Knowing the Difference Between Fear and Intuition Will Help You Excel in Your Career

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jun 12, 2020

Jun 12, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

True intuition can guide us to amazing places. Intuition can be one of the best tools to have when making important decisions that directly affect your career, and can have great outcomes. Fear, however, can sometimes lead you away from making the right decisions, and scare you away from smaller risks.

The art of discerning true intuition can be the difference between a major success and mediocrity in your workplace. It could very well be the difference between a promotion, and staying in the same position for the rest of your time there.

We all have intuition - it's a natural human trait. But we don't all fully reap its benefits. Usually, it's simply because we're not aware of how to use it. So let's establish the main differences and similarities between fear and intuition. Let's pinpoint how to truly tune into genuine guidance, and how to filter out fear when it's not needed.

Identifying Fear, Determining The Nature Of Intuition

Fear originated as a defense mechanism for humans, to help keep us safe from dangers. However, it’s important to understand what we really need to be fearful of in today's world, and what we don’t. For a lot of people, moving for a job, or quitting at the company you work at can be scary. You can feel like such a large change in life is happening, and it could put you in a worse spot than you’re in now. With that said, a lot of the time, we don’t need to be fearful.

And then, what is intuition? And how does it help us to make better decisions for our careers? Often, people describe it as a gut feeling. In essence, it's often a very subtle sensation that we can’t quite explain.

For a lot of people, it’s hard to feel the difference between fear and intuition, and many people assume they fear a decision they’re making, rather than seeing it as intuition. This is one of the biggest turning points in the lives and careers of many people, and is often the distinguisher of progress and being stuck.

So to discern between fear and intuition, we have to make a clear distinction.

Making Room For Clarity

To start, what can we do to find the glimmer of gold in a room full of clutter? Well, tidying sure makes it easier.

When we can calm our mind, when we can take a little time daily to sit quietly and breathe, we begin to experience wonderful things. And it is a powerful helper in tapping into more of that elusive power of intuition!

One of the first things we experience when we can take just 5-10 minutes of time to sit still and breathe, is that we begin to realize just how many thoughts and stresses are running riot in our minds! When we do this, we gain a different perspective. Not only does having a clean environment and taking time for yourself help to de-stress outside of work, but it also has a drastic impact on the way we feel at work, and how productive we are. Having a clean work environment and taking small breaks drastically improves your mindset while there, and increases productivity as well.

After de-stressing yourself and your environment, you’ll be able to more quickly and effectively determine between fear and intuition, and make more educated decisions. Having a clear mind means that the small differences between the two won’t be so foggy, and you’ll have a much better idea of what you really want.

4 Key Tips For Differentiating Between Fear And Intuition.


1) What does fear feel like? Try to pay attention to everything. Where in your body do you sense it? What emotions surround it? Usually fear feels urgent, immediate and edgy. It causes our sweat glands to activate when strong enough. It causes our heart to race uncomfortably. It feels tight and constrictive. (Intuition does not cause any of these.) 


2) What thoughts trigger fear the most in you? Try to recognize it. When you do, you reclaim control, and you can choose to take the thoughts with a pinch of salt. Usually fear is based in mental “what if” scenarios, even on the unconscious level. Trace your fears to their ultimate conclusion. This can help reveal them for what they are - next time they show up, you'll have more objectivity.


3) What does intuition feel like? Once again, try to pay attention. Do you get a particular sensation when you feel someone is lying to you? Where in your body? What does that sensation feel like? It’s usually a firm knowing feeling. Often people feel it in their stomach, but not uncomfortably. It feels certain, but it does not feel pressured. Sometimes positive intuition - being nudged to take a guided risk - can come as a fluttering sensation of excitement and light in the body.


4) Knowing vs chasing: Intuition feels like a deeper level knowing, above all. Not guessing. Not reaching. A certainty, that may not be explained with facts or logic. Intuition does not operate with a "missing out" paradigm. Yes, it can nudge us powerfully, but it doesn't feel like a chase. It feels most often like being guided firmly and kindly. Fear is like a static on the surface, especially when it's mentally based. Go deeper, to feel knowing.

The Major Pay-Off In Learning The Art Of Discernment

Understanding ourselves is a key to the art of discernment. Think of your body and subtle intuition as an instrument, or a thermometer. When you can learn to accurately interpret its messages, you can reap major rewards.


The incredible thing is, that the more we work to release fear and relax our body, the more available we are to "necessary" fear if it should arise. If we have fear inside and around us on a daily basis, it doesn't stand out. This means that you won’t be so blind to the difference between fear and intuition that you determine all fear to be intuition. This can be catastrophic to workplace development as well, and can lead you to take risks that you don’t need to, for rewards that aren’t there. An example of this is quitting your job before you have another one lined up.