Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth, and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear, comparison, and self doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living, and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today and everyday.
Hi, lovely ones. Welcome to Episode 67. 4 questions to distinguish between your internal voices, someone commented on one of my Instagram posts recently, if you’d like to follow me, just a minor shout out, I’m on Instagram and Facebook, actually, but most of the time, I’m on Instagram. My handle @drrebeccray. And they commented that they’d like me to explore the difference between fear and intuition. It’s a reasonable ask, I think because in the self-development literature, you’ll find discussion of multiple internal voices, including the inner critic, your conscious and authentic self, your intuition, and even voices that might sound like the grown ups from your childhood. And throughout the self-development literature, often these things are, or these voices are referred to by different titles or different labels. So it can be a little bit confusing. My own work distinguishes between the voice of your inner leader, which is your conscious authentic self, and the subconscious voices of your protection selves, which are the parts of you led by fear, resentment, unhealed wounds, limiting beliefs, and negative life scripts, kind of like the library that sits in your subconscious that holds the things that you seek protection from as you go about your daily life, whether you’re aware of it or not. Most of the time, we’re not aware of the things that we’re trying to get protection from. But as we raise our awareness, we can become aware of when we’re being led by fear in that way. The inner critic, as you might hear it called most regularly in the self development literature, is part of the committee of your protection cells. It’s part of those voices within you that are led by fear and they use different strategies to keep you safe from further discomfort.
Now, in my own work, I also believe that your intuition isn’t so much a voice. It’s more an instinct or a feeling and that instinct or feeling is likely identified and voiced by your inner leader. But how do you identify for yourself what’s what, who’s who and which chatter should you be listening to, if any? To do this, we need to look at tone, content, speed, and how it lands for you in your mind.
So let’s go through this. These kind of four questions are four ways of looking at what you’re listening to, in your mind to see whether or not it’s worth your time and energy to be able to pay attention to it. So firstly, tone, I want you to think about how does the voice sound? Is it disparaging, loud, mean, patronising sarcastic, cold, cruel, desperate even, whiny, complaining. If it’s any of these, it’s likely a voice that’s being led by fear, that is a voice that is pushing you to act from a place of self protection to avoid any kind of discomfort. So that also includes discomfort for the service of growth. So you will know that when it comes to getting outside your comfort zone, and when it comes to expanding the foundations of your life by doing things that require courage by doing things that require a lot of effort from you, that that requires you to be able to sit with discomfort, but the parts of you that are led by fear can’t necessarily identify comfort for growth versus discomfort for discomfort sake. And so instead, they just make a decision to avoid all discomfort. And what that does is it keeps you trapped in your comfort zone which very quickly becomes uncomfortable because you become bored and stagnant and often frustrated and depressed rather than being able to step outside your comfort zone and expand Now is this tone warm? Is it kind? Is it encouraging, calm, no nonsense, friendly. If it’s these things, then this is likely the voice of your conscious, authentic self, the part of you that acts from a place of courage and belief in your ability to step into your potential. But what if there’s no tone at all, and it’s just a feeling or a nudging, or a pull in a particular direction, or a push away from something. And this is likely your intuition. So if the tone is harsh, then it’s likely that you’re being led by fear, or it’s complaining or whiny. If the tone is warm or friendly, then that’s likely the voice of your conscious, authentic self. And if there’s no tone, but just a feeling, that’s likely your intuition.
Now let’s look at content. Let’s take a look at what the voice is actually saying. If the content is critical, like you’re a loser, you’ll never change or complaining, like life’s not fair hours too hard, then this is a voice that’s led by fear and acting out of self protection. This is not a voice that’s helping you to move towards your potential. If the voice is saying things like, you can do this, you made a mistake and that’s okay, just try again, or hard but heart truth, like, it’s time to take responsibility for the changes that you want to make, and sit in the discomfort to make those changes your reality, then that voice is encouraging. And it’s likely to be your conscious, authentic self, the one that I would call your inner leader, that’s the voice that helps you to walk towards your potential. And again, if there’s no content, but just a nudging, it’s likely should be your intuition.
Now let’s look at speed. If the voice seems to just be there automatically, so it’s just landed, and it’s already talking, sometimes this can happen, you can notice that the minute you’re awake and aware that those thoughts have already started. And if those thoughts are kind of worried or anxious thoughts or negative in some way, then it’s likely that that’s the voice of your protection self. So that means that the chatter is often frequent, often fast and often there before you even realise it. The voice of your inner leader or your conscious authentic self is often slower and takes conscious effort on your behalf. Because we need to be aware in order to then speak from that place. So your inner leader is often speaking back towards your protection selves, often with a tone of encouragement, and often with guidance on how to move forward. And that voice is often a little slower, a little clearer, and a little more thought through or mindful. So that’s if it’s slower, and you have more of a hand in that voice, then that’s likely to be your inner leader. Your intuition, on the other hand, could be either fast or slow. But again, there’s probably not much content to it. But it’s actually very persistent. So and it becomes more persistent, the more you ignore it. So he noticed that nudging the nudging becomes harder, louder, the more you ignore it, and the more that you try not to hear it, then it’s likely your intuition. And then finally, I want you to reflect on how does this land for you, how’s it feel, listening to this voice? If it feels hurtful, or perhaps good in the moment, but it feels like you’re copping out in the long term, then it’s likely to be the voice of your protection selves. Especially if it feels like it’s actually kind of digging a hole that you then end up sitting in, that’s coming from a place of fear, that’s your protection selves, or what other people’s work might call the inner critic. If it feels satisfying, helpful, encouraging, wise even, that’s the voice of your inner leader. And if you receive it as the feeling of this is right, even if it’s hard, then that’s likely your intuition. You know, if you hear your intuition go, okay, I know what I need to do, even though it might feel hard. That’s your intuition.
So I want you to remember that it takes practice to build awareness of what your mind is doing and you don’t have to be perfect at this in order to be good at it. You don’t need to know exactly who’s speaking immediately, in order to get really good at knowing the voices that likely show up in your mind and which ones you want to give energy to. But why should you practice this at all? It’s a really good question if you’re asking this, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t love practising stuff for the first time, or even for the 10th time. The reason is, because this is the way you start giving more energy to the voices helping you to create the life that you want to create. And then give less energy to the voices that are holding you back. So I really encourage you to just get used to checking in with your mind as to what it is that you’re listening to, and what it is that you’re giving energy to.
So in summary, the four questions I want you to ask yourself when distinguishing between the internal voices, what is the tone? What is the content? What is the voice saying? What is the speed? And how does it land for you? What does it make you feel? So I’m sending you love. And I’m strongly encouraging you to practice this as much as possible, because it’s really helpful for you to be able to step forward from the voice of your inner leader and to be able to listen to your intuition, rather than getting caught up in the din of all the voices of your protection selves. And I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello, Rebecca Ray.
Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you’ve got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes, and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe, and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much, I love seeing your shares on social media, so please tag me. Catch you next time.