Call it your gut, say it’s your instinct, but ultimately, it’s a subtle sense of knowing. Some folks try to explain it using thought or fact, but often it’s just something you feel.
You sense that something isn’t right, even though you can’t explain why.
Now, how often do you feel it and then ignore it? Your inner voice is talking to you, but you’re not listening because it doesn’t make sense.
Most of us recognize that our inner voice has value. The problem is we have no idea how to tune into it, how to hear it, and listen. It’s even more baffling to learn that there are people who can tap into it whenever they want. Most of the time, the problem is that we’re just not paying attention.
When we look back on our lives, we can recognize so many opportunities we’ve had to use it and been completely blind to it. Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to listen to a voice that’s not telling you what you want to hear.
Just remember that it is telling you what needs to be heard. It’s up to you to listen.
It’s Beyond Reason
Your intuition is like a life-long store of your instincts, senses, and experiences. Over the years, we have our lived experiences, the experiences we’ve watched, as well as observing our emotional and mental processes. It isn’t about logic, it isn’t about reason, it’s about your feelings. It’s the ability to sense something coming before it does, even if you have no way to explain it.
All your senses are involved. You might be at a networking event and after shaking someone’s hand you get a sense that you can’t trust them. You may be overwhelmed with intense feelings because you just know something is off. There’s no logical reason, but you can feel it throughout your body. Do you listen to your instinct? Or do you ignore it?
On the flip side, you could meet someone and be overwhelmed with a feeling of comfort. You just know they’re okay.
Here’s the thing about our intuition. It speaks to us in different ways. Some people hear it, some people see it, others just feel it deeply. This intuition is speaking to you whether you’re listening or not.
Unfortunately, a lot of us dismiss our intuition because we fall into the trap of believing it’s fear.
The truth of the matter is, it can be confusing, which is why it’s so important that you learn to determine the difference between fear and your gut speaking to you. If you don’t learn how to do this, then you’re going to miss out on a variety of opportunities. They’re going to speed right by you, and you’ll continually wonder why nothing ever goes your way. But it does, you just keep missing it!
The overwhelming feeling you get and write off as just a feeling is your inner guidance system, and it’s simply trying to lead you to the right path or away from danger. Negative emotions and fear often express themselves in physical ways. It may be sweating, a racing heart, aggressiveness or a simple adrenaline rush. It’s the fight or flight feeling of needing to run, having to hide, and avoid the danger.
Either way, you can allow it to dictate your decisions. Following your gut leaves you feeling relieved, while fear chases opportunity away.
You can’t improve your ability to tune into intuition until you learn to shut the noise out of your life. Tuning into your intuition requires you to slow down. You have to listen, and sometimes the only way to do that is through solitude.
Step away from the busy life you lead and find some quiet time. A brief walk, a moment of meditation, some time spent practicing yoga. All of these are acts of solitude that can help you get in touch with your intuition.
Try the following suggestions to improve your intuition.
Mindfulness isn’t as scary as you think it is. It’s simply being focused on the moment you’re in. It’s an excellent technique for weeding out the distractions and purging your brain of all the environmental noise.
When you learn how to do that, then you’ll start to hear your intuition loud and clear. It’s the ultimate way to befriend yourself.
Your literal gut is lined with neurons. You’ve likely heard it referred to as a second brain. Research suggests that intuition is far more than a feeling, it’s a physical presence within your gut.
Some people believe that the reason we get physically sick is that we’re acting against our intuition. Or because we have to deal with a situation to make tough decisions. Or because we make a bad decision. Quite simply, your intuition is your coach.
When you fall asleep your brain downloads, processes information, refreshes, and resets. Your dreams are filled with the memories, learning, and experiences of your day.
Dreams can provide you with information you can’t access during your waking hours. So before you fall asleep you should directly consider unresolved issues. Think about the possible solutions as you’re falling asleep, and let your brain and dreams take care of the rest.
Do you know someone who’s amazing at following their intuition? You may look at them and you wish you could be as confident as they are. You wish you could believe your inner voice the same way they do, but you’re too busy valuing logic and reason. Of course, these are helpful in a wide variety of situations, but sometimes you have to allow your intuition to override.
There’s a big difference between applying logic and reason as a system of checks and balances and allowing logic and reason to completely run your intuition over.
Let’s use an example to highlight the importance of hearing your intuition. Try to place yourself in the example to feel what’s happening.
You’re checking your emails and your heart sinks as you spot the name of a difficult client. Anxiety, dread, confusion, and frustration coarse through your body as all happiness and energy seeps out of your pores.
It only gets worse as you read the message, with adrenalin flooding your system. One question flashes through your brain, like an angry neon light on a darkened street.
What do I do?
You don’t know.
The email is from a client you’ve been working with for a long time. It’s someone who makes you unhappy and has done so for a long time, all because they don’t listen. They demand, insist, speak to you rudely, and it doesn’t matter what you give them, they always want more.
As you read the email over and over you realize it’s time to make a decision. Can you really go on like this? Can you continue to deal with this client?
What do I do?
The only thing you can do is listen to your intuition, but to do that you have to take a step back and make time for yourself. Go outside and take a walk, take a beat to meditate, grab your yoga mat and find a quiet spot.
And you do just that.
24 hours later you find yourself contacting the client to explain. You believe it’s time to move on, that there’s someone better suited to their needs. It’s time for you to move forward.
There’s a good chance you’ll struggle, but being free of a toxic client will allow you the time to find a more appropriate client.
