So if you are reading this blog, you are probably a person who enjoys personal development and spiritual growth—that is a beautiful thing. Being a spiritual student comes with its pros and cons. One con is that, with the plethora of information, you get more confused than clear and then begin to freak out because you KNOW the terms “ego” and “love” or “intuition/true knowing” or “fear” in your MIND, but when they show up in your everyday life, you walk away not truly knowing which is which.

I want to help de-mystify the process of differentiating between intuition and fear.


1. What does intuition feel like? 

True knowing feels expansive. It is rooted in the underlying feeling of your higher self.
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True knowing feels peaceful. True knowing feels uplifting. True knowing feels good.

2. What does fear feel like? 

Fear feels shrinking. It feels low vibration. It feels like a bad feeling in your stomach. It feels tight. It feels constrictive. It feels bad.

How do you know if you are fearful to do something because it’s expansive and good for you or if it’s your intuition saying NO?

This is where most people get stuck. I am going to give you a simple exercise to show you that, within yourself, you have the answers.

Imagine a happy image. An image of your favorite little baby in your life (your child, a niece/nephew, brother/sister, friend’s baby) or your pet! Think of that image and close your eyes. Allow the sensations to run through your body. Open your eyes and register that emotion on a physical level. This is what happy feels like.

Now imagine a destructive image. An image of you doing drugs and not being able to stop, calling your ex when you know he’s bad for you, binge eating. Close your eyes. Allow the sensations to run through your body. Open your eyes and register that emotion on a physical level. This is what destructive, fear-based energy feels like.

Now imagine a fearful feeling based on a HAPPY, intuitive guidance. Imagine you are going to a new therapist. You’ve always been scared to go to therapy, and you’re going to discuss your overeating or your destructive patterns as imagined above. Close your eyes. Feel BOTH the fear but the underlying good feeling because you are LISTENING to your higher self.

Ask yourself: Would my higher self be proud of me for taking this action or not? This is a good way to know what the underlying TRUE feeling is behind the action that you have in question.

Know that true knowing is always available to you. We often get confused because we are used to ignoring the guidance of our soul, because most of us have not been taught to live listening inward to ourselves. Instead, most of us have been listening on the outside. These tools are for you to go inward and connect to your unique soul voice and higher self.

Ask yourself: What is a particular situation in my life where I am confused if it’s intuition or fear? Do the exercise above and come to an answer based on your higher self.

Share your experience in the comments below.

Christine Gutierrez is a psychotherapist, advice columnist, speaker, author, poet, and founder of, an online hub that features psychologically-savvy and soulful advice, articles, videos, private consultations, workshops, retreats (both live and virtual), radio appearances, and television projects. “Ancient wisdom with a modern twist” is the motto. She has been featured in TimeOut NY Magazine, Latina Magazine as “The Future 15: The Healer,” Yahoo Health, Ebony Magazine, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, The Conversation, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ricki Lake, Lifetime TV, and more. You can also follow Christine on Twitter and Facebook.

*Image courtesy of Terence S. Jones.