Have you been contemplating making a big change in your life? Perhaps you’re thinking about moving in a new direction in your career or business, or you’re considering taking a step forward in an important relationship.
Whatever it may be: Change, as exciting and exhilarating as it may be, can also bring up fear and uncertainty.
One moment, you’re completely clear about what you desire and what action steps to take next. And then, your ego kicks in, you find yourself doubting your decisions, and you’re not sure how to proceed.
You wonder: Is this my intuition speaking to me, or is it fear trying to hold me back?
On my journey as a coach, mentor, and healer, I’ve seen many highly conscious spiritual entrepreneurs struggle with this pattern.
One reason why this is so common in lightworkers and empaths is that as highly sensitive beings, we tend to feel everything much more intensely than the average person, including the energies of the collective and the people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis.
At times, it can be difficult to discern our own truth from the truth of others, especially if we were brought up in a toxic family environment in which we constantly felt the need to monitor the energies of those around us so we knew how to please them.
This made sense as a survival strategy back then, but in the long run, this way of coping can cause us to disconnect from our own inner knowing.
Which in turn can lead to paralyzing self-doubt, confusion about our own needs and desires, and difficulty staying in touch with our deeper inner truth, especially in times of change and uncertainty?
In the self-development industry, we often hear the phrase: Trust your gut feeling. Or: Listen to love, not fear.
But what if you’re not sure what your gut is telling you? What is genuine inner guidance, and how can you tell the difference between intuition and fear?
While it may not always be easy to make that distinction, here are a few surefire ways to tell.
5 WAYS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN FEAR AND INNER GUIDANCE
1. Inner guidance is consistent, fear-based guidance changes constantly. If your inner voice is telling you one thing now and another thing the next moment, and yet another thing tomorrow, you can be pretty sure that fear is messing with you. True inner guidance likes to repeat the same messages over and over again until you’re ready to listen, and it comes with a sense of being pulled forward by a vision that is both exciting and empowering.
2. Inner guidance feels pure and clear. When fear is at play, something typically feels off. When you’re truly connected to your inner guidance, you’ll usually feel a great sense of clarity in that moment. You just know the truth about a situation, and there is no doubt or confusion around it. Fear often enters the scene a bit later and then causes you to doubt your decisions. And: When you’re saying yes to something that is not aligned with your truth, you’ll typically feel that something is “off”, even if you’re not entirely sure what it is. Trust that gut feeling!
3. Inner guidance reveals what’s possible, fear speaks of limitation. Inner guidance is always empowering and liberating. The truth is that if there’s something you truly and deeply desire, there is always a way to make it happen. You are always free to live your truth now. Fear, on the other hand, likes to remind you of your limitations and convince you that you can’t move forward right now due to your current circumstances. It projects solutions into the future and makes the past responsible for your problems rather than reminding you of your power in the present moment.
4. Fear is often louder than inner guidance. While inner guidance is often (but not always) subtle, fear has a tendency to create a lot of noise in your mind. If you’re constantly thinking about your problem and trying to figure things out in your head, it’ll be difficult to hear your inner guidance clearly. If you’re having trouble connecting to your inner wisdom, give yourself space to consciously slow down and listen within. Following a simple meditation practice that helps you quiet your mind can be highly beneficial in such situations. (For best results, meditate regularly for a while. I promise it will make a difference!)
5. Inner guidance unfolds synchronistically, fear creates a false sense of urgency or entrapment. Inner guidance often reveals itself one step at a time, and always comes to you in perfect timing. It creates that clear feeling within you that tells you that you’re always in the right place at the right time. You’re neither stuck in waiting mode nor blindly rushing into ungrounded decisions. You just know what to do in each moment. When fear is part of the game, you’ll often feel a dramatic sense of urgency paired with a feeling of being trapped. When that’s the case, give yourself space to reconnect within before making any decisions. Once that deep sense of inner clarity returns, take action on your inner knowing.
Do you have any favourite ways to distinguish between fear and intuition? Which of the above speaks to you the most right now? Let us know in the comments below!