How to Know the Difference Between Ego and Intuition

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The most common question I get in my workshops and lectures is, โ€œHow can I tell the difference between my ego and my intuition?โ€

My immediate response is to reassure everyone that you always have access to the voice of your intuition. You might think you don’t. Maybe you have grown to doubt yourself as a rule. That’s because you have learned to listen to your ego.

The ego is rooted in fear. It likes to keep us “safe” by putting limitations on us. It tries to control, manipulate and force. The ego wants things done a certain way.

On the other hand, our intuition is a kind, loving inner voice that guides us toward positive actions and peaceful outcomes. Often inspiration shows up as a strong knowing or gut feeling. Sometimes intuitive guidance comes through as a powerful sense of inspiration or even a tingly physical sensation.

We all have powerful intuition working through us at all times. Tweet it!

We all have this groovy inner guidance system, but many of us disconnect from it. Watch the video below to learn how to know the difference between ego and intuition.

Strengthen your connection to your intuition

add more ing to your life book gabby bernsteinIf you want to strengthen your connection to your intuition, a great resource is my first book,ย Add More ~ing to Your Life:ย A Hip Guide to Happiness.

In this book I show you how to make happiness a habit by learning to listen to the voice of your inner guide, aka your ~ing!

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  1. Hi

    I wake up some mornings with a ‘bad’ or negative feeling about a partner. Which contradicts a natural bubbly feeling I get about him and the situation. This has also happened in the past!

    Its so confusing because they say how you feel when you first wake up is genuine and even some say your truest intuition.

    But then from what has been said here -intuition inst suppose to feel awful? – in fact that does sound like the work of the ego ( fear even?)

    So glad I found this!
    Thanks x

  2. Hi Gaby, I suposse that is the same when you want to know the difference between fear and intuition. But what happen when you can not find an anwer that makes you feel in peace? I’m trying to make a decision but all that come to my head makes me feel anguish and anxious. I do not know if it’s my intuition or my fear. My intuition may manifest as a negative feeling?

  3. Hi Gabby, you say that if we have a bad gut feeling and feel anxious, nauseus, etc, that this was the ego. How do we know when that’s our ego trying to keep us in its grasp vs. our ~ing telling us we shouldn’t do something? Thanks! <3

  4. Hi Gabby,

    I am currently in University doing my bachelor’s of commerce. While attending school throughout my life, which has never been easy, I have always let my thoughts turn to negativity, and allowed my fears and anxiety.

    I was introduced to your videos last October, but I was not ready for this new journey and continued in my old ways. After a year of working as a secretary and having stopped attending university, I listened to my intuition and went back to university (which I am attending for free because my partner works for the school), and turned down a job offer to work full time as a secretary with the government. Last week, out of no where I knew I was ready to do the work to change my bad habits and live a great life. I was brought back to your videos, and ready to become a student of a Course in Miracles.

    I would like guidance in a question that has remained unclear for a long time. I’ve been questioning if I am following my path by doing a bachelor’s degree in commerce, or if it is my ego talking. I know I am in the right path to continue my education, but the question that has been arising is, am I in the right program? University (& high school) has been a very difficult journey, and I wonder if it’s been difficult because I am not listening to my intuition and studying in the right program, or if it’s my ego talking that is making me want to run away when faced with challenges.

    After allowing myself to associate anxiety, fear and negativity towards University, I am having difficulty distinguishing between my ego and intuition. I would love and appreciate your guidance to help me remain true to myself and allow my inner guide to lead the way.

    Thank you for teaching, I am grateful to be your student

    With love,

  5. Hey Gabby, I listen to your podcast meditations all the time. The “releasing romantic illusions” one is phenomenal. It actually has helped me not only in the romantic arena, but with all people I encounter or hold anything for.
    Anywho, the music u use in that one really touches me. Can you direct me to a place to buy it or listen to the full version??

  6. If im feeling scared of losing someone, can i some sort of meditation to “heal” and let go of that anxiety? It all began after we had a break, eventhough were at a great place right now, i have a really hard time to just relax and enjoy..

  7. Thanks for this one, Gabby! So true- when something is from ego, I feel it’s fear based and my stomach tightens and my thoughts race- not a good feeling. When it’s coming from intuition, feels peaceful and ‘right’ and calming- a solution is at hand. certain situations bring up the fear, and I’ve taught myself to calm myself and soothe myself down like a child coming from a place of love and understanding and fell sooo much better :)!

