This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
I just packed the last of my belongings into storage and was ready to venture off to travel the world.
A few nights before my departure to Italy, a group of my close friends gathered to send me off with a dinner party and snuggles.
Towards the end of the night, we all sat in a circle and shared one by one, answering the question “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
My turn came up and I shared without hesitation, “If I was not afraid, I would go with him.”
Just a couple months prior, I started a brand new relationship right after I decided to leave the country. Ironically he wanted to do the exact same thing.
The synchronicities were profound; we had both just shut down our companies, had enough cash to travel for a year and wanted to focus on photography/video… and we were madly in love.
It made perfect sense but something felt off about it. I attributed this to being afraid. I have since learned a great deal about how to tell the difference between fear and intuition.
Many of my friends and family expressed concern but I felt like they just didn’t understand. “Our love is different” I thought to myself.
I knew it was a risk, venturing off into the unknown with a brand new companion, navigating all the complexities of a relationship while spending close to 24 hours a day together but I thought we would find a way, especially if we were meant to be.
We had a loose agreement in place that if things didn’t work out, we’d go our separate ways. Easier said than done though, especially after you’ve ripped the carpet out from beneath yourself.
We were both ungrounded. For the first time ever, we intentionally left all traces of who we were behind.
I had two pairs of shorts, a couple of tank tops and one dress. I never did my hair or makeup. I wanted to see what it was like to surrender the ego-based identity I’d held on to for so long. He similarly brought almost nothing.
This, paired with the loss of everything we owned and all sense of routine, brought on a feeling of being lost that words can’t accurately describe.
From the moment we landed, I knew it was a mistake. A couple of explosive arguments indicated that we might not be as ideally matched as we’d thought.
Just about everything that could go wrong did. When you’re out of alignment, life has a way of bringing you all kinds of signs to make sure you get the message. From being robbed to being threatened sexually and all the chaos that foreign travel can bring, it seemed to just keep on going.
Somehow we made it through 5 months, 4 countries and 36 hotel rooms before I hit a breaking point.
I remember it as vividly as if it were yesterday. We were in Vietnam, in a very random nearly-abandoned city in Vietnam and I was not happy at all.
I was exhausted from the constant location shifting and couldn’t find the energy to get out of bed. I’ve never had that kind of feeling before.
I laid there for almost the entire day and finally decided it was time for me to fly back home.
We broke it off a few days later.
Although this was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, I am grateful for it because of what it taught me.
I often look back at that moment when I so confidently answered the question in the circle, wondering how I could overlook my intuition and question myself.
It seems life gives us some pretty harsh lessons at times to make sure we get the point.
Since then, I’ve committed myself to ALWAYS listening to my inner guidance no matter what. I believe it’s the soul’s way of navigating the earth plane and is taking into account far more information than we can possibly imagine.
Sometimes it’s not clear what to do… and in those moments, I wait.
One of my favorite spiritual teachers Matt Kahn said “If it’s a maybe, it’s a no.” I live by that rule now.
I have since walked away from opportunities that could have made me famous or made me millions but I knew in my heart they weren’t right for me.
But how can we know for sure?
With infinite possibilities in life, it can often feel confusing so I’ve outlined five steps below that will help you know whether it’s fear holding you back or if it is, indeed, your intuition begging for your attention.
5 Ways to Stop Doubting Your Intuition
1.) Alone Time
I’ve found that the only way to truly know what you’re hearing is to shut off the outside world and go within. To let go of all the socially held beliefs and all the opinions of your well-meaning friends and family. In your time alone, ask yourself what would make you the most happy on a soul level?
2.) Energetic Charge
The main difference I’ve noticed between fear and intuition is that with fear, there is still excitement and energy. For example, if you’re wanting to start a new business and you’ve been dreaming about it for years, fear will likely show up in some form (since you’re doing something different) but it will be trumped by the excitement and energy you feel. With an intuitive warning, however, you will often have more doubt than excitement which will rob your life force energy.
3.) Trusting Your Gut
There’s a reason people have been talking about your “gut instinct” for centuries, possibly even longer. Scientists are now calling it our second brain. There is an inherent intelligence in the body and particularly in the gut that can help guide and direct every decision you make. If you are unsure what to do, check in with your gut and see how it feels. If it’s tight or painful, that is a very clear warning sign. And if it doesn’t subside for days or weeks, it is the wrong direction to take or there is something you are not hearing.
4.) Maybe = No
This is a simple, but sometimes challenging, rule to live by. If you’re unsure of what to do, do nothing. But what if a decision absolutely has to be made? You’re ambiguity about what to do is an indication that A) this is not the right thing for you or B) you don’t have enough information yet. Ask questions, get details, talk about the fears that are coming up, move some energy and see what comes through. If it seems like you only have one choice, I promise you, as soon as you say no, something else will show up. Take action in another direction that has more energy and excitement!
5.) Meditate for Clarity
If you still don’t know which direction to take in your life, it might not be time to make any decisions at all. The Chinese Yin/Yang symbol represents balance and harmony in which both “doing” and “being” are equally respected and necessary. Take time to just be. Observe the mind. Observe the breath. Ask the universe for guidance and wait until answers come. I would recommend sitting for at least 15 minutes a day but if you’re going through major life changes, you may want to increase that to 30 minutes (plus). It will help bring a new sense of clarity you can’t access any other way.
In my Audiobook “Walk Your Soul Path”, I dive deeper into the mind and why we resist our own intuitive guidance.
I break down the two roadblocks we all experience when we want to change our lives along with 11 practices you can start using today to get into greater alignment with your true soul purpose.
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About The Author:
Angelina Samadhi started her spiritual & entrepreneurial journey over 11 years ago and has launched a total of 7 businesses since. She had a few pivotal moments that came in the form of physical illness that made her turn away from Corporate America and move in the direction of spirit. She believes our bodies are our greatest teachers and the only thing we should listen to for guidance. She now helps people discover their truth and live their soul purpose.