The Opposite of the Inner Voice

Filed in Finding & Following Your Voice by on April 20, 2011 • views: 1209

Klotnia.fot. Bartosz Ostrowski/Photopass.plSometimes, especially when we’re trying to make a decision, we’re not sure which of the voices inside us is the true inner voice.

Often it can seem like our heads are bombarded by many voices. There’s the rational one, the one that sounds like mom or dad, the complainer, the inner child, and maybe a myriad of others we just can’t identify.

While trying to discern your true inner voice, it’s helpful to know one thing—it’s opposite.

I like to call this the “beware” voice, because it’s all about fear, and making you very, very afraid of doing anything against its recommendations.

Difference Between the “Beware” Voice and the True Inner Voice

This voice is the loudest of our other voices, the one most tied into our current identities, positions in the world, and outside definitions of success.

If you’re considering changing jobs from a high-earning corporate position to a lower-wage teaching position, for example, the “beware” voice will likely point out to you all the egotistical reasons why this wouldn’t be a good idea.

  • Beware—you’ll earn less money, and then what will happen to your family and your child’s college fund?
  • Beware—you could lose respect from your peers.
  • Beware—what will the neighbors think if you have to downsize your house or even your cars?
  • Beware—who says you have any talent at teaching?

“The higher voice is not the only voice seeking your attention,” writes author Douglas Bloch in his book Listening to Your Inner Voice. “We have inside us a false voice, also known as the voice of the ego. While the inner voice gives expression to who we really are, the false voice focuses on who we think we should be. The inner voice supports our essential nature; the false voice denies it.”

Here are a few more comparisons to help you root out the true inner voice and its opposite:

The Inner Voice                                                The Beware Voice

Very quiet—perhaps the quietest                      Loud and consistent, maybe berating
Comes from the heart                                       Comes from the mind
Feels peaceful and calm                                   Promotes anxiety and tension
Always your cheerleader                                   Often puts you down
Has endless faith in you                                    Makes you doubt yourself
Encourages you to trust                                    Encourages fear and superstition
Reflects who you really are                               Pushes a false persona
Feels light and joyful                                         Feels heavy and dutiful
Gives you energy                                              Robs you of energy
Leaves you feeling clearheaded                       Leaves you feeling confused
Speaks one truth                                              Engages you in logical debate

Which Voice Are You Listening To?

“We humans seldom learn to distinguish between the voice of that ego and the voice of our true self,” writes Dr. Frank B. Smoot, MA, DD. “Indeed, we may not even be aware that such a distinction exists. As such, we cannot begin to grasp the degree to which our daily, hourly, moment-to-moment behaviors are the products of our egos.”

It’s not that there’s anything fundamentally “wrong” with the beware voice, as long as you learn to recognize it for what it is. As long as you don’t give it too much power, it can help you create balance by allowing you to consider all facets of a decision.

The important thing is to start practicing, so that you can learn when the beware voice is speaking, and when the inner voice is whispering.

Then you can make a truly informed decision about which one to heed.

© Forca | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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Comments (4)

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  1. Angela Noel says:

    I have heard the inner voice described in many ways. Ego vs. Essence. Me vs I. Radical Leadership- a conference I attended last year- calls the “Beware” voice the “Trickster”. Also, an interesting but very academic/sciency book by Daniel Kahneman “Thinking Fast and Slow,” explores the mental mechanisms that produce our responses to situations and the biological reasons why. I like the examples you used here on what the “Inner Voice” vs. “Beware” voice sound like. I appreciate posts like yours that help drive the conversation forward! My writing grows in depth as I deepen my understanding of myself. My characters, like my children, can only be as self-aware as I am. I challenge myself to remain curious, ever ready for new discoveries on what makes makes me, me. I seek new ways to call forth the best in myself to contribute meaningfully to the world. Thank you for sharing your insights!

    • Admin says:

      Oooh, I like that, Angela—both the “Trickster” and your statement about characters “can only be as self-aware as I am.” So true I’m sure!

  2. Risuna says:

    I super love this post. Twas very interesting to read & think about.