  8. Gabby,
    I am new in my Spirit Junkie practice but I am able to tell the difference between my ING and the Ego. My ING is an amazing rush that spreads from my toes all the way through my body. (Like a cold chill but deeper) BUT I usually only feel her during my prayers and meditations (when I am directly speaking to her). I am currently doing MCM and when I do my daily affirmations I invite her into every area of my life. I am trying to be more specific and ask for guidance more often.
    I do a good job at witnessing my ego and laughing it off but I cant feel my -Ing take over and lead the way. I have controlled my life for a long time and I still feel like no matter what I accomplish it’s never enough. To think that I could give up control and be guided is a freedom statement in itself. Any ideas on what I can do to deepen the connection to my -Ing so I feel the guidance all day? Will this deepen my understanding as to WHO I am as a person instead of WHAT I do for a living? (Or am I stretching with this idea?)

  9. So what you are saying is that with your ego it is almost as if your mind is tricking you because it’s your first feeling? But isn’t that your gut feeling then ? I’m confused on gut feeling intuition and ego I guess.

  10. Beautiful Gabby, and I love how easy you make prayer. I always tend to fumble over my words not knowing what to say. It is something I am constantly striving to clear as I clean my messy canvas.

    By the way while I was waiting for the video to load I noticed that we can pre-order your next book, so I did. I’ll have an entire Gabby bookshelf they way you’re going! Well done and congratulations. x

  11. Thanks for posting this, Gabby. I think about this this all of the time, because often I am so certain that I’m on the right path, but later it turns out not so much, so I’m like, “was that actually my ego?” And isn’t it just like my ego to make me second guess myself all the timeโ€ฆ ha! Guess I have a lot of praying and listening to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thank you Gabby for this insight. I know that when I listen to my inner guide I feel lighter and when I listen to my ego i feel like I’m in a marsh and I can’t get out.

  13. This was great!

    I teach this in my Shifting Into Higher Consciousness coursed but I really love the “Paying attention to the feeling behind the thought” I call that emotional intelligence but I like the flow of this so much more – might have to borrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As emotional beings we tend to want to shy away from “feelings” because they can be extremely strong and sometimes overwhelming but in truth that is where our intuition speaks to us the most.


  14. Hi gabby, just wanted to say thank you for this blog it was exactly what I was questioning this morning and you have answered it perfectly. Thank you so much. X

  15. That was great Gabby, thank you so much.

    For me, the voice I recognize as love is sweet and low, and sounds exactly right. It usually comes after I have wrestled with some ego thoughts that have my head in knots, and have asked to hear the truth. I often have the thought when I hear it, “Who was that?” But as soon as I think that thought, I know. Because it it sounds like….me.

  16. If the ego is part of what drove me to want to achieve greatness as an artist, as well as an inner desire to be my best and follow my ing, is the best question I can ask the universe, “How can my art be of service to others?” in order to eliminate the ego and act souly from the place of spirit?

  17. I like where you’re going but I tend to feel for the most part is that your Intuition is the VERY FIRST voice you hear in your mind about a situation, and yes, usually it’s on the positive, active, more adventurous, side.

    But you are ALMOST correct when saying it’s the first voice many people hear, because that’s the one they are used to listening to, and it usually pops up withing a millisecond of one having their initial intuitive thought.

    Think of it like this, a person sees someone interesting they would like to talk to – there is ALMOST no thought that goes into it. It’s the very first thought/feeling or whatever they have. But within a split second their EGO takes over and starts feeding them things like, “But what if they don’t like me? What if they make fun of me? What if they scream and call the police? What if the other people around tell me to mind my own business?”

    On and on it goes, and the thing is, that people get so caught up in it their initial intuition becomes lost. That is why all these Sages like Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and co and then the modern guys who borrowed their ideologies like Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle all teach the concept of Living in the MOMENT. It is to embrace the NOW instead of that split second later when your ego starts filling your noggin with nonsense.

