Our Best Inner-Guidance System

What voices do you listen to inside of yourself?

Do you find there are many different ones or one main one that dominates your thinking? Do you find yourself listening to that voice(s) even when you would like things to be quiet inside? Does that dominant voice chatter on no matter what you do?

For most of us, this is the common experience when our ego is in charge of our thinking and the focus of our inner attention.

Our ego is the aspect of us that aims at protecting us, keeping us safe, and thinks we are still 5 years old and in need of emotional protection. You know it’s the ego’s voice when you hear the fear-based thinking that is focused on a regret about the past and/or a fear about the future. It can often reflect the voices and attitudes of our early caregivers. If I had a critical mother, I may have internalized a critical ego telling me if I could only be better, faster or smarter, then I would be safe and loved. Or I may have internalized a cold unyielding voice telling me to stop being so sensitive and to get it together or I’ll be ‘eaten alive’. Each of us is unique in how our ego was formed to best support our early survival even though we share many of the same belief systems (be polite, say please and thank you, live by the golden rule, it takes hard work, etc.).

When our ego is the only voice we rely on inside, our lives are often focused on surviving instead of thriving. Our ego is afraid for us to try new things, take risks or get out of our comfort zone. It can be suspicious, jealous, blaming and arrogant. One of its many strategies may be to criticize or bully you into shape with the logic of you being ‘enough’ to get what you really want and need. Another strategy may be to push you to please others, so they will give you what you want and need (love, recognition, approval, appreciation, etc.). The ego’s ramblings are based on regrets from the past or fears of the future. It looks for problems (often other people’s problems) so that it can come up with solutions. While this can be very helpful when aimed intentionally by us, most of the time it is doing this all by itself and we don’t know how to get it to stop.

Your inner child and guardian will NOT interfere or speak up unless you ask them to – unlike our insistent ego.

One thing we can do to disarm the ego is to begin paying attention to two (2) other voices that are available inside us to help us thrive as our authentic unique selves. One is the voice of our inner child. The one that our ego is trying to protect from pain that happened a long time ago with limiting beliefs designed to keep that child safe. This voice is the one that knows what you really want or don’t want in each moment. When you give choices to the inner child by asking it what it wants in a specific situation, it will tell you very clearly yes or no to each option. It doesn’t compare to the past or consider the future – it knows what feels best to it in the present moment. The other voice is the one of our higher self/guardian/spirit. This voice is not as loud as the ego or the inner child, yet it is filled with wisdom and easily heard with a little bit of practice. This higher self/guardian aspect of us will always provide unconditional love and higher perspectives about how our current experiences are FOR us and not AGAINST us. Your inner child and guardian will NOT interfere or speak up unless you ask them to – unlike our insistent ego. This means you get to initiate the relationship with these two other voices, asking for their support and then letting them support you.

When you start to look for, listen to, and honor these other two internal voices as much as, if not more than, you listen to your ego, life balances out and becomes much more peaceful and filled with beauty and vitality. When we remember that the ego is coming from a limited place in its understanding and we have other voices to guide us, we begin to help it find it’s rightful place in our psyche. Recognizing which voice is which and asking for support from the two that are most quiet, is a great starting place.

Which inner voice will you listen to today?


Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
WENDY is passionate about enabling individuals, organizations and communities to value themselves and each other in the ongoing process of change. Wendy has guided hundreds of individuals and over 750+ public and private sector organizations to achieve tangible increases in impact and performance. Her successful practice in mentoring and coaching has led to authorship of the book, ‘Live a Life You Love and Make a Living Doing It’. Over the last 30 years, Wendy’s skills have been honed in leadership roles at MTV Networks, The Rensselaerville Institute, and a variety of community based projects in her town. In 2015 she launched BeliefWorks and offers Belief Coaching as a way to address the root cause of what limits the results we can achieve both personally and professionally. This is an 'upstream' solution to change. Instead of changing limiting behavior, she focuses on changing the limiting beliefs that drive that behavior. In all cases, her clients and partners speak to the specific increases in achievement that her consulting, coaching and partnership roles make possible.

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  1. Another heartfelt and integral piece Wendy. Thank you for sharing.

    We have many voices in our heads because we are a composite of all that we go through in life over the years, the impressions we want to give people we meet and interact with; our moods and sense perceptions, our joys, our fears, our anxieties, our dreams, our fantasies and a zillion other things that we feel and think. This is only human, certainly ego-bound and even more bound to our insatiable hunger for love. In my opinion, listening to our inner voices must be in tandem with self-assessment while ceasing self-orbiting.

    While I would love to believe in the innocence of our inner child’s voice, countless children are traumatised with horrifying experiences of war, abuse, deprivation, and abandonment. I wonder about their inner child’s voice for no one can give from what they do not have. Even if they have thankfully not gone through such horrors, today’s children are having it tough because we as a society have killed their innocence. I don’t want to sound so bleak because there are children who are fortunate enough to be growing up in truly loving homes but there’s is no denying that their childhood is much more complex and less trusting than most of my generation.

  2. Wendy, everything you wrote makes perfect sense. I can usually keep my ego in check as generally, it is not very large. My inner voice is feelings that come over me that tell me something is not right or not to trust somebody or not to do something. My inner voice knows what I don’t know. Thank you, Wendy, for writing and sharing your terrific article.

  3. Fascinating article on a topic I love, Wendy! I have discovered I have many characters inside of me-all younger versions of myself. I have given them sweet, funny names like “Happily Flattered Florence” and “Pity Party Patty” and “Jealous Judy.” I no longer am unkind to these parts of me for they often guide me to healing, to a deeper awakening, an unmet need-a need that didn’t actually fully get met when I was a younger version of myself. I now know I usually can meet those needs in current reality from the place of my full grown adult woman self. What I love the best is the quiet one inside who watches all these characters flush to the surface, breathes and cares for each one of them with deep, enduring compassion, who listens closely with rapt attention for this witness knows these characters reveal where rich learning and healing can take place. I can grieve with all these parts of myself in safe and meaningful ways for mostly they feel absolutely and utterly alone (which my witness consciousness knows isn’t Truth-but all these characters struggle with limiting beliefs and unresolved layers upon layers of hurts). When a person has grown up with multiple layers of traumas, the process of healing and transformation can take a lifetime. You must feel safe enough and not be threatened by abusive individuals to do this deeper dive work of integration of all your parts and pieces, which many call the “ego.” To transcend the voices of these characters, you must listen closely to them first, resolve the past hurts as best you can-feel all those feelings-shred all those limiting beliefs as they show themselves to be lies, and embrace this moment right here right now in peace, grace, and love. Thank you for writing so thoughtfully on such an important topic-one that I’ve reflected on for years and years.

    • Wow Laura. I love your clarity and understanding of what it takes to release the trauma and allow our best and highest selves to come to the front. Thank you for your wonderful and vulnerable insight and sharing!