Intuition vs. Fear: How to Recognize Your Intuition

Intuition can produce feelings, emotions, sounds, images, physical sensations, dreams, heightened awareness and distractions. Everyone has intuition. Sometimes it’s subtle and other times it’s quite pronounced or even startling. For people who haven’t had any training in how to work with their intuition, the experience of being intuitive can lead to empathic overload, fatigue, disillusionment, and confusion about what’s real, what’s being imagined, what’s being projected, what’s coming from a higher (wiser) place and what’s not. Listening to intuition can be just as disturbing as attempts to ignore it because the messages may seem emotionally loaded while also being cryptic or lacking any clear direction as to how to make use of that information – much less what higher purpose it’s serving or how to digest the emotional aspects of it.

By learning to recognize and work with your intuition effectively, you can create a greater feeling of purpose, direction, clarity, inner peace and spiritual connection in your life. Learning how to ground your sixth sense in the practical world is essential in navigating relationships, careers, financial decisions, life transitions, and personal growth.

The following 8 tips may help you to recognize the workings and value of your intuition and offer clarity about the difference between the fear-based mind and the intuitive, wise self:

  1. The purpose of your intuition is to guide you – not to scare you. Any fear-based response you have is coming from your mind – not your higher self.

  2. Cryptic messages are not necessarily warnings. They may just be an attempt from the universe to get your attention. Don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, take time to listen and engage (calmly) with the energy contained within those messages. Take some deep breaths and ask your higher self for clarity.

  3. If you find yourself stirred up by your intuitive downloads, stop what you’re doing and breath deeply again. Then ask your spiritual power why you’re picking up that information or energy and what you can do with it. Give yourself some time to receive an answer. It may not come to you immediately. It may take several days and calm space before another message presents itself. With practice, you can learn to dialogue with your intuition so that it becomes more useful to you.

  4. If you’re on empathic overload, ask yourself what emotional issues may be getting activated within yourself. What inner demons are unresolved? When you’re already stirred up (or in denial) about your own emotional process, it’s likely that you’ll over-identify with someone else’s pain. That leads to a merging of your pain and someone else’s and a situation that’s emotionally, psychically, and energetically murky.

  5. Do a reality check about whether your inner rescuer has been activated. Are you yearning to fix someone else? Is that your pattern? It is for a lot of empathic people as they have a tendency to try to save everyone else rather than working on themselves. Keep in mind that you’ll be less effective in helping anyone else if your own emotions and energy are stirred up.

  6. If you’re constantly on the go, your energy will race and you may be more likely to feel anxious. Giving yourself time-outs, time in nature, walks, hikes, swims, meditation, massage, quiet time at home and other self-care modalities will help to ground your energy and decrease your fear response.

  7. If your instincts are telling you something and you respond with an argumentative statement, you may be ignoring your own intuition.

  8. Keep a journal of the intuitive messages that you receive – even if you’re unsure of what they mean. Over time, you may find that the messages come together in a more coherent manner.

There are a number of books and courses to help you develop your intuition. It may seem frustrating at first. But if you commit to spending time several days each week settling into a calm inner space, asking for guidance from your higher self and simply allow yourself to be present with whatever images, words, sensations, feelings or sense of knowing that comes to you – free of judgement and scrutiny – you’ll be well on your way to developing your intuition.


Matthew Engel, MSW, CHt is a professional psychic-channel, intuitive life coach, past life regression therapist, hypnotherapist, astrologer, and spiritual teacher. He is also Host of Intuitive Transformation Radio on Blogtalk (and I-Tunes). For over 20 years, he has supported thousands of people from around the world in learning to listen to their intuition and wise self as a way of bringing about profound life transformation. Matthew is available for sessions by phone and FaceTime. For more information and to sign up for his newsletter, please visit: and

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