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Learning To Hear Your Intuition Over Doubt And Fear… With An Exercise Included

How do I know if this is really my intuition speaking to me or my fear?

This is a common question I receive when working with clients, so I wrote this post to hopefully provide you with some insight and clarity regarding this phenomenon.

Trust your instincts, listen to your gut, your soul knows the way, and so on.  

Yes, this is all true but it is a little trickier than that.  We hear this all the time yet often times we doubt ourselves and then kick ourselves later on when we realize our intuition was on point from the start.

Believe it or not, while I am great at following my intuition when it comes to outside people and circumstances,  I struggled for a long time with my personal side of this intuitive journey – which is trusting myself for myself.  

Honestly, this is true for every craft, every profession. Every intuitive/psychic needs their own advisor to bounce off-of, right? The old axiom has much truth to it: it’s difficult to be your own psychic.

Back to the topic at hand.

As souls here having a human experience we are all blessed with a sixth-sense, a survival instinct.

Think of Wolves out in the wild.  They rely solely on their five-senses to let them know when danger is in the area.  They smell it, they feel it and the act upon it without delay.

What they don’t do, is question it and that is their sixth-sense always at work above all else.  

We possess this very same ability and more, the problem is our conscious mind comes in and overtakes.

A ‘gut feeling’ is literally just that.  A specific feeling/sensation that you get in your stomach.

The challenge is to silence the mind enough, to drown out the constant noise and outside stimuli.

Just look at everyone as you are out and about during your work day- most are buried in their phones and/or laptops.  How are you supposed to get in touch with, and actually trust, your higher guidance this way?

If you are constantly surrounded by chatter, you are not going to be able to go in and listen to your inner-knowing.

That inner-knowing is your soul talking to you and we must trust it, it knows what is best for us.

So, how to to know if it’s intuition or fear?

I searched for a few proper definitions/explanations of intuition, and this one resonated the most:

The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning

Without the need for conscious reasoning, for logic because well,  intuition just is, energy just is.

A ‘gut feeling’ is literally just that.  A specific feeling/sensation that you get in your stomach.

This is how you know you are receiving and recognizing, an intuitive impression, it’s a feeling.

When you start to question it, that’s when the logic gets involved, which then produces doubt and fear.  At this point, we either ignore it altogether or simply do not trust it.

I also find this quite interesting:

“According to cognitive neuroscientists, we are conscious of only about 5 percent of our cognitive activity, so most of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behavior depends on the 95 percent of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness”.

Mysteries of the mind, Marianne Szegedy-Maszak

Digest that- this basically means that our unconscious mind, our intuition, is the place we are most naturally conditioned to act out of.  It is the conscious mind that gets in our way!

So how to tell the difference?

This exercise sounds and is a bit time-consuming but it truly is a great way to learn to distinguish between those real gut feelings, those hunches- and then our doubt and fear.

I’ve coached many clients through this and they all said it worked for them.

Set aside about a half-hour and find a quiet space inside, outside, wherever.  Bring a pen and paper, I highly recommend crayons as well.

Now, think about an image that makes you feel very happy –  like a child or an animal.

Notice the feeling it brings up in you.  Sit with this, write it down or draw it if need be.  Anything that keeps you in that vibration of positivity.  Allow a few minutes to pass (or more).

Next imagine a destructive scenario/image, something that makes you very upset.

Perhaps you lose your job, get passed over for a promotion you were anxiously waiting for, or are told that you have three-days to make a ‘do or die’ decision- whatever it is, just make it personal and honest for you.

Now truly sit with that feeling or feelings- you will most likely feel a sinking sensation in your gut.  It will feel uncomfortable and bring up a different sensation/emotion.

This is FEAR.  This is where the conscious mind comes in and kicks our ‘gut-butt’- yes I just made that up 😉.

After practicing the above,  this last piece is imperative.

Think about a suggestion that was made to you intuitively from another person, something that you instinctively say ‘no’ to.

Such as-  a friend tells you to book a flight when you have a fear of flying, in order to help you get over it.

Doubt says: smart, but no thanks I could never do that.

Perhaps it is recommended you go see a therapist to talk out an issue when you swore you would never go to one.

Doubt says: maybe one day, but I don’t really need to do that.  I can work through this on my own like I always do.

What sensation do these scenarios bring up?  This is DOUBT.  Something that you could do, and maybe even should do, but you prefer not to do because you don’t think it would work.

Remember those three sensations/feelings as situations come up in your life.  Feel your reaction.  That is how you can discern what is your intuition, what is your fear, and what is your doubt.

This only works when you allow yourself the space to truly drop in, tune in, and feel this energy.

In other words, carve out the time to implement this properly!

This is the way that has been successful for most people that I have worked on this with.

I hope you try it out and please if you do, let me know how it works for you!

Much Love,


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Carolyn Gibbons
Carolyn Gibbons
2 years ago

Thanks Lisa! Love this. Was just in Banff National Park on a tour bus and I saw a beautiful lone wolf in the wild. I have never seen a wolf. I cried wolf and everyone looked but he was already gone. He had an injury the guide told me later as that was why he was alone. He looked to me to be still on a mission. Kinda magical. I always feel like a lone wolf as I don’t need the pack!
I will definitely listen to my intuition more.

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