to Tell the Difference Between
A question I am asked frequently is how to know if you are receiving guidance or advice from your intuition, your spirit guides, or just your own logic or ego. It can be difficult to discern the difference if you don’t know what signs to look for. Let’s go over the differences between them.
I like to think of the ego as a little imp that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear when it has something to say. Usually it’s saying things like, “You’re gonna fail. Who do you think you are?” Or, “He totally hates you, and if you do that he’s going to find out and hate you more. I’d keep that little indiscretion to yourself!” It’s a little subversive and usually broadcasting on the fear and anxiety channel. On some level it’s trying to protect you from embarrassment and failure. It has a job to do, it has its place, but you’ve got to learn to recognize it for what it is. It only serves you to the extent that it is trying to keep you safe, it’s looking out for #1 which is you. It’s only care is to keep you safe and happy and off the front page of the newspaper. Many people find comfort in listening to this little imp and, technically, it’s a valid way to go through life. It’s not out to hurt you, only to protect you and keep you comfortable.
Logic is the mental voice that uses past experience, statistics, probability, and reason to communicate ideas to you. It is based on knowledge and facts, not ethereal hoo-haw. Besides drawing from your own experience you can use logic to draw from other people’s experiences, i.e. “Frank said Costco is always crowded on Sundays at noon so I should probably go on Monday when it opens instead.”
Spirit guides are celestial beings who are assigned to you to help guide you through life. They’re very aware of your life plan, which is the plan you concocted for yourself before you incarnated. They are volunteers. Their job is to keep you on track and help guide you through life. Their primary care is your growth and learning. That sometimes means discomfort for you. For example they might see that the best way to teach you to value money is to send you through a bankruptcy. On the other hand, your ego would never let something like that happen to you if it could help it. Your spirit guides carry the big picture, whereas your ego is involved only in the moment.
Your intuition is not a conscious being. I like to think of intuition as a concentrated blast of Source energy designed to help you avoid catastrophe or steer you in a really important direction. It’s more like a message than a messenger. I believe intuition stems from your higher self, angels, and God or Source energy. Intuition is there to guide you in the moment, to help you make decisions that will have a positive impact on your overall human experience. Intuition is connected to spirit guides in the sense that intuitive information usually follows your life plan.
How They All Sound
Here are some examples of how ego, logic, spirit guides, and intuition sound when they communicate with you. I think you’ll be able to see the differences pretty clearly.
go out with that loser, he’ll ruin your reputation.”
time you tried doing that you broke your ankle. Chances are
good you’ll hurt it again.”
be wise to accept the job in Los Angeles. It’s what you’ve
been waiting for your whole life.”
Do you see the differences? Again, your ego is out to protect you from failure and embarrassment. While it seems like it has your best interest at heart I wouldn’t say it’s the most encouraging growth-oriented voice in your arsenal. Still, it serves its purpose.
Logic is a wonderful tool of information. Developing your logic can certainly help you in life, until you run into something you didn’t see coming or have no information in your mental database to sift through. That’s when you have a failure, er, I mean learning experience, you update your file and move on.
Spirit guides won’t tell you what to do, but they will help you feel and/or understand your choices better. They’re coming from a higher perspective than you are, and they’re following your orders (your higher self’s orders that is). You can trust that your guides have your best interest at heart, but you can’t trust you’ll be totally comfortable following their guidance. They’re in it for the long run and sometimes see minor setbacks as necessary for your overall success.
Your intuition has but a moment to make an impression. It’s got to get vital, sometimes life-altering, information to you in a split second. Its general goal is to notify you that you are in danger or at a vital decision-making moment in your life. When you become adept at listening to your intuition you’ll start getting information about less life-threatening situations. Until then, you get snippets.
Now sometimes all four of these voices overlap. I can imagine a situation where this is possible. Your ego might say, “Why would that guy be interested in you?” and your logic is saying, “Look, this guy wants you to get in his van parked behind the alley. That is probably not a good idea. The chances of you going home in a body bag are pretty high right now. I say pass.” At the same time your guides are saying, “Do you really think you can trust this guy?” and your intuition is screaming, “Danger, avoid him!” If you ever get agreement from all four voices, I highly advise you to listen!
Getting to know the voices in your head can really help you manage your life. Identifying which one is speaking to you can help you determine how much power and credibility you want to give it. I have found that I prefer to listen to my guides and intuition over my logic and ego, but I know people who do quite well listening to their logic and ego so what can I say? It’s a question of where you want to go in life and how comfortably you want to arrive. In my experience if you opt for a faith, trust, and love strategy in life, you’ll listen to your intuition and guides. If you opt for a control or fear-based strategy in life you’ll probably prefer your ego and logic. There really is no right or wrong choice, just preferences. You might try developing the ability to hear all of them and then decide what works best for you.
The best way to develop the ability to discern them is awareness and practice. Whenever you consult that inner voice try to figure out if it’s a guide, intuition, or your ego or logic talking to you. Or consult all four before you make a decision. You could try 30 days with each as your primary inner voice and see which one gives you the best results.
Now, if you’re hearing other voices in your head like, “She looks tasty, let’s carve her up and eat her,” or “Jump off the barn because you know you can fly,” then you’re listening to something entirely different! Seek professional help immediately.