Your Wise Self

Your Wise Self isn’t something “out there” that you have to strive to be . . . it’s you. Whether you are new acquaintances or old friends, your Wise Self is there waiting to help you at any moment.

Meet Your Wise Self

Today, I want to introduce you to someone . . . you. Rather, a part of you – your Wise Self. What follows is an exercise that enables you to tap into that “inner knowing” that we all have access to, if we avail ourselves. “The real teacher,” says Peter McWilliams in Life 101, “is you.” Your Wise Self is that part of you that is connected to God, or Spirit, or Universal Intelligence, or whatever name you wish to call that higher power. And if you prefer not to call the higher power anything or even consider there is a higher power – that’s OK, too. Like Universal Law, the technique works regardless of your belief or lack thereof. It only requires your practice.

This particular exercise derives from the techniques taught by Dr. Dianne Greyerbiehl during her years at the Life Coaching Institute in Greenville, SC and shared by other instructors and graduates of the Institute. Dr. Greyerbiehl termed it “the Empowered Self” but it is known by many other names. I’ve adapted the name Excelerated Self™. Today, we’ll refer to the Wise Self, but what you call it doesn’t matter either.

The exercise works best as a journaling exercise so get your journal, or notebook, or open a file on your computer and use it as you work through the steps. Got yours ready? Let’s get started.

Remember Your Wise Self

Go to a quiet place where you can think and reflect undisturbed. Now, remember a time when you were “on top of the world”. A time or an event when everything seemed to work out perfectly for you, when things simply fell into place. You were able to perform almost effortlessly and got exactly the results you expected. Maybe you lost track of time and even your surroundings as you poured yourself wholly into what you were doing. Take some time to remember and contemplate that time or event.

As you reflect on your experience, write down a narrative of your Wise Self story.

Here are some examples from past clients.

“During an extremely trying period of my life, I took some time away and went on retreat. When I came back, I felt like a different person . . . like I had moved over a huge hump in my life.”

“When I was planning for graduate school — I thought and planned very carefully. I networked and met the right people and reached out for help. I followed my intuition and didn’t give up and it all paid off.”

“There is a part of me that really enjoys research, gathering information and dealing with people. In college, I took an English course and I got an A+ on a research paper. I felt like I was in my element – interviewing people and doing the research. It was easy for me to do. Coordinating, bringing things together, organizing, planning specifics, thinking about the details – it comes natural to me.”

Name Your Wise Self

Read over and continue to think about your experience. Then give your Wise Self a name. It can be an actual name or a descriptive word or phrase. Write your Wise Self name in your journal.

“Athena” “Woman of Destiny” “Competent Dan” “Happy Alice”

When the Wise Self is in Control . . .

Now consider these questions. Write the answers for each one in your journal.

When __ (your Wise Self name) is in control, how does that effect your behavior?

“I respond to outside influences with a calm demeanor. I think about what I say before I say it; on the other hand, I know what I want to say and I use my ability to say it the right way – to ‘speak the truth in love’.”

“I have energy and am more active – I move more. I am much more optimistic.”

“I am confident, relaxed, poised and ambitious.”

When your Wise Self is in control of your behavior, how do you act? What do you do? Write the answer in your journal.

When __ (your Wise Self name) is in control, how does it effect your emotions?

“I am happy, positive, relieved; encouraged and encouraging.”

“Strong, confident, drive. Passions are ignited. Creativity comes alive.”

“I am steadfast, consistent, but I can change my mind. I know what I want, what my values are, what I believe. I’m not concerned about what others think, but if people convince me, or I convince myself, I have the ability to change my mind. My judgment is clear.”

When your Wise Self controls your emotions, how do you feel? Write it down.

When __ (your Wise Self name) is in control, how does it effect your interactions with other people?

“My confidence gives me the ability to face friends and foes; I’m more outgoing. I open up my heart more.”

“I am joyful, encouraging, and able to give wise counsel. I can be honest with others in terms of struggles (so they see the ‘story’ as well as the ‘glory’).”

“I speak what I feel. I let other people impact me. I have a tendency to stay in the background, but when ‘Competent Dan’ talks, everybody listens.”

How does your Wise Self effect your interactions with others? Write that in your journal.

When __ (your Wise Self name) is in control, how does it effect your wants and intentions?

“‘Athena’ strives for balance in setting and accomplishing goals. She enjoys the simplicity of life, she is humble. She teaches others (especially family) that nothing is impossible for God, if you work to get it in the honest way.”

“My intention is to have insight on a daily basis of what I want to do. If I decide I want something material, there is a reason I want to bring it into my life – to add to what I already am. My intentions are long-term and short-term. I am excited about the long-term and have faith to understand cause and effect.”

“I get a 2nd wind to make the effort to get what I want.”

Finally, how does your Wise Self impact your wants and desires? Write the answer in your journal.

Use Your Creative Side

So far, you have been using primarily your logical brain to create and analyze your Wise Self’s story. To get your artistic, creative side involved, create a collage, a drawing, a painting or other art work to depict your Wise self and how it can impact your life.

You now have a narrative of your Wise Self’s story and a name for that part of you. And you know how you behave as your Wise Self, how you feel, how you interact with others and what your Wise Self’s wants and intentions are. You are starting to get a good picture of how it feels to be operating from your Wise Self.

Be Your Wise Self

Now begin to get a sense of what it feels like physically to be your Wise Self. Sit the way your Wise Self sits. I don’t know about you, but my Wise Self (whom I call “Spirit”) sits up tall and straight, shoulders back, head erect. Simply sitting in that position (as I began doing when I started describing it) helps me feel empowered, calm, accepting, competent and capable.

After you sit as your Wise Self, stand as your Wise Self stands. Then walk as your Wise Self walks. Begin to get the feel of being in your Wise Self, mentally, emotionally, and physically. This helps you, over time, to draw on the strength, power, and wisdom available to you as you encounter the obstacles and struggles and concerns of daily living and as you set and achieve the goals you want to attain.

“If you listen carefully, you’ll hear (or sense) a voice inside you. It’s the voice of your inner teacher. (I’ll use the word voice, but for you it may be an image or a feeling or a sensation or any combination of these.) It may not be the loudest voice ‘in there, but it’s often the most consistent, patient, and persistent one.

“What does your inner teacher sound like? It’s the one that just said, ‘I sound like this.’

“If you’re like me, you probably had other voices answering that question, too. ‘No, no, I sound like this.’ ‘There is no inner voice.’ ‘More than one voice? Do they think I’m crazy?’ ‘Inner teacher. How stupid!’

“But, through the din — lovingly, calmly, and perhaps a little amused by all the commotion caused by a simple question — the inner teacher reminds you,

“‘I am here. I have always been here. I’m on your side. I love you.'” [McWilliams]

Your Wise Self = You

The Wise Self isn’t something “out there” that you have to strive to be . . . it’s you — a part of you that you may not be very familiar with. Or maybe you already connect with your Wise Self every day. Whether you are new acquaintances or old friends, your Wise Self is there, waiting to help you at any moment. You only have to ask. Be your wise self and embrace your Excelerated Life™!

Excelerated Positivity™ — building the skills in positivity that help you flourish — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of well-being, meaning, and purpose..


McWilliams, Peter. Life 101. Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School – But Didn’t. Allen Park, MI: Mary Books / Prelude Press, 1994

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