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Is it Fear or Intuition? This is How You Recognize the Difference

Is it Fear or Intuition? This is How You Recognize the Difference

“Trust your intuition”. Great advice, but not always easy to follow. Especially if you are a worrier by nature, and see many obstacles on the road…

Everyone has intuition – an inner voice that passes on messages from your subconscious to your conscious self – but it is also an elusive thing. How do you know the knot in your stomach you feel when you need to make an important decision is your intuition that is telling you it is the wrong (or right) choice or fear that – without any good reason – is trying to stop you? This is how intuition is different from fear.

Intuition is Relaxed

When your intuition is trying to tell you something, it goes with a mental and physical feeling of calmness. The realization that all the puzzle pieces are falling into place, feels tranquil. There is no doubt about which path you should take, because, simply said, there is just one option left. Fear, on the other hand, can cause nasty physical and mental sensations. Sweating, stomach age, panic, or a rushed breath, for instance.

Intuition is Neutral

The voice of your intuition is confirming and full of compassion, but other than that has a neutral tone. You know what you have to do, there is no necessity to explain why. It feels right: nothing more, nothing less. Fear, on the other hand, is very emotional (often are negative emotions). It feels heavy or pressing and goes hand in hand with all kinds of arguments why something could be the right or wrong decision.

Intuition is About the Here and Now

Fear mostly has to do with bothersome experiences from the past or possible future scenarios of doom. Thoughts like “I couldn’t do it back then”, for instance, or the feeling that this or that may happen when you say yes or no. Your intuition does not live in the past and neither in the future, your intuition is about the present.

Intuition is About the Bigger Picture

Die-hard worriers can get clammy hands when looking at the huge choice of pasta in the supermarket. Fear pops up unexpectedly, whether you have to make big or small decisions. Intuition does not concern itself with small matters but only speaks up when important matters come up.

Learn to Listen to Your Intuition

You cannot turn your intuition on and off easily at the moments you need your inner voice. But when you practice consciously, you can learn to differentiate fear and intuition and learn how to develop your intuition. Awareness of your emotions and the reactions of your body is a good starting point. Are they negative? Then you can say fear has taken the upper hand. And we all know fear is a bad counselor. Allow yourself the time to work on your intuition and don’t make any hasty decisions. Sleeping on it a night can sometimes work wonders.

Text: Sanne Eva Dijkstra


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