Ego vs. Intuition - The struggle of inner voices
Each of us can connect with our intuition. Nevertheless, sometimes it's not that easy. In everyday life we encounter a whole range of voices: friends and family, our conscience, our ego... It is not always easy to recognize which is our “true”, inner voice.
What is the ego?
In psychology, the ego is defined, among other things, as the part of us that is responsible for analyzing our reality and reinforcing the conception of our personal identity. Our ego's main job is to ensure that our basic needs are met: food, shelter, and monitoring the environment to make sure we are not in danger.
The ego analyzes the future and pushes us to make plans. For things that are certain to happen or things that can only happen potentially. It also reminisces about our memories and past events. It seeks to determine whether we could have done anything differently that would have improved the outcome of the situation or our future.
That sounds pretty good at first: the ego wants to ensure our survival. The problem is that these days we don't rely so much on our ego anymore. Our caveman ancestors relied heavily on their ego and survival instincts; After all, their everyday life often consisted of fight or flight reactions (psychology calls this the “fight or flight response” or “fight, flight or freeze response”). We now live in a comparatively very safe and organized world and actually need our ego much less. However, our brains (and our body's reactions) do not change as quickly as our environment. That's why the ego still dominates and controls us. The presence of our ego can lead to everything from stress to anxiety to depressive episodes.
What is intuition?
From a spiritual perspective, our intuition comes from our soul. The soul is an energetic organism that resides temporarily in our body and is connected to a higher intelligence. Our soul wants us to experience love, enjoy our life and grow. From time to time she sends us messages to help us find our way and gently point us towards our highest good. We perceive this as a gut feeling, a slight tingling sensation or a small push. But our intuition can also reach us in the form of an inner voice that we hear speaking to us, or as inner wisdom.
It takes practice to be able to distinguish between the voice of the ego and that of intuition. That's why today I'm going to show you five ways in which you can open your consciousness to your intuition and thus make better use of your intuitive power.
Learning to distinguish between ego and intuition: 5 ways
Accessibility and responsiveness
The voice of our intuition usually makes itself felt immediately after a situation we have encountered or after we have asked ourselves a question. However, the ego follows just a few seconds later: it doubts our decisions, overanalyzes the circumstances and makes us question our reactions.
This may become clearer with an example: Let's say I ask myself whether I should devote more time to my passion project. My intuition would immediately answer “yes”. Just a few moments later, my ego would kick in and tell me all sorts of reasons why this was a bad idea.
Sound and tone
Our intuition sounds gentle and loving. It always aims for our best intentions and focuses on love. In some spiritual teachings it is assumed that all our decisions ultimately come down to the question: “Do you choose fear or love?” are attributable. Our intuition would always answer this question with “love”.
The sound of our ego, on the other hand, is loud, fearful and arrogant. It would often choose fear, but only because it actually wants to protect us. But because it expresses itself so aggressively, it usually drowns out the voice of our intuition. This is what makes it so hard for us to connect with her.
Location in the body
Our intuition comes from the center of our heart, i.e. in the middle of our chest, directly behind our breastbone. Maybe you know that warm, fuzzy feeling that spreads through your heart when you do things you love or spend time with people you care about. This is basically your intuition wanting to make itself known and telling you: “Yesss, more of that please! That's great! Keep it up!"
The ego is located in our brain, more precisely in the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is located directly behind our forehead and is responsible for planning, decision-making and moderating our behavior. So intuition vs. ego is really a matter of “head vs. heart”…
Content and subject matter
Here too the difference is quite clear. Our intuition addresses and provides us with information that encourages us to live our best life. She is dedicated to things that make us feel and experience more love. The ego, on the other hand, provides us with all the information that is judgmental, analytical and focused on lack. The ego is very biased and constantly wants to give its opinion.
To go back to the example from before: My intuition would tell me: “Your heart project is part of your life path. This allows you to learn, grow and develop. You will also love yourself more and learn to accept yourself unconditionally as you are. It’s best to get started right away!”
My ego would respond very critically: “What if it goes wrong? You can't do that at all. It's better to keep doing what you're doing. This is much safer. Besides, thousands of other people are already doing it, so what difference would you make?…”
Ugh, who among us doesn't know this inner dispute? That can be quite tiring.
The only motive of our intuition is that we enjoy this life and have fun. It wants us to feel joy and notice the love that is in all things in life. That's why it gently pushes us again and again in the direction that can give us exactly that. Your intuition wants to find out what you enjoy and what gives you the most fulfillment.
Opposed to this is – how could it be otherwise – our ego. It basically embodies our survival instinct on speed and its drive is to protect us from all sorts of imaginary or real threats. It loves the status quo and doesn't like trying new things. The ego also always plays it safe and likes to make itself comfortable.
If you notice while reading that you don't really feel connected to your intuition, you can always start listening deeper. Your intuition is probably just waiting for you to receive its instructions and turn to it more.
As I was writing, I noticed how loud my ego is again and again. Because I can be a real scaredy cat, even if I know that I actually have nothing to fear. I should also connect more with my intuition again...
Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a while until you can hear the voice of your own intuition more clearly again. Therefore, it is important to keep asking yourself: “What do I need today? What should I know today?” and then waiting patiently for an answer. The answer will definitely come at some point. To do this, we have to turn down our ego voice and listen quietly to our intuition - because it wants you to hear it.