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Can You Trust Your Inner Voice?

photo: Bradley Gordon on flickr

photo: Bradley Gordon on flickr

Dear Meli,

You know how they always say to “Go with your gut?” Sometimes I’m not sure about this. I’ve gone with my gut, and afterwards realized that it was the spoiled child in me, wanting something that turned out not to be good for me. When I hear a voice inside me, or have a gut feeling about something, how do I know if I should follow it or not?

Bewildered in Benicia

Dear Bewildered,

I am SO pleased that you asked this great question. As an addict in recovery, there are plenty of things my mind has told me to do that, when I listened, led me to my own little hell. Heck, creating hell for others along the way. So I agree that one cannot always trust every little voice inside.

That said, I have come to be better able to discern between The-Higher-Part-Of-Me-That-Knows and the other, less trustworthy, voices within. I have found that there are a few clear warning signs when I am hearing from someone other than my highest guiding self. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:

1) How will I feel about myself, or my choices, after having followed through on the suggestion? For example: “Eat that entire box of cookies!” Even though my initial response may be excitement or joy, I know I will not continue to feel happy about it if I follow through!

2) Does what I am being led to do harm myself or anyone else? (If so, is there another way to honor my Self and not cause harm?)

3) Do I feel a sense of relief when I imagine going down the road considered?  This one is more complicated. For instance, I have definitely had experiences where the road I knew was mine to take – for which I would be most grateful afterward – ignited complete dread within. But even still, there was a sense of relief mixed in…a knowing that in the long run, I would be a happier person and others would be served if I followed that road.

4) Am I being reactive? I need to throw this one in here. Because, there are times when I feel clear about something to do but, if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am wanting to retaliate in some way. When I am triggered or emotional, I do my best to not take action. You know how they say ‘when in doubt, throw it out’? My version for this is, “when in reaction, don’t take action.” 😉

Two other things your question brings to mind:

  1. a) the value of meditation, for checking in and inquiring about “who” is suggesting I do something. And
  2. b) friends and/or coaches/counselors, whom I deeply trust, to bounce ideas off of.

These are just some of the methods I employ. I hope these are helpful to you.

Blessings and Love to you in all you do!


How do you know the difference between inner guidance and your inner brat? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

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3 Responses to Can You Trust Your Inner Voice?

  1. Karen June 30, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    This IS a great question. I let my inner voice be my emotions — my emotional guidance system. If I’m feeling negative emotion about something, I don’t go forward — at least not yet. If I’m feeling positive emotion about it, I know I’m aligned with what I’m about to do, and the outcome will be good.

    As far as little nudges and inspirations, my Inner Being inspires me TOWARD things, not away. Inner Being never gives warnings, never prompts me to avoid something because Inner Being/Source doesn’t see any negatives. It knows precisely what I want, and it inspires me in that direction when I’m tuned in.

    • Z Egloff June 30, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      I also use my emotions as guidance. I love the upstream/downstream analogy that Abraham talks about. It’s actually my favorite analogy of theirs, and I use it all the time.

      My experience with my inner guidance also has included being told to avoid things. A common thing that happens to me is that I get messages in the forms of metaphors. A recent example was being told that I didn’t need to pursue learning a bunch of new licks for the piano, as something else was coming. This didn’t make sense to me at the time, and I considered ignoring the advice. But, sure enough, it was right. (It’s always right.) I started rapping and the idea of adding to my piano licks just doesn’t fit anymore. Just like my guidance said. :)

    • Melissa Phillippe July 8, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      I sometimes wonder if the difference between description of “never being guided abstain from taking action” might be semantics.

      I have found myself, many times, clearly guided to wait…or to not do something (or not yet)…

      But I could describe it as being inspired (also, by my emotions) that the downstream thing is go in a certain (different) direction. I mean, I sometimes experience the inspired guidance or clarity as being pulled more strongly in a different direction.

      But often – for me – when making a choice, I check in to feel into which direction has the most energy, and head that way. I could say it’s clear I am not to do the less-energized thing, or I could say I am directed down another road.

      Just a thought.
      …though I do also personally experience it both ways, sometimes feeling clearly led to not do certain things (or say [!!] certain things,) and other times being more strongly led in different direction.

      Speaking of appreciation, 😉 – I really do appreciate this conversation and thinking it provokes! Thanks! :-)

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