Fear or Intuition?

“I am grounded on the solid foundation made of my intuition.” 

That was the goal of my very first coaching series. It is still very much a goal of mine that I continue to work on.

It’s something I have always struggled with, so it’s not something that will be “fixed” in six sessions of life coaching… but coaching really helped.

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I remember second grade when I started crying and told the teachers that I couldn’t join the Lakers cheer team after school because my mom would have to pick me up at a different time. 

This was a judgement call I made myself, with no input from my mom. I really wanted to join the group! But even at such a young age, I was putting other people’s needs – specifically other people’s assumed needs – above my own wants. 

It’s been hard for me to tell the difference between my wants and what I think will make others happy. 

It’s also been hard for me to tell the difference between my intuition and fear. However, because it has been hard for me, I’ve gotten the chance to personally try a bunch of tactics for getting in touch with my intuition.

Although fear and intuition will look different for every individual, in general fear is the overwhelming, loud feeling that won’t shut up. Meanwhile, intuition speaks up in a quiet voice and then sits down again, letting fear run around being a giant drama queen. Some people describe intuition as knowing and fear as questioning. 

Here’s what has helped me get more connected to my intuition.

  1. Accept there is room for improvement and connect to why you want to change. 
    • If you don’t want to change, you will not change. It’s obvious, but it’s also so easy to say you want to change and much, much harder to mean it. If you are not ready, be kind to yourself and know that time is necessary and that you will get there, even if it isn’t today. 
  2. Hire a coach. 
    • Having an unbiased person in your corner to hold space for this exploration is so important. Guess what? In addition to not teaching necessary skills like how to file taxes in school, they didn’t teach how to connect to yourself! This isn’t just something you are born understanding how to do. Actually… you were. You’ve just spent your life unlearning that skill. To relearn it, it helps to have a guide. 
  3. Keep an intuition journal in your phone. 
    • Anytime you feel your intuition or you have a moment where a suspicion is confirmed, take a note of the situation and how you felt. What showed up for you? What did you feel in your body?
  4. Brain dump all the times you have felt your intuition, or you had a feeling that turned out to be right. 
    • Just what it sounds like. Write it out. For example, I learned that I am very connected to my intuition when I choose a new living space. I know as soon as I set foot in the space whether I will be living there. 
  5. Get really specific about what you feel when you feel intuition. 
    • Using your list of past intuition examples and the intuition journal, try to find a pattern on how your intuition shows up in your body. Something that is a yes, I feel light, expansive and excited about. A “no” for me feels heavy and I dread it. If it’s something that my intuition is telling me not to do, I will feel sluggish moving towards it and it’ll be hard for me to muster the motivation to do it. But it’s not laziness.
  6. Set action steps for how to be more conscious in the moment. 
    • Maybe it’s taking three deep breaths. My coach and I made a mantra that specifically interrupts my logical thought spiral when my fear questions start flying. For me, it helps to ask, “What if all these things were taken care of? What then?” Think about your pattern and what question or statement can interrupt that in the moment.   
  7. Distinguish between fear and intuition. 
    • For me intuition is a gentle knowing. It’s quiet, and it doesn’t explain itself. It just tells me how it feels and then watches what I do with it. That’s usually when my logical side comes in and starts reasoning about why or why I should not be listening to that small, unassuming voice. My fear voice is very much a nagging, loud, insistent voice. I get into a circular thinking pattern and just get swept along. My fear voice is often saying something different than my intuition. It’s also affected by how I am feeling that day. If I go for a workout, get my blood pumping and my endorphins flowing, the fear voice backs down. 
  8. Don’t think too hard.
    • For me, distinguishing between fear and intuition is even harder because, I feel compelled to explore every angle of a situation– just to be on the fair/safe side. But is life supposed to be comprised of a series of the safest choices? How have the people that I admire lived their lives? Not by doing what they thought everyone around them wanted them to do, that’s for sure.

This list is far from complete. It will always be evolving. Take what works for you and ditch the rest. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. We are all different and that is beautiful. 

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