When you are making any type of decision – big or small – it is typical to ask for advice from those you love and trust. If you have ever been in this situation, you have most likely heard the phrase, “Just go with your instinct.” Our instinct, or intuition, can guide us in our lives to make the right decisions that will benefit us in the long run. However, there is another side that contributes to the way we live our lives, which is our EGO.
The balance between ego and intuition is an interesting one. For many people, ego is the driving force in their lives. Ego is louder than intuition – it can be overbearing and drive most of the decisions in our lives. In contrast, intuition is more gentle and harder to hear at times. Ego and intuition are often in conflict with one another, so it is important to know how to tell the difference between the two, when to listen to each one, and how to use your intuition to function as your highest self.
What is Ego?
In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to stop and sit in silence with your thoughts for any amount of time. However, it is the first step to recognizing your ego and intuition. When you sit in silence to ponder a question or think through a situation, you will usually have a gut reaction or initial instinct right away. A few seconds later, the ego will follow and you will hear the voices in your head start talking. One of the easiest ways to remember Ego is: Edging God Out!
To understand the ego, we must know where it stems from. The ego is the part of our mind that protects us, keeping us human. It stems from our lived experiences, such as past traumas, fear, anxiety, scarcity, and judgment. It works to make sure our basic needs are met above anything else, and when kept in check, the ego can save us from avoidable harmful situations – without it, we would continue to make the same mistakes time and time again.
However, problems start to arise when people let their ego be the driving force in their life. This can lead to issues such as anxiety, depression, or debilitating fear. If we are not careful, the ego can be so protective that we cannot get out of our comfort zone and progress in life.
Again, the ego is loud, overbearing, and often degrading. Common phrases you might hear from your ego are, “this idea will never work,” “you are not good enough,” “you will fail if you try this new thing,” and most commonly, “what if xyz goes wrong?”
There will always be doubts and questions in your mind – especially when you are going into the unknown. Your ego will want to do everything in its power to keep you deep inside of your comfort zone, but that is where intuition and progression come in.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is virtually the opposite of ego. It doesn’t speak often, it is more subtle, and it might come to you in the form of a feeling, physical sensation or even in a dream. Some of these sensations could include butterflies in your stomach, a sinking feeling in your gut, or a tightness in your body. Some of the best words to describe intuition would be loving, warm, subtle, simple, peaceful, and confident.
The difficult thing about intuition is that it is much harder to hear than ego is. As mentioned above, ego is loud and overbearing – you have to really listen and be in tune with your spirit to hear your intuition and let it guide your life. However, when you do let your intuition take over, it will guide you through life. It is the universe’s way of letting you know where you need to be, how to get there, and whether you are on the right track.
Intuition gently nudges you into greatness. The purpose of intuition is to help you connect with your highest self, which is why listening to your instincts and gut feelings is so important. Intuition will typically speak to you or come to you as a feeling immediately – then your ego voice will follow.
Ego vs. Intuition
Here are a few examples of ego vs. intuition so you can more easily recognize the differences in yourself:
Ego vs. Intuition
Extreme vs. Simple Fear vs. Peace Negativity vs. Positivity Justification vs. Feeling
In an article by the Proctor Gallagher Institute, the author describes examples that show the difference between ego and intuition in a real-life scenario. They write:
Intuition guides you to start a business that will help people. Ego urges you to start a business to get rich.
Intuition guides you to release weight to become healthier. Ego pushes you to lose weight to look good at your high school reunion.
Intuition guides you to ask a person on a date so you can connect with them and share your happiness. Ego pushes you to get a date so you won’t be alone.
Intuition guides you to buy a particular house because it speaks to your soul. Ego urges you to move forward with the purchase because you might not find another one you like.
As you can tell by the examples above, intuition is driven out of regard for your greater purpose and good, and ego is driven by fear and anxiety.
Strengthening Your Intuition
After reading this post, you may realize that you have been letting your ego guide your life. If this is the case for you, it is a good realization to have – so you can work to develop your intuition and let it guide your life instead. How do you go about strengthening your intuition? It is a lifelong practice that requires patience, but once you start to recognize your intuitive voice, you will be able to distinguish the difference and go with your instincts.
First, notice the fleeting thoughts you have throughout the day. There are a million different things on our minds at any given time, but pay extra attention to the thoughts that subtly come and go. These often stem from your intuition, and learning to recognize those thoughts for what they are can help you reach your highest potential. Next, notice your gut feelings. If you feel something is off, it probably is. If you feel called to do something, you should go for it. Do not let your egotistical thoughts crowd out your intuition – if you feel drawn to do something, it is most likely for your greater good.
And finally, take at least three to five minutes per day to ground your energy or meditate. Spending time alone with your thoughts will help you learn to differentiate between your intuition and ego, ultimately helping you reach your highest self. If you would like to learn more about how to Strengthen Your Intuition, visit Strengthening Your Intuition or book a session at The Peaceful Sage today.