  18. Hi Gabby, I find your work very valuable. In our culture we are alienated from our bodies and inner guidance system. I have heard healing arts practitioners say that your intuition is usually your first thought. This differs from what you are saying. Deepak Chopra talks about honoring the sensations of the body, but the sensations of the body can sometimes come from fear. Do you have additional insight regarding the first thought/feeling and how we can discern between fear-based bodily sensation and our higher self. Is it the peaceful and/or knowing feeling that distinguishes our intuition from our ego? Some times the ego speaks with certainty and can really seem like its the higher self speaking to us. Please say more. Blessings.

    1. We all experience intuition differently. For some of us it may feel far off in the distance whereas others may sense it right away. Our job is to just become more familiar with the feeling and sound of our inner guide. Then tune into it often.

  19. Thank you thank you THANK YOU. I have been struggling with this for nearly a year now, & having just gone through a breakup with a lot of negative emotions & hurt feelings attached, this makes everything crystal.

  20. What a great explanation :-). As an avid Eckhart Tolle and Course of Miracles reader, I seem to regularly delve into this question. Gabby, your way of differentiating the ego and intuition is fabulous – love it :-).

  21. I’ve been doing this work with the help of your books for 4 years but its always great to have a reminder to get you back on path. “Pay attention to the feeling behind the thought, and let that be the driver!” I love that! xoxo

  22. Thank you again for such an informational vlog. I have been learning from you for twoish years. However, the reminder was something I really needed. I still need to practice, practice, practice on getting the ego at bay, but I do know the past practice has benefitted me and anything and everything around me. And I feel so much more connected with the universe. We are all one.


  23. Hi lovely Gabby,
    I love listening to your guidance. I am redoing your course “May Cause Miracles”, I started on the 1st Jan, for the new year. As I was writing my morning pages (on Sunday), I ask my inner guide to help me for direction work wise, and it spoke to me. It replied to me straight away and through my pen. It was so powerful. It came as a flow of love and energy. I keep asking my inner guide for guidance and reinterpretation of things, as you always talk about in your books and talks. Just love it. Thank you so much once again for your message ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sat Nam

  24. Watching this video made me feel like I have come a long way from even a few months ago. I used to live so much in the ego state and was completely unaware. In recent months I have made some decisions that weren’t necessarily ‘logical’ (or bad…) but just went with my gut and so far, things are running a lot more smoothly than..well, most of my life, if I am going to be honest. It’s nice not feeling like everyday or every situation is a struggle or a fight.

  25. This is probably the question I hear most from clients as well…

    One of the tip I like to give is to pay attention to how the message is being delivered: intuition is often soft as a whisper, it’s gentle and loving…

    Intuition is NOT the fearful voice (or the voice that critics, shame…)

    I also love to be playful about it… It does get easier to recognize and trust intuition the more I play with it ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. But what if the decision isn’t noticeably right/wrong or good/bad? It could be a job decision, or where to move. Those are the choices that I have a hard time deciding if my “inner voice” is my EGO or truely guidance.

      1. From my experience, if I don’t have any feeling that something is positive then it’s not a good move. Sometimes though, you really have to meditate for some time to get to a place where it’s quiet enough to hear the whispers from your soul.

  26. That makes a lot of sense, thanks Gabby. I will really try to be aware of how I’m feeling & pray!! I usually feel better when I pray so that makes sense to me. I still have my letter to my Ing hanging up from MCM as a reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. As always, perfectly timed. I’m currently working MCM – this bast week was body issue week – something i have struggled with for over 10years of my life. By the end of the week, i just felt as though i didn’t go deep enough, so i am doing the whole week all over again. I think part of the problem for me was not really hearing my ing in meditation so this week i am going to do some longer meditations and journal writes to dig deeper into the work.
    On a side note, I have found that when I am walking to different places around my neighborhood – i will feel guided to turn down a different street or stop into certain cafe and every time i’ve followed the intuition something good always happens weather it be having a deep conversation with a complete stranger about yoga or simply finding a little park to sit at. Thank you as always Gabby for your guidance!

  28. I’ve been trying to figure this out for almost three years now. I am so happy that you addressed this topic.
    God bless xo

  29. You’ve helped know the difference so clearly! ~ing is amazing for hearing your ~ing and is still my fav Gabby book (until this spring :-), not just because you signed my copy, but because it was the magical unicorn book that cracked me open…I’m tearing up writing this thinking about how I found it… and that’s my ~ing being fully present & grateful for the power of that book.

    Think it will ever come out on audio book gab? Listening to you is so powerful for me. : )

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