Instinct or Intuition? 3 Ways You Can Tell the Difference

The words instinct and intuition are often used interchangeably. Yet they’re very different. 

Understanding how to discern which is which, in the moment, will really benefit your intuitive development.

Today, I’m sharing three hallmarks of each. Of course, these are based upon my personal journey. You may have different ways of discerning instinct from intuition. Especially in how they each feel in your body. 

1. Instinct is about surviving. Intuition is about thriving. Your instinct is primal, based in the fact that you’re an animal. šŸ™‚ Your instinct fuels you to be hyper-aware, so you can make reactive decisions swiftly — decisions that compel you to fight, take flight or freeze. 

Intuition is all about connection, your intrinsic ability to understand a vast array of interrelationships, including your constant connection with Source. Your intuition flows when you’re in a place of stillness while being present in the moment. This is when you most easily experience Oneness, with your Soul, with Mother Earth, and with Source. 

2. Instinct generates feelings of contraction. Intuition generates feelings of expansion. Because your instinct is focused on protecting you, it often leads with emotions of fear or anxiety. Instinct also quickly draws comparisons to uncomfortable things that you’ve experienced before and reflexively want to avoid experiencing again. This causes contraction, and a feeling of separation. Instinct is super effective at keeping you in your cozy zone of comfort. Surviving yes, but not thriving.

Intuition most often leads with feelings of expansion, spaciousness, curiosity, openness. Let’s be clear that connecting with your intuition is not always about experiencing bliss, joy and peace. Yes, it can absolutely feel like that. However, your intuition is your Soul’s wisdom, and your Soul is seeking to guide you along your divine path. Yes, this path will most assuredly take you out of your comfort zone. It is the path of your personal fulfillment. The path of your personal evolution. 

3. Instinct and intuition use a very different language in speaking to you.Instinct uses a lot of “you should” talk, as well as guilt, shame, blame, victim language, even manipulation to compel you into taking action. You may also hear a lot of “why” and “why not” language, which contributes to a sense of defensiveness, and a reactive approach to taking action. This all leads to more contraction. 

Your intuition speaks with love, compassion and from a place of “how.” Bear in mind that your intuition can also be very direct, and at times sound even fierce. But you’ll feel it as a fierce love for you. Your intuition’s language supports your expansiveness, proactively taking new paths, moving beyond your comfort zone. You intuition speaks with language that supports you in accessing connection, a Oneness with your Soul and with Source. 

How do these three hallmarks resonate within you?

Your instinct is incredibly important. It’s how we’veĀ evolved to this point as a species, after all! Yet, we’re now at a point when we can choose the path of spiritual evolution, and our intuitive development is central this to journey.Ā 


Deepen your intuitive guidance in two private 60-minute phone sessions. Learn about my Jumpstart Mini-Program. It’s the perfect introduction to intuitive coaching so you can create your personal fulfillment.

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