When your feet hit the sidewalk after the conversation, you feel as though you’re walking on sunshine. You find a sense of peace, there’s a quiet, calm understanding. There’s clarity. Your intuition was speaking to you and you honored it.
When a situation distresses you, you have to divorce yourself from it. We often force ourselves to continue. Your body is breaking down, your soul is screaming, and yet, you ignore your intuition and push on regardless. That’s not the way to honor your instinct.
Start listening to your body, listen to your intuition, and let go of negative feelings. By doing so you create fresh space, space for new experiences, people, adventures, and places. You’ll know it’s right because when you make the right call the weight that lifts from your shoulders is enormous.
When you honor your gut, you’ll find your happiness and energy returning to you in abundance. You know, with certainty, that it’s the right call. Your intuition has served as your compass and it hasn’t let you down.
How To Listen And Honor Your Intuition
In every situation, making space is the right choice. Breathing space is everything, whether it’s a walk in the park, meditating, or hiking. By doing something you love, something that calms you down, this is the time to indulge it. It’s all about providing your mind with the space to wander in order to hear your intuitive voice.
Sometimes it’s just easier to push your feelings away and ignore them. We push them aside when a seemingly easier option presents itself. Why? It could be that we’re scared of a change in direction, it could be a fear of saying no, or it could be that we’re terrified of failure.
Whatever the reason, the choice to ignore your intuition is stealing your chance at happiness. When something doesn’t feel right, you should be moving in the opposite direction, not going with the flow because you’re scared of the alternative.
You have to be honest with yourself about unsettled feelings and what that means for you.
A journal is an answer to a lot of life’s problems. In terms of listening to your gut, a journal is an excellent way to tune into your intuition. Your journal is a safe space. It’s a spot to allow you to let your emotions out and vent.
It’s a place for you to work through your issues and problems. It’s somewhere for you to safely process your thoughts and understand yourself.
When you’re struggling with following your intuition, take a moment to journal. Allow yourself the space to explore your feelings, look at the big picture, and reflect on your situation. It’s a great way to work through blocks and allow your intuition to lead the way.
Think of intuition as your sixth sense. You can improve it by honing your five senses. So spend time daily trying to notice everything you possibly can with those five senses. A good opportunity for this is when you’re eating or hanging out in nature. There’s plenty to smell, see, touch, taste, and hear.
You step outside. The forecast hasn’t predicted rain, but you can feel it in the air.
Everyone’s putting bets on the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, but you have a hunch the outside tip is a winner.
You go on a double date with your best friend and you can just sense their new partner is off.
When you get a hunch, take it for a test-drive. Make a note of it somewhere and check-in to see how often you get it right.
Do you ever get a nasty sick feeling in your stomach?
Do you get saddled with a terrible headache or find yourself running to the bathroom more often?
Do you feel weighed down?
Stress often comes when we refuse to listen to our intuition. Don’t be afraid to consult your body and think about where you are in life.
Do yourself a favor and start paying attention to what your body is telling you. It’s your intuition giving you hints.
The natural world has a lot to offer. It provides you a technology-free space, it injects you with energy and provides you an opportunity to soak up nature’s beauty. Sometimes, the quiet of nature is exactly what you need to tap into your intuition.
Think of a negative experience you’ve been through in the past. Go back to before the negative experience occurred. Did you have feelings that were urging you to avoid the situation, a gut feeling that you ignored? Maybe you had a vision or dream or just a feeling that something wasn’t right? But you went ahead anyway.
Think about it in as much detail as you possibly can. The more in touch you can get with the intuition that was warning you, the most you’ll trust it in the future.
Don’t Think It, Feel It
Your mind is always on, there’s a constant stream of chatter going on. Sometimes it feels as though your inner voice is in there arguing. While the mind is busy thinking, your intuition is busy feeling.
That’s the way to differentiate between whether you’re following your intuition or giving in to fear. If you’re thinking it’s likely fear, if you’re feeling, then it’s likely intuition.
Your intuition will never allow you to stray from your values, but your mind will. Before you act, ask yourself if you’re acting in a way that aligns with your values. Sometimes the best way to figure out what your intuition sounds or feels like is to understand what it isn’t.
If you feel your intuition speaking to you, if you feel its guiding hand, don’t brush it off. Don’t dismiss it by calling yourself crazy. Your intuition and cognitive mind will often lock themselves in a battle to override each other.
Your cognitive mind is refusing to trust your intuition and trying to convince you to rationalize yourself out of relying on your intuition.
You’ve got to release your resistance and let go of the logic that’s holding you back. There is a time and place for applying logic and reason, but don’t disregard the importance of your intuition. It’s your guiding light in this life.
There’s no voice more powerful than your intuition. Unfortunately, as powerful as it is, it might not be loud enough. It needs a calm, quiet environment to make itself heard. It’s important to learn where you’re most at peace.
When you’re dealing with difficult times you should seek that peace and tune into your intuition. It’s there to support you, it’s there to guide you, and it’s there to serve as your compass. But you have to provide it with the space to be heard.
The culture we live in obsesses over control. No one enjoys feeling uncertain, so we try our best to micromanage every situation. We look at everything that could possibly go wrong and we try to guard against disaster. It’s exhausting.
If you view fear as your protector, it’s time to flip the script. It’s not fear that protects you. Fear holds you back. Fear keeps you captive. It won’t make you happy. Intuition is your protector. It’s far more trustworthy and powerful than fear. Just like any other life skill, it’s something that you can cultivate. The more you trust your intuition the more empowered you become. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.
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