The Difference Between Intuition & Fear: How To Tell Them Apart

How can we tell the difference between intuition speaking and fear speaking?  As I try to navigate major transitions in my life and make decisions, I find this question constantly at the back of my head. In a time when rationality and logic are seen as the ultimate criteria to judge anything and everything, how can we get back in touch with, and make sense of, our intuitive abilities in a way that serves us and our world?

You may have already come across this intriguing article on the three types of intuition by Emily Price.  She tells us about the three main types of intuition, and how to identify our strongest type. This is a helpful starting point in thinking about intuition and how to identify its presence.  Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.11.31 PM

What if you don’t feel so in tune with your intuition? How do you identify the voice of your intuition? What is intuition?

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of intuition is “the power or faculty of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and interference”.  Cool. So how do we really identify it?

Here are some key factors we want to consider when learning to pinpoint our intuition reaching out to us. Knowing these, we will be better able to connect to our soul’s knowledge, which is connected to the knowledge of the universe. As we practice, we will identify it more easily.

Your Soul Speaks with Wisdom, Compassion, and Affirmation:

According to Dr. Judith Orloff, the voice, words or images brought on by intuitive knowledge, are “neutral”, without much emotional charge. Also your intuition is your inner wisdom, your soul speaking to you.  It will approach you with a “compassionate, affirming tone”.

On the other hand, your fear will speak in a “highly emotionally charged” way.

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 It will provide “cruel, demeaning or delusional content”. Other experts, such as transformational leadership coach Rosalie Puiman, also mention this as a key way to tell the difference between fear speaking or intuition speaking.

Psychological Wounds that Need Healing vs. Genuine Wisdom:

Rosalie Puiman mentions how fear is about “unhealed psychological wounds”, while intuition is not, and is focused in the present. She recommends making a list of all the things we are afraid of.

This way we have them in our awareness, and where gut feeling comes up, we can better recognize whether they spring from an anxious fear, or from real intuition.

How Long Does It Linger?

According to experts such as Malcolm Gladwell, intuition is focused on the present moment and floats in, floats by.  Since the present moment is the only moment that exists at that time, this makes sense. Our wise souls would know that reality as well. Anxious fear, however, worries consistently about the past and the future.

You Can Ask Your Soul:

They say that all you seek is within you. One way of connecting more deeply to our source of intuitive guidance is by asking our soul for the answer. Intuitionjournal.com suggests an exercise to determine whether our intuition is speaking to us or our fear.

shutterstock_361970183It involves sitting in a quiet place alone, connecting with your heart by placing your hands on it, and guiding your mind into a relaxed state.  Then as we direct our focus to our particular situation, and view the arising thoughts, images, and feelings, we ask our souls “is this fear or intuition?”

Intuitionjournal.com also encourages us to ask “what is really going on?” and what the feelings really mean. I suggest we ask that about any images or thoughts that may come too.

We then make note of the information. This exercise by intuitionjournal.com can really help us tune in more with our intuitive source, and help us recognize the information it sends us.

It can help us become more aware of ourselves, as well as our fears, so that we can gently work through them. It can also help us let go of thoughts and emotions that can be blocking us or causing us to become stuck.

These are some key points we can keep in mind when trying to determine whether our intuition is speaking to us or our fear.  Hopefully as we practice listening to our intuition, we can make better decisions to forward us on our unique journeys. Remember, your intuition is your wise knowing which wants the best for you!