Discerning – Soul vs Ego

by | Dec 12, 2021 | Ego, Self-Aware, Spiritual Ego

Soul vs ego. Intuition vs instinct; Do you know the difference? For years, I had no idea. My feelings were sending me two different sets of messages and I was oblivious.

Being able to discern where my information comes from and its nature has transformed my life for the better and increased my understanding of my inner self. I hope in sharing this we can make the same happen for you.

Gaining this perspective will help you find clarity in your decisions and offer some insight as to why you might have made the “wrong” decisions in the past (even those situations when it “felt” right – damn those!).

Separate Paths

Soul vs ego - path splitting into two

You may think instincts and intuition are interchangeable, but, in fact, they are not. On a good day, they can be in harmony, agreeing seamlessly on your path… but when they conflict, it causes issues and that’s when things go sideways. These conflicts create a lack of clarity, hinder your capacity to achieve your goals, and lead you to relive the same experience over and over.

Your “inner wisdom” has two sources and they are both integral to your inner balance. Scholars have been studying these for ages, so I’m going to keep this light and get to my point.

Instinct and intuition

First, there are your instincts. Instincts are based purely on your survival knowledge; it is intended to be supportive during life-threatening situations and triggers your fight, flight, or freeze response at varying degrees depending on your perceived level of risk.

Person in a white coat backing away and then running

Next is your intuition. Some would call it Divine wisdom or inner knowing. This knowledge allows you to access a higher perspective and tap into what we’ll refer to as your soul or heart-based wisdom. It draws from your deepest truths.

Chakras flowing in and out of a person

Most people don’t realize that your instincts and your intuition can feel surprisingly similar. Being able to discern between them and ascertain which is guiding you at any one time is where it’s at!

Here’s how your intuition gets a bad wrap

You might have said no to something because you had a “bad” feeling about it. But ask yourself, was it a bad feeling because the opportunity would have led you out of your comfort zone, or was the choice out of alignment with your values and conscious desires?

When you look back, is it possible that you have made choices thinking you were following your intuition and were disappointed to find it let you down? In fact, it was probably your fear-based reasoning, your instincts, that lead you astray, leading you to believe you couldn’t trust your intuition?

Your instincts will (for better or worse) want to keep you safely nestled in your existing experience. A good way to discern if your instinct was the culprit of your inner nudge, is when that path takes you in a “seemingly” different direction, and you find yourself in a (possibly) slightly better position that is essentially the same as before.

Feeling good 

This is where it can get confusing. You see, your mind releases feel-good hormones into your system when it recognizes something familiar. If you are used to experiencing hardship or lack, it’s comfortable there; it knows from past experience it has survived it, and this experience, although undesirable, will appear relatively “safe” in the eyes of the subconscious. You feel “good” about an experience simply because it is familiar, even if it’s not in alignment with what you desire consciously. When this is your driving force, you end up with more of just the same ole’ same ole’… and none of us want that!

This is where the conflict lies.

Let’s say you consciously desire change, improvement, or gain of some sort, all the while your subconscious feels safe in your zone of comfort. The kicker is that everything you want that you don’t already have lives outside of your comfort zone. In order to access it, you need to breach that boundary or expand your comfort zone (I prefer the latter).

Face the fear

Soul vs ego - exit sign pointing to the left

Attempting to gain something you’ve not previously attained will drive you to the edge of your comfort zone. As you draw nearer to the edge, you’ll trigger your fear response, which releases stress hormones even when the new experience will lead you to awesomeville.

This happens simply because this new experience carries a level of risk in the eyes of the subconscious. It’s human nature to interpret this as your instincts telling you to back off, but really this can often be a sign you are on the right path! This is where you start in with the self-doubt, talk yourself out of it, make a case for why it’s a “bad idea”, fall victim to cognitive dissonance, get a “bad vibe”, feel like you’re fighting with yourself (soul vs ego = you vs you!), or, in extreme cases, create literal, physical obstacles to prevent you from moving forward.

Say no to fear-based thinking

When you allow your instincts to drive your choices away from the edge of your comfort zone, you are giving in to fear-based thinking. It leaves you circling the edge of your comfort zone over and over, never allowing you to step across the line and gain the new experience or achieve the goal that you so desperately yearn for.

At the surface, you might think you are following your intuition, but you are really being controlled by your subconscious fear. Choosing out of fear is exactly what keeps you trapped in a life that doesn’t reflect what you really want. This is where you’re left feeling trapped or stuck in your life circumstances, unable to break free. It’s like Groundhog Day; your personal version of it.

Soul vs ego - roborovski hamsters running on a spinning disc

Instinct vs intuition – the difference

How I describe the difference is that my instinct is a strong and clear response fuelled by the subtle energy of fear, whereas my intuition is a soft guiding voice that says “feel free to consider this option”. My intuition has never been pushy, created a fear-based response, or interfered with my free will. Consider it in these terms, spirit and pure wisdom isn’t pushy, ego is.

Give yourself permission to take some time and contemplate your choices from a place of non-judgement and openness. This supports you in saying yes more often to the things that will bring you joy and no to the things that will keep you trapped by your fear and limited perspectives.

The comparison

Intuition/Soul Instinct/Ego
It feels good because it drives positive steps It feels good because it’s familiar

(even when it’s something you don’t want)

It feels bad because it’s a step backwards or in the wrong direction It feels bad because it’s unfamiliar

(even when it’s something you want)

Its goal is to create abundance and growth in the areas you crave Its goal is to protect… at all costs

(even when there is no true danger)

It often comes as a whisper and can easily be lost in your inner chatter. It often has a sense of urgency and feels like it’s trying to close the sale.

When your Ego wins, your soul losses.

Take a moment to feel into that….

When your Ego wins, your soul losses.

Using and teaching intuitive development modalities, and a spectrum of other healing modalities has taught me so much about inner communication. When you open the lines of communication between your conscious and subconscious, you become more aware of where your subconscious programming is supportive… and where it is limiting you. Muscle testing, meditation, and a wealth of other tools can be used to develop and hone this skill, resulting in an ease in decision-making and the confidence you need to step far beyond your starting comfort zone. Everything you want and don’t have exists outside of your current zone of comfort… ready to grab it?

It’s time for YOU to tap into your inherent wealth of wisdom… you’ll be amazed at just how brilliant you truly are!

Stay clear,

Anik 🙂

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