, through no fault of its own, that’s just the level of awareness that it sees the world, which there’s no problem in noting separation and differences. We just don’t want to be operating from that space. And so your intuitive voice is always rooted in a sense of unity. It understands that the world isn’t categorical. It’s continuous, right? That the world isn’t one. It’s not binary. It’s not a one and a two it’s 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9, 2. It’s on a continuum. Things can be more or less something that it’s all the same thing in different degrees, right? So it’s on a continuum, it’s not categorical. And when we learn to look at life from the continuum perspective, right, that things are just varying degrees of one thing, we begin to really transcend this whole notion that it has to be a one or a two, we can say, well, can it be like a 1.5, which is kind of a one and a two. So it’s willing to consider that we can note differences. You know, we can note separation, we can note differences, but we do it from holding unity consciousness. We do it from understanding that it’s and and not an or.

Number five is curiosity versus fear. Okay. So, you know, fear, isn’t a bad thing. I think fear really gets a bad rap. You know, it does help us in so many ways. There’s real danger in the world. And when we experience fear, it’s an indicator for us to look at that. That is an emotion, just like any other emotion, inviting us into deeper relationship with ourselves. Again, like with all things that the ego sort of the default position of the ego it’s okay. We just don’t want to stay there.

Okay. So your intuitive voice never makes you feel afraid. What it does is it replaces fear with curiosity. And so when you look at life and you kind of boil down, why do we fear anything that we fear? It’s really because it’s something that we don’t understand. It’s an unknown. And your intuitive voice recognizes that you don’t know something, but instead of feeling a fear around it, it’s just really curious.

It’s kind of like, hmm, okay. I don’t know what is going on right now, but I’m going to just ask myself a bunch of questions about this so that I can get a better answer of what is up, right? It’s not gonna, you know, get triggered right into fear and go running around like a chicken with his head cut off screaming fire, like your ego’s gonna wanna do every time you encounter information that is contrary to, you know, what you know, or what you have experienced in your life.

So if you find yourself in fear, a really quick way out of it is to replace it with this really beautiful childlike sense of curiosity, and know that, you know, unless you’re about to be bitten by a snake or eaten by a wild animal, fear is probably not going to help you a lot. Curiosity is actually the faculty through and by which you can gather more information about whatever it is you’re up against, which then enables you to be far more safe and protected than you ever would be if you were operating out of fear.

The sixth is highest good versus self-interest. And this one really largely ties into number four, which was unity and separation. These two kind of go hand in hand since your intuitive self understands that unity really is the truth behind our world and that duality, you know, separation, the binary construct through which we see life is really just dual expressions of the one thing. Your intuitive self understands that to do the highest good for you also includes to do the highest good for others and to do the highest good for the world. So since it sees you as this beautiful, intricate piece, a part of, you know, you’re just one expression of the, all that is to do what is in the highest good for you and is also doing what is in the highest good of other people.

So it’s your intuitive voice isn’t self-interested. It’s not going to look at a situation and say, okay, what’s in it for me? Right? That’s not it. That ego will be self-interested. It will say I’m interested in figuring out where’s my piece of the pie versus your intuitive voice will say, I’m interested in how we can come together and make sure we all get the biggest fricking piece of pie ever, cuz I know that if my neighbor has a big piece of, and my community has a big piece of pie, and my country has a big piece of pie, and other countries and other nations in the whole fricking world has a really big piece of pie, I’m gonna be happier because I love those people, because those people are an expression of me. And so I’m super, super interested in the highest good of all mankind, because I know that I’m just a piece of that too. So your intuitive voice is always gonna be looking for that win, win, win across the board because when other people win, you win and when you win, other people win. So that’s the whole highest good concept.

Number seven is empowering versus domineering. So your intuitive voice is always going to encourage you to grow and it’s always gonna encourage you to grow by owning your own power. And lots of times when you get answers from your intuition, especially as you really start working with it, what it will say back to you is, I don’t know. What do you think? It will kick it right back into your core and really encourage you to figure out what it is you believe to really wrestle with the information.

And it really, it does seek to empower you. And your ego, it really just kind of wants what it wants. It wants you to listen to it. It wants to dominate. It really believes that it is right. It really believes that it’s right. It’s almost like a petulant 13 year old who thinks they’ve got everything figured out, right? It’s like, move out now while you still know everything cuz when you become an adult, you won’t, right? Like I used to say that to my daughter when she was younger, I’m like, oh you’re 13 years old and you got it all figured out. Right? So that is kind of how our ego is. It wants to win the argument it wants to dominate.

And your intuitive voice does not care at all about dominating. It cares about empowering. It cares about truly from a place within you and also fostering this within other people too. Right? It doesn’t wanna dominate other people. It wants to empower other people from the inside out, which brings me to number eight.

We are rounding this sucker out with inner focus versus outer focus. And this one largely I think ties into number two, our solution-focused versus problem-focused. Your intuitive voice understands that as you go within yourself and as you focus on what is going on in your inner world, that you start to understand yourself and everything in it, everything in your world in a much clearer manner. And what your intuitive voice is interested in is in your own ascension.

It’s interested in your own growth and we cannot, we cannot grow, we cannot self-actualize, if we constantly focus outside of ourselves. It is so easy to point the finger, man. Your intuitive voice is always gonna say things like this. Oh, you got a fight with your brother, did you? Okay. How did you contribute to that argument? In what way can you improve? Let’s look at how we behaved in that encounter. How can we take responsibility? How can we seek peace? How can we have been more kind? How could we have been curious instead of argumentative? How could we have looked at the highest good? How could we have stayed solution-focused? How could we have stayed firmly rooted in unity in that encounter? It will ask you to do that. It will ask you to look at yourself first before you begin to look outside of yourself and look at what other people did or didn’t do, or, you know, whatever the situation is. Right?

So, whereas your ego will not, it doesn’t care. It just wants to point fingers and go, eh, yeah. Okay. It’s all out here. Right? The solution is exterior to one’s self. The fault is exterior to one’s self it’s all out here. Exterior. And certainly, you know, it isn’t to say that there is no validity in seeing that there are in fact exterior events happening. It’s more so just not given your power away, you know, to those events. And, you know, if you let your ego get away with that, if you let your ego kind of take that outer focus, ball and run with it, you know, in 15 minutes you’re gonna be into the biggest victim consciousness you’ve ever seen in your life, because that’s what, you know, if we give outer focus, you know, free reign, that’s really kind of what it does is it, it turns us into victims and makes it to where you can’t really remember that you do have the power to create the life that you want to create and also really need to create for you to be able to thrive and flourish in your life and in the world, and also, you know, really step up and serve and help other people to do the same thing.

So I am going to include a little infographic in the show notes. If you want to just have these eight things, you know, you can paste it up on your wall, print it out, you know, I don’t know, tattoo it on your forehead. Something to help you really start letting these ways sink into your consciousness so that you can begin the really exciting journey of listening to, and focusing on this wisdom that you have within. And can you imagine stop for a moment and just imagine what it would be like if you could remain in your kindness, always focused on the solutions, peaceful, unified, curious, win, win, win, all around, empowered, living your life from the inside out? What a wonderful way to live. How incredible would that be? Right? What a gift.

And so I encourage you to play with these eight ways as you move forward. I also have a online course that walks you through these eight ways and gives you practical applications that you can use to begin to really implement each. And so I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes as well. Until next time.