A client recently asked me a very profound question. She said “How do you know when your it’s your fear talking or your intuition?” For example, people always say “feel the fear and do it anyway.” But what if it’s not fear you’re feeling… what if it’s your intuition cautioning you not do something. In which case you shouldn’t do it. Whereas if it’s fear that’s holding you back from expansion or forward movement you should challenge the fear and do the thing anyway.
This is a particularly relevant issue for sensitives, because so often we grow up learning to distrust our feelings. We hear all the time that we’re “overreacting” or “why are you being so sensitive?” “why are you being so dramatic?” Basically the feedback we are being given is that our feelings are somehow wrong. So what starts to happen, especially as children is that we think there must be something wrong with us. If everyone around us is giving us the feedback that our feelings are overreactions we start to believe that they must be. And so we start to distrust our feelings and to disconnect from them because it’s a painful experience when someone reflects back to you that what you’re feeling isn’t real or isn’t valid. Disconnecting from and distrusting our feelings is a survival technique we often develop at a young age because we feel it is safer that way.
So what does this have to do with fear and intuition? Well if we’re disconnected from and distrusting of our feelings, of course we are not going to recognize what is fear and what is intuition! Because we’re not tuned into to our feelings. We have to re-learn how to connect with them. So that is step 1. If you sense that you are someone who has come to distrust your feelings, you are really going to have to work to form a relationship again with your feelings and with your intuition and the voice of your inner guide. It’s a relationship like any other. Like one you would have with your partner or best friend. Any relationship you have requires time, attention and energy. The relationship with your inner guide and your intuition is no different.
You have to give it time, attention and energy for it to grow stronger and stronger and for you to get to know each other better. So how can you do that? The best way is to carve out intentional quiet time for yourself. That can look different for everyone but the essential part is that you are alone and being quiet. You can listen to music if that helps, you can meditate, you can journal, you can go for a walk outside – whatever feels right to you. As long as it’s creating space where you’re with yourself. And you’re listening to yourself and you’re giving yourself a little bit of room to calm down the chatter in your mind from your daily life, the buzzing of stress and anxiety. So that you can be in a calm centered space and you can start to hear your own voice, the voice of your soul and inner guide and intuition. Journaling is especially helpful with this – because it is a way for you to converse with yourself. It’s a way for you to get all that stuff out of you onto the page. You can also set an alarm on your phone for several times a day to check in with yourself and take your “emotional pulse”. This creates an intentional stopping point in your busy day to ask yourself; where am I at, what am I feeling, what do I need? It will get you in the habit of paying attention to your own voice, taking breaks from the busyness of life to check in with yourself. And that s powerful work. So once you are in the flow with this more and feeling more connected to yourself then what happens? You have this moment where you feel fear but you don’t know which one it is. How do you tell the difference?
There are several different ways to tap in here:
Number one is know that fear is going to be a lot louder in most cases. The energy behind fear is ALARM, it’s anxious its stressful and intuition is more like caution, a gentle tugging, a nagging. Something will feel off. Whereas fear says NO STOP DON’T DO THIS RUN AWAY!! So the difference between the energy behind what you’re feeling will give you clues as to whether it’s intuition or fear. And especially in the beginning when you’re getting used to recognizing which one is which, you can talk it out with a friend. It’s oftentimes easier for a friend to spot the fear talking before you do.
Number two is to ask yourself. Stop what you’re doing. Take a time out from that moment, take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart, go within and ask yourself “is this my fear talking or my intuition?” And you will get an answer. The more you are creating that intentional space to be with yourself and your inner guide, the quicker and clearer the answer will be. And if it’s fear, you have to look at that. And if it’s intuition you know your soul is talking to you.
So to recap. The first step is to carve intentional space to show up for yourself and get to know the voice of your intuition and inner guide. And to do that continually. This is not something you do once and then move on, it’s a daily practice. Then you check in with yourself and ask what’s the energy behind this feeling? Is it alarm or is it caution? See what it feels like, gauge it out. And you can talk it out with a friend for more clarity. And then you can check in and ask yourself. And if it’s fear – you have to push through that, challenge yourself, look at the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. But if it’s intuition you have to honor that and trust that your soul is showing you the right way.