Intuition – the small voice

We all struggle with two voices in our head. Figuring out which one to listen to, and how to tell the difference between the two is crucial. One is a loud critical voice with a ‘tone’. Called different things in different cultures, let’s just go with the “Inner Critic” here. I have written bunches about that voice, and no doubt will write more in the future.

shhhToday I want to talk about the other voice.  This is a softer, quieter voice.  The fact that it is quieter is part of the problem. You need at least a pocket of peace around you to hear this voice.  It’s your intuition, your inner wisdom, your future self, your connection to the divine.

With our stress-filled, hectic lives it’s a challenge to hear, let alone listen to your intuition — yet that is exactly what you need to do!

You must train your intuition — you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.” Ingrid Bergman

The first step in this training, is distinguishing — learning how to tell the difference between your intuition and your inner critic.

It’s actually both simple and amazingly difficult to do. Here’s the deal. Your intuition, inner wisdom never ever uses a ‘tone’ with you. You know what a ‘tone’ is right? It’s that emotional charge, that biting piece. The wagging finger, the scowl! Your inner critic has a ‘tone’, a big one. It’s critical, it’s full of you should, you must, you can’t possibly, and who do you think you are? Simply put, it’s judgmental and demeaning.

Your inner wisdom doesn’t use a ‘tone’, even when it’s warning you of something scary. It’s why Bergman referred to it as the ‘small voice’. It’s not big, loud, and brash. It’s subtle, and we might even say shy. And it’s oh so valuable!

Your intuition gives you truly great information. We all have had the experience of getting some great piece of information from our inner wisdom. We also have all had the experience of then discounting and ignoring that information. That just never works, does it? And by the way, that voice that had you discount your intuition was the Inner Critic voice.

Intuition just ‘plops’ into our heads. It doesn’t nag, or shout.  It shows up in quiet times — in times when we are not being pulled it multiple directions. Ever notice how you get great ideas in the shower. It’s because there’s not a lot going on in there. It’s just you and the water… ahhh.

If you want more connection with your inner wisdom, you just need to make space for it to connect with you. Try doing something repetitive, something that actually “bores” your brain. Gardening, knitting, cleaning, running — things that give you ‘quiet’ space. You’ll find thoughts — and dare I say messages — popping in!

Start with the fundamentals: listen for the tone, notice the small voice, choose which one you pay attention to. Notice that it’s both simple and difficult? Frankly it’s one of the reasons coaches are valuable to us! They help us make the distinction. I do a lot of that, helping people know which side they are listening to!

Listening more to you intuition — and much less to your inner critic — will absolutely change your life for the better! Really!


Shell Tain, The Untangler

How about a little help with shutting up the inner critic and hearing your inner wisdom? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at