How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

fear and intuition woman with 2 colored eyes

In those crazy moments when we don’t know what to do or even how to begin to make a decision, intuition is the answer.

Fear doesn’t understand positive risk and thinks we are still two years old.  It wants to keep us safe but is deeply misguided.  We can’t trust our minds because they spin between different answers, telling us yes in one moment and no in the next.

Learning to discern which voice is your intuitive inner knowing is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and you can start right here:

The Voice of Fear:

  • Keeps you small or prevents you from moving forward
  • Has a sense of urgency, it wants you to decide or take action right away
  • Tries to tell you what to do
  • Creates overwhelm or confusion to keep you stuck
  • Focuses on your perceived limitations or lack of possibilities
  • Makes you feel bad about yourself
  • Justifies its position by giving evidence
  • Creates tightness or contraction in your body, often in your solar plexus or stomach

The Voice of Intuition:

  • Guides you toward moving forward
  • May feel like falling into the truth or surrender
  • Sounds and feels soft, solid, and strong
  • Can create a deep sense of just knowing
  • Always wants what is best for you
  • Never makes you feel bad about yourself
  • Is opening, accepting, and discerning
  • Usually generates a peaceful feeling once you accept it
  • Can often be felt in your body as opening or relaxing

So, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and listen to the quality of the words in your head and the feelings in your body.  The answer is within.

13 thoughts on “How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

  1. Flora Morris Brown says:


    Because there can be quite a lot of chatter in our heads, it is so important for us to learn to tell the difference between fear and intuition.

    My voice of fear pushes hard to make me feel bad about myself and insists that I take action right away. Thankfully that voice is consistent and predictable, making it easier to recognize.

    Thanks for these guidelines for identifying these very different voices since they are with us all of our lives.

    My voice of intuition, like you say, is softer, but thankfully calmer and stronger.

    • Linda Luke says:

      Thanks for sharing what fear and intuition feel like for you. The next step is to really pay attention to the voice we can trust even if we don’t like what it says. Everything will be okay when we do.

  2. Paige Poutiainen says:

    Hi Linda, this is an excellent distinction. All too often I think I make decisions out of fear. You’ve given me some easy things to consider the next time I’m in a fear vs. intuition situation. Thanks!

  3. Sofi Dagnon says:

    Excellent distinctions Linda! I used to find myself struggling with this quite a lot- especially when I had to make a big decision that felt scary. Sometimes fear does an excellent job of passing itself off as the reasonable, grounded voice of intuition but ultimately, you can always tell. This is a wonderful list to refer to 🙂

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