The inner critic stomps her feet until she's heard but the other voice, our wise voice always knows what to do but gets drowned out by the inner critic's tantrums. Both voices are necessary for our survival, the inner critic keeps us safe, keeps us from feeling embarrassment or pain. The wise voice leads us over the inner critic's embankment, and squeezes our hand through the fear, embarrassment and pain. The wise voice encourages us to take risks and leads us to bigger, better things.
So how do we know which voice is which? The answer can be found in how you are feeling. Do you feel tense, angry, sad or confused? Do you feel scared or ashamed? These are all from your inner critic. Its job is to cause you to pause, which is not a bad thing. But don't stay there. Acknowledge each feeling; name each one so that you can understand that it's not your wise voice guiding you. Take a breath. Do you feel happy, strangely confident; are you smiling even just a little? This is your wise voice. Acknowledge these feelings and try not to question why you are feeling this way. Just feel them.
Once you start to trust which voice is which, the wise voice will get louder. You will start to pay attention to little things, a song on a radio with the exact words you have been thinking about, a random memory of a time you cherish, or an old friend will reach out to you when you least expect it. You will start to develop gratitude for the wisdom of staying present and noticing more.
Tell me in the comments, how do your voices manifest? What do they say, how do you feel?