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    Tend To Yourself Thursday {5/9}: Is It Fear Or Intuition?

    As we tune in for another Tend To Yourself Thursday, let’s explore a question that often comes up in therapy – “how do I know if it’s fear or intuition?”

    Many people come to therapy to address anxiety – whether it’s generalized worry, postpartum anxiety, relationship anxiety, or anxiety due to stress, major life changes, or trauma. In our explorations, we often find that anxiety and worry arise as protectors of our well-being attempting to keep us safe in the face of danger, and away from the discomfort of uncertainty and pain. But, navigating life this way keeps our systems on defense, and undermines our ability to live authentically, joyfully, and in alignment with our true selves.

    One of my favorite gentle reminders inspired by author Sheryl Paul is that the opposite of anxiety is not calm, certainty, or relaxation – it’s trust.

    Anxiety and worry often go hand-in-hand with a lack of trust – whether trusting oneself or the greater unfolding of life. This is a struggle I know intimately. Listening to and trusting our inner wisdom is challenging because it can feel overwhelming to discern internal information, conditioning has us believe answers live outside of self, or we fear uncertainty and repeating past experiences.

    To differentiate between fear and intuition:

    • Consider their role and intention – fear aims to keep things feeling safe, comfortable, predictable, and often arises from a place of past conditioning. Intuition seeks to guide us toward actions that align with our truest selves and values, even if it leads us to our growth edges.
    • Notice how each feels in your body – anxiety comes with feelings of fear, tension, and apprehension. Intuition comes with a sense of calm assurance and is rooted in the present moment. It can feel grounding, expansive, light, or centering.

    To deepen your personal exploration, I invite you to journal or reflect on moments in your life you made a choice out of fear vs. intuitive insight. How do you know it was fear or intuition? What’s one small way you can practice trust?

    Remember, intuition is not about right/wrong or should/shouldn’t, it’s about listening to and trusting ourselves to take the next aligned step, even if it feels edgy. By cultivating trust in our inner wisdom we gain confidence and clarity to be able to navigate challenges with greater authenticity and fulfillment.

    Need support with trusting yourself and cultivating your inner knowing so you can put anxiety in the backseat? Reach out.

    Warmly,
    Elana