Intuition or Imagination? 7 Ways to tell the difference


  Written by: Angie Noll 

When I first made the commitment to live my life intuitively, I would act on every bit of “guidance” that came my way. I reasoned that if I didn’t, it would seem like I was ungrateful, and I didn’t want to appear in that unfavourable light to the Universe.

Especially if I was in the process of manifesting a creative goal (even if all manifestation is actually an expression of our creativity) - I didn't want to miss the cues signalling synchronous events or possible "co-incidences".

However, after many dead ends and false starts, I finally learnt to distinguish between imagination and intuition. Knowing which cues come from your divine support system, from the Universe, and which come from your imagination can be the difference between seeing your creative goal manifested in reality, or not.


So here are some guidelines to help you decide.

Intuition is persistent, but imagination is fleeting.True intuitive guidance keeps coming back, over and over. Sometimes it takes different forms – seeming to come from a variety of sources - until it finally gets your attention. Ideas that come from your imagination, on the other hand, usually only knock once or twice and then leave.

The energetic quality of intuition is different from that of imagination. With some practice, you will be able to discern the difference and save yourself a lot of time.

Intuition is often described as soft, almost like a whisper. Very rarely is it shouting at you, jumping up and down to get your attention. Usually, that’s your excitable imagination.

Intuitive guidance doesn’t always make sense right away. Intuition is a law unto itself and doesn’t need to please your sense of logic. Imagination often seems great, but it can be changeable and made to suit your rational mind.

Intuition loving, gentle and patient. It is the voice of you higher self, your Soul. Therefore it makes sense that it will always be loving, gentle and not pushy. Your Soul understands that you literally have lifetimes to accomplish things and learn lessons. Your Soul isn’t impatient. Imagination, on the other hand, could feel hurried, impatient and demanding.

Intuition doesn't need to be defended or explained. When you experience true intuitive insight, you just know. You don't need to defend it, explain it or justify it. Imaginary guidance, however, often leaves you feeling like you explain it, analyse it or defend it.

Intuition seems to come "just out of the blue" or "out of nowhere".  It's a sudden insight that just drops into you. Imagination, on the other hand, is a much more conscious process. You can feel yourself working on it, building it up, creating it.


It can be difficult at first - that's normal.

If you're having trouble listening to your intuition or making sense of it, then you're not alone. When I first made the decision to live my life devoted to my intuitive guidance, it was hard going at first.

I didn't know what was true intuition and what was imagination. But I was determined to work with the Universe in manifesting my dreams - like this website, getting my writing published, meeting people that are important on my path - and not to struggle against it anymore.

I had figured out that when I allow my ego or thinking mind to lead my manifestation process, I usually ended up wasting a lot of time and manifesting nothing.

Initially, I had trouble making decisions, feeling "scared" of following the wrong guidance and potentially derailing my manifestation process. But with practice and a whole lot of self-trust, my intuition has become a powerful ally, especially in my art. I approach every writing session, regardless of whether it's a blog or a chapter for a book or simply writing in my journal, with my intuition to lead the way.


What's the key?

Learn to trust yourself. That's most important for a good, strong sixth sense to develop and flourish and be your constant guide - whether it's to manifest a goal or create a piece of art.


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