ego, intuition, + trusting your gut

i’ve been making a lot of huge life decisions lately. for the longest time, i have struggled with wanting to further my education but not knowing what to study, wanting to move from bismarck but not knowing where to go next, wanting to build upon my platform and blog but not knowing what it should look like.

and i just kept thinking, trust your gut, kate. it’ll always lead you to the right place.

except what the hell is trusting your gut? we’re all too often told to trust our gut, but what does that actually mean?

when i’m making a decision, it can be so hard to decide what decision is the best decision to make. how will this affect me long term? is this going to hurt me in the long run? how helpful is this? does it impact only me, or does it impact other people, too? what if i change my mind? what if it doesn’t work out? what are the risks i’ll have to take to do this well? is this my ego talking? or my intuition?

your ego is the part of you that creates your identity. it’s analytical, determines your reality, and is the part of you that determines your basic needs and ensures that they’re met. it’s an important part of your sense of self, it tends to be instinctual, and it comes from your mind. ego is where your defense mechanisms come from. it is built of survival instincts, and will do everything to protect you.

your intuition, however, is the part of you that allows your soul to direct the way you feel about something. intuition is what guides you towards your highest self, your greatest good, and the best person you could possibly be. this is the part of you that seeks alignment, that nudges you in the right direction, and that wants nothing but love for you. intuition is the most gentle part of your being.

but how do we know what part of us is reacting to what’s going on around us? is it our ego trying to defend our insecurity and keep us safe? or is it intuition, trying to push us forward and into alignment with our purpose? there are a few ways to know.

scarcity or abundance // your ego lives in scarcity. it lives in the fear of not enough and stays there. it doesn’t see abundance. it calculates sacrifice rather than figuring it out later. intuition doesn’t recognize scarcity because it knows that you will always have everything you need and things will always fall into place.

ego gives reasons // your ego loves to tell you all the reasons why you should or shouldn’t do something. it loves to step in and remind you of all of the ways something could go wrong, give you every chance in the world to remember why something in the past did go wrong. intuition lives differently. it says to do something, and it feels right, and you do it. there is no second guessing. there is no hesitation. if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. and intuition will always give you a hell yes.

ego will always prop itself up // your ego likes to build itself upon other things – identity factors are huge here. your ego might build itself upon a relationship, career, addiction, or athletic ability. but what happens when that thing is taken away? you have nothing. ego also is constantly looking for things to build itself upon, and it is never satisfied with what it has. intuition is different. intuition is satisfied as is – it doesn’t need external things to satisfy its sense of worth because it knows that you already have everything you need inside you.

ego is indecisive // your ego loves to decide what is best – but sometimes it can jump from answer to answer without warning. it might decide what’s best for the moment, but what’s best this moment might not be what’s best for the next. it likes to change its mind, but intuition stays firm in what it wants. it doesn’t waver, and it will guide you exactly where you’re supposed to be headed. intuition can also give you the same answer over and over from different places. things that you notice keep popping up out of nowhere might just be your intuition trying to tell you something!

ego is judgmental and critical // your ego loves to tear you down. it’s your inner mean girl, and loves to be critical of you. it is that part of you that tells you that you’re too fat to wear the bikini you think is cute, or that you’re not pretty enough for a really great guy to like you even though he already does, or that you will never be smart enough to do that job you just got promoted to. (imposter syndrome, anyone?) but your intuition is like planet fitness – a judgment free zone. your intuition tells you that you can wear whatever you want because your weight does not define your beauty. it tells you that the cute boy is the luckiest guy in the world to have the attention of someone so funny and talented and smart, because you have so much to offer to a partner. it also tells you that your employers see your talent, and that you have worked so hard to get where you are. your intuition doesn’t hate you. (and neither should you – write that down.)

ego lives in fear // your ego is the part of you that tells you everything is unsafe. it’s the part of you that wants to protect every part of who you are. your ego wants you to live in safety at all costs, which also tends to hold you back. intuition wants you to be trusting. intuition knows that you need to express yourself, and it doesn’t try to control things. it knows you have everything you need to make it through, and it wants you to be healthy, not suffocated by fear.

i hope these tips prove helpful as you react to the things that come into your life. listening to your inner voice and learning to trust your gut will always bring you to a place of peace and clarity. i hope all the goodness in the world for you as you take your next steps forward. may you always follow your gut. xoxoxo.

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