To be honest, I feel like a lot of the time, I'm falling short of my own expectations. Like I will never be enough for my inner critic. And this is true. Nothing will ever be enough for my inner critic, or for any one's inner critic for that matter. We all have one. The inner critic's primary purpose is to criticize, to dissect and dismiss anything presented to it. I like to think of the inner critic as a perpetually unsatisfied king who continues to demand larger and more elaborate feasts from his servants who are running around diligently to please him.
Unfortunately, you can't please the unpleasable. It simply cannot be done.
So why do we waste our precious lives trying to satiate this ravenous beast dwelling within us? I think it's because we often give precedence to the voice that yells the loudest, the ego that bellows across the lobes of our brains to get its message across. The ego is interested in keeping us alive and thus will do anything to keep us away from any perceived threats to our survival. However, much of the ego's programming takes place before the age of 7, so it's like all of us have this raging child king dictating the course of our lives.
What if instead of revering the voice within us that is the loudest, we attempted to listen a little deeper for the voice that is the wisest? This voice comes from our own inner guidance, our intuition. Here is the primary difference between intuition and ego: ego comes from a place of fear, of pure survival instinct, while intuition leads with love. While the ego can help us survive, our intuition will help us to thrive.
When trying to decipher between these two voices, analyze how the voice speaking to you makes you feel. Does following it expand you into more of who you are or does it shrink you into a smaller version of yourself? Ultimately, living a life rich in meaning and joy requires us to lead with our hearts. Whenever we find ourselves feeling bogged down by expectations and unsure of the next step to take, the voice of our intuition may be harder to hear amidst the bellowing of our insatiable inner critics, but it is patient and willing to guide us if we take the time to listen for it.