Making Decisions From your Intuition verses from Fear

Jun 16, 2022Psychotherapy0 comments

 

Much of the work that therapists do with individuals can touch on learning the difference between intuition and fear. I find that I spend a lot of time with people around making decisions, which is understandable because, when we have to make major decisions, or even smaller decisions, we are sort of like bracing ourselves against this fear of making the wrong decision. We can have a lot of anxiety around making decisions, and get stuck in depression when we aren’t able to make the needed decisions to change our circumstances.

Over time, I’ve come to a vantage point where I don’t really believe that we can make the wrong decision. And it feels really scary even just saying that! I had an insight when I was younger, I think I was maybe like 6, where I said to my father: Oh, when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else, and when you say no to something, you’re saying yes to something else. Which sounds really simple, and it is very simple and we know it, but we take for granted how sort of monumental decisions can be, and how we are opening to up to a whole new set of circumstances and closing to a whole set of circumstances when we make a decision. I don’t mean to dismiss the gravity of decisions in terms of how they impact our current and future circumstances, but this idea of, or this fear around making the wrong decision can be very paralyzing, and in this paralysis, we can end up very stuck.

What I’ve come to see in my own life, and through having the honor observing and witnessing the lives of the people that I work with, is that making a decision, even if it leads to suffering or more emotional and mental distress in the future, or making a decision that we then realize was misguided or coming from a place of distortion and fear, that that experience in and of itself has worth, it has significance in our growth and in our path, that we need to have those decisions that are “wrong” so that we can hone in on what we might call intuition, or our core truth that we all want to be listening to. We want that intuition or that inner voice to be our guiding compass.

What’s so hard is that fear can sound a lot like intuition. We can often express that, oh, I have this core feeling or I have this sense that it’s not a good idea, and so we’ll make a decision based on that. And then we look back and we can see how that was really the decision based on fear and not so much from our intuition.

One of the things I’m getting at here, is that we learn the characteristics of intuition, and we learn how it shows up somatically, through hindsight. It’s really looking back on decisions that we’ve made that we are able to pinpoint, oh, there was that moment where I had that sense and that sense was my intuition. So, the wrong choices that we make, those are really critical for us to moving forward to uncover our intuition and be able to distinguish between intuition and fear

 

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