You will find that an element of discernment and questioning is part of all of the great stories (think of Luke Skywalker's interactions with Master Yoda). There is a distinct difference between intuition (a sense of knowing within without reasoning) and fear (anxiety caused by POSSIBLE danger). Only you can answer this question because the difference is something that only you can define (it shows up slightly differently in everyone). Fear is always a wake-up call of some sort. It may be illogical in the validation of its argument, but never in its arrival. It is always an opportunity to awaken you to something deeper.
When fear arises, ask yourself the basis of its existence (I mean, literally). Is fear speaking in your head or from your heart? It may begin in one and travel to the other. There is a distinct difference in the feeling. For example, several years ago, I was walking down Wabash (across the bridge from Wacker) late on a weeknight. I had just cashed a large check (cash in my wallet) and had spent the evening at a friend's apartment. I was walking home; the block was quiet. Without warning, a feeling of intense fear shot from my heart to my head. My hair stood up on end. A thought followed, "you are going to be mugged." I knew I was in danger. I looked up and there were 3 guys moving toward me. I acted fast and ran in front of an oncoming car (the only traffic in sight). The car was moving slow enough that I knew that it would be forced to slow down and I would be able to safely make it (alone) across the street. I succeeded and I ran down the sidewalk that leads to Michigan Avenue (lots of pedestrian traffic). I am convinced that my intuition was alerting me to probable danger. I do not walk through the city in fear of being victimized; it is not my nature. There was no reason for me to be frightened except for the presence of danger. The experience did not begin with thoughts ("Look at those guys, they might mug me.") and lead to a physical reaction; it was the other way around. The feeling was not rational in terms of evidence; there was nothing that signified "mugging about to occur." It was an intense feeling of knowing, however.
Fear is never insignificant in nature. It always provides an opportunity. I think that you need to examine the basis of your fear (is there any?) and is this fear inhibiting or limiting you in any way? This is more challenging than it sounds because it is also important to remember that what you focus on is what you create. If your daily drive consists of a continuing mantra: "I hope I don't wreck the car, I hope I don't wreck the car, I hope I don't wreck the car" don't be surprised when you wreck the car. You have literally summoned all the forces of the universe into answering your prayer. Thoughts create.
When you experience fear, ask:
- why am I feeling fearful?
- what is the basis of this fear?
- is there anything to suggest that this fear is valid?
- what are the benefits of these fears (if any)?
- what is the cost of investing in these fears?
- what can I do to manage the fear?
- if my thoughts indeed create, what might I focus on to create a different experience?
- how can i surrender this fear?
- how could this fear be assisting me?
- if this fear is a wake-up call, where might I direct my attention?
The important thing to note is that fear is not your enemy. As I noted, it is a friend with limited information. Don't work to eliminate it; simply manage it and send it on vacation when it is time to take leave!
Life is challenging here in the Matrix. Just remember, you are human and have the power and choice to "redesign your program."