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Ego vs Soul

lynne happy on boat

Ego vs Soul – A Few Tips on How to Tell the Difference

Lynne & friends in the Galapagos 🙂

“Your soul is here for its own joy.”


“I have a question for you,” I said to my life coach, Rob, a few weeks ago.

“Let’s hear it…”

“At any given time, how do I know whether it’s my soul guiding me,” I asked, “or my ego pushing me?”

“That,” he replied, “is an excellent question!”

“Good,” I said, “because I’m having a heck of a time trying to manage all the tasks that need to get done in a day…or rather, that I think need to get done in a day. I’m really good at prioritizing and getting the most important work done first. But when I start to get tired, I’m not sure whether the little voice pushing me to do more is my soul encouraging me to reach my highest potential…or my bullheaded ego trying to turn me into a productivity machine.”

After a chuckle, here was the gist of Rob’s answer:

“The ego loves to use the word ‘should.’”

If you hear yourself using the term ‘should’ and/or ‘not enough,’ chances are good that’s your ego trying to run the show. Click To Tweet

“Whereas if you feel excited and enthusiastic about getting started on (or continuing working on) a project or tackling a task, that is likely soul-driven versus ego-driven.”

“If you feel a positive push to move forward and can’t wait to get started,” Rob continued, “you are likely following the guidance of your soul versus your ego. In contrast, if you feel a sense of dread at the mere thought of doing a task and have to literally force yourself to do it—or repeatedly avoid doing it all—you best pay attention to that.”

The ego is all about controlling versus allowing. Click To Tweet

The ego is pushy, forceful, tends to be negative and is rooted in fear and lack. Whereas the soul communicates in soft whispers and gentle nudges. The soul speaks through positive and encouraging self-talk and tends to be more accepting of what is.

The soul comes from a place of abundance. There is enough for all; we are enough…all of us, just as we are.

An effective way of hearing what the soul has to say is, of course, meditation…calming our mind by focusing on our breathing.

After our coaching session, I did a bit more digging and found this insightful quote on-line:

Ego vs Soul

Ego seeks to serve itself,

Soul seeks to serve others,

Ego seeks outward recognition,

Soul seeks inner authenticity,

Ego sees life as a competition,

Soul sees life as a gift,

Ego seeks to preserve self,

Soul seeks to preserve others,

Ego looks outward, Soul looks inward,

Ego feels lack, Soul feels abundance

Ego is mortal,

Soul is eternal,

Ego is drawn to lust,

Soul is drawn to love,

Ego seeks wisdom,

Soul is wisdom,

Ego enjoys the prize,

Soul enjoys the journey,

Ego is cause to pain,

Soul is cause of healing,

Ego rejects God,

Soul embraces God,

Ego is me,

Soul is we.


These days, when it comes to tackling my daily task list, I do still oscillate between enjoying the journey/process (soul) and just wanting to get the darn thing DONE (ego) and, as a result, perhaps push myself harder than necessary.

And the sheer size of my task list, never mind the complexity of said tasks, suggests that, more often than not, my ego is still running the show much of the time. Sigh. But what I AM paying attention to, far more now, is how I feel when tackling the tasks.

I do the very best I can, each and every day, to reach the goals I have set for myself. But when I am tired, I stop. And I don’t beat myself up for stopping. Click To Tweet

Rather, I put my feet up (or go for a walk, watch a movie, make a meal, take a nap, do a household chore, read a book or whatever) and take a moment to acknowledge that my best effort is good enough. Tomorrow is a new day.

Here is another tidbit you might find of use: 

“Trust that you really do have all the answers inside of you, believe yourself more than you believe in outward appearances and information, turn off your brain and listen to your intuition. Is the opportunity in front of you exciting? Does it feel right? Does it bring you joy? Our brains, as fabulous and impressive as they are, are cluttered with ideas of what we “should” do based on other people’s opinions.”

– Jen Sincero, “You Are a Badass At Making Money; Master the Mindset of Wealth”

Here is my quick handy reference guide I find helpful to help keep me on my soul-path:

Soul = soft, gentle, love, calm, kind, allow & accept, do no harm

Ego = loud, violent, angry, irritated, fearful, control & resist

How about you? For the most part, would you say it is your soul – or your ego – in the driver’s seat? Or do they take turns at the wheel?

Intuitive Insights quote cards (30 per set) available in our Etsy shop

Thanks for reading, take care & have a great week!

Related blogs by Maryanne

The Elephant & the Boy – A Little Story About Ego & Soul

Accountability 101 – Who Are You Accountable To?

Keeping the Faith

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a Director with the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive her blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.


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2 thoughts on “Ego vs Soul”

  1. Wow!!! That was the best explanation and something I think I really needed to hear so it just blew me away that on this blog that I so needed to hear you used my picture. It kind of sent chills down my spine that our souls are so inline that you knew what I needed to hear and sent it with an exclamation point for me to listen to it! I am so grateful for you!!!!

  2. Oh wow…that is SO cool, Lynne! It was so interesting because when I went to choose a photo for the blog, that awesome one of you on the boat just jumped right out at me! I’m still not sure WHY it popped up when it did…but I knew the second I saw it, it was THE photo for this blog about ego versus soul. I am so glad you found the blog of help!

    Take care, my friend, and I can’t wait to see you again!

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