So, you’re scared… Is that a gut feeling or an irrational fear? Sometimes it can be so hard to distinguish what’s real from imaginary.

Since I live a life filled with anxious feelings and clouded perspectives, I find it increasingly hard to distinguish between a gut feeling of fear and an irrational worry.

Depression makes me think I could just be suffering because of my own inadequacies and anxiety can make me stress about almost everything. When the time comes to make a clear decision, it can be daunting.

Help me sort it out

I know I’m not the only one who does it, by far. Most everyone has trouble distinguishing whether they should act upon a concern, a fear or situation. A gut feeling, or intuition as recognized by the majority of people, is simply an inner warning that something is wrong or something needs attention. This gut feeling can sound off for simple problems or major issues, just the same.

Irrational fears can sneak in and take the visage of intuition, playing the part perfectly and even causing physical distress. As with intuition, irrationality will have facts and examples lined up to show you how serious the situation is.

Before you realize that you are dealing with an irrational fear, you will already be making plans to rearrange several things in your life, sometimes ending relationships before you have any logical reason. This feeling can use deception to ruin things.

But take heart, there are ways to tell the difference

A gut feeling/an irrational fear – both these indicators fight to get your attention. Which one is the truth and which one is the lie? It’s your decision which feeling you will listen to. When the strange feeling of warning comes over you, stop and use certain criteria to decipher its true meaning… like these.

Signs of intuition have their ways of being known:

  • In cases of true intuition, you will see signs from the beginning. You will notice right off that something is amiss. You might not know exactly what it is, but the concrete evidence you do have will be solid. There will be little room for confusion in these cases.
  • Intuition comes in a soft whisper, not a screaming voice that begs to be heard. But unlike a traditional whisper, you will be able to hear the voice of reason in a clear manner. It’s as if you already knew, but just had not processed the information in its entirety.
  • Even in a situation that calls for a dire warning, this gut feeling will not come to you in a negative manner. There will be no malicious intent, nor any pushy voices. Instead, intuition will make a suggestion to you and offer peaceful guidance during the course of your decision.
  • There will be repetition which goes along with your gut feeling. When something is real, it will repeat itself, not necessarily in the same words, but on media or even on billboards in the street. You will witness “signs” of your message and it will be everywhere until you take heed to what it needs you to know.
  • There is a certain clarity when your gut feeling is factual. It will seem like new paths are opening up and the overall fear will not be a suffocating fear, rather an urgency.

On the other hand, irrational fear will present its own indicators:

  • Many irrational fears revolve around phobias. These feelings are characterized by aversions to certain places, people or things, and the feeling will be chocked full of excuses. Thoughts of this nature will be clouded but strong, reinforcing the sense of fear.
  • If it feels like everything is falling apart, then this is one good indicator that your thoughts are not sound. Thoughts of catastrophes or other negative events will fill your mind, creating scenarios that fuel the fear making it grow bigger.
  • Irrational thoughts are filled with personal blame. For whatever fear you are dealing with, it will seem like you are at fault. It’s almost like being self-absorbed and placing yourself at the center of the emotional warning. There are two negative feelings here: first, the ego and second, the false alert.
  • Paranoia is a huge indicator that something is wrong, but what’s wrong is you. Your mind has created the warning and thus created false messages sent from the brain to all the other systems of your body. Paranoia is a strong deceiver, convincing people everywhere that there is a physical cause for alarm. If you experience paranoia, absent of any manifestation, you are probably experiencing nothing more than worry with imagination.

Note: There are rare occasions when true intuition presents manifestations which feel like paranoia. Subtle differences lie within whether you are receiving repetitive messages with concrete evidence. Yes, paranoia can be tricky, especially if you suffer from mental illness.

I have been irrational, oh yes, many times.

Personally, I can attest to being one of the most irrational people in existence, I am spot on about many things and then fail miserably at others. My fear can cause me to alienate myself from good people who only wish me well, just because of a few inconsistencies, while other times I congregate with a whole gaggle of back-stabbing bastards because they paid me a compliment about my hair. See the picture?

You can be off and then you can be WAY off. Your body and mind can fool you to no end when you aren’t aware of things to look for. That’s why these indicators are so important when those feelings arise.

It may still be difficult to differentiate your gut feeling from irrational fear

If all else fails and these indicators cannot answer your questions, then just be patient and relax. The only 100% way to discover the truth behind your concerns is to ride it out, or just go through it.

Eventually, everything will come into the light and you will know whether your worries were founded or false. Remember to take notes and pay attention to all the signs that lead down one path or the other.

Sooner or later, you will become adept at being able to tell gut feelings apart from irrational fear. When you do, you will have an edge on life and another life lesson to boot!

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner desktop

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Don

    I’ve always felt intuition to be first a very important safety valve and there are too many reasons for this to attempt to name. It is a feeling and a warning and can apply to most anything – to other people, to buying a car, to whether I should make that cut on a table saw. So long as intuition is followed by good old common sense, it generally works well for people – it’s a step back and then a should I go forward? I’ve experienced irrational intuition. Your indicators of the irrational are very important for people to recognize and deal with. I’m also glad you brought worry into this, it’s good to learn most worries usually never happen or are not the way it really is. Good topic, good read.

    1. Sherrie

      Thank you
      I think taking the time to put logic to these concerns is the key, one of the best ways to discover the validity of what you are feeling. I am glad that this piece shares needed information and happy to use my own experience to approach these topics.

  2. noeme

    hi. it’s been a month that I’ve been feeling this “fear”, the feeling that hinders me most of the time from doing my activities and itineraries and bothers me even before i start my day. every time i feel this cruel dark feelings it makes me cry for no reason, it makes me worry for the things i don’t even know. my heart aches (physically) like some sort of contraction then all of a sudden my mind is already filled with negative thoughts. it’s a burden =( and i can hardly ignore it. but on the other side, it seems a warning an indicator that something bad and fearful will happen in next few hours. and its true, cause after having that feeling, i always found myself in the situation I don’t even wish to happen, the situation where all faults and blames are on me. i hate it!
    Can you help me how to deal this thing?

Leave a Reply