Intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning; a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
Many people don’t think they have good intuition, but everyone has it. There are so many things we do to either nurture it or block it. Intuition is far from logical. It calculates answers and delivers them unapologetically, with no explanation, and is usually right. So while tuning into your intuition may be scary at first, I’m going to help you with steps to do it easily, so you can harness this awesome super power.
If we considered the awesomeness of intuition more often, we’d be better friends, spouses, parents, children, and career people. But the fact is, with the information overload we are constantly exposed to, we have learned to check with ourselves…well…last.
Coming from a place of greater balance, you’ll be more able to connect to this amazing tool inside your very own body that is far more accurate than guessing and analyzing or worse—listening to everyone else’s guessing and analyzing.
Here are my top tips to re-connect with yourself and therefore, your intuition.
1. Focus on feeling safe. Not feeling safe is the basis of much that keeps us stuck emotionally. This includes feeling safe enough to speak up for ourselves, safe enough to trust life and let go of trying control everything, safe enough around loved ones to let them be their true selves, and more. The practice of learning that you can be ok no matter what happens in life, will allow you to feel safe enough to trust your intuition. When you are constantly in fear mode, it’s nearly impossible to hear anything but doubts. Simply repeating, “I am safe” as you fall asleep at night or find yourself full of doubt, can be very helpful.
2. Stop asking for other people’s opinions. Talking things over with a friend can be helpful, but asking opinions can be a dangerous addiction—one that will never really lead you to what’s right for you. Make a conscious decision to stop seeking opinions, at least before you ask yourself what you think. This includes online reviews and message forums too. When we invite so many opinions, we get confused about what it is that we actually think ourselves. It’s too easy, especially for those of us who like to keep everyone happy, to let our family’s and friend’s opinions drown out our own intuition. It’s so easy in this society of information overload to talk yourself into or out of anything based on facts. But remember, intuition isn’t fact; it’s what you feel.
3. Ditch the pro and con list. The reason? Intuitive decisions have nothing to do with logic. Logic interferes. So many of us talk ourselves out of listening to our intuition because it “doesn’t make sense.” Accepting intuition is just that raw gut feeling will help you start separating from the need for things to make sense. What makes sense on paper won’t necessarily make sense intuitively. In fact, it probably won’t. The problems with pro and cons lists is that they don’t take everything into consideration. Imagine a list on whether or not you should stay at a specific job. Perhaps the salary is good and it’s close to work, but it’s not fulfilling. Each pro and con on that list is treated equally when you’re looking at it as a whole, but it’s likely that being in an unfulfilling job is more detrimental to your health and happiness than a longer commute would be. One con can be more important than 10 pros and vice versa. Again, pro and cons lists are logical and the best decisions are often made with intuition.
4. Consider the true feeling of “I don’t know.” Typically intuition feels like a knowing about something. In my experience, not being sure is a pretty good indicator that it’s a NO. You’ll know a strong YES when you feel one. They’re the ones that keep us in line with our hearts. While you’re practicing tuning in to intuition, you may feel like you just don’t know. This is okay and part of how you’ll make progress. As you start making intuitive decisions and see the consequence of them (positive or negative), you’ll begin to understand and fine tune your own intuitive process more. You can’t go wrong.
5. Finally, intuition about something doesn’t usually come with a lot of emotion. The more you “feel” something is right or wrong without strong emotion or physical sensations, the more likely it’s your intuition speaking and not your fear or conditioned logic. An intuitive hit usually feels strong and clear. If you are really wavering it, you can be pretty sure you’re conditioned brain is getting involved. Again, just keep practicing.
Now you know a few powerful secrets to unlock the answers that have been trying to call out to you. Start small, practice often, and allow yourself to see what happens when your intuition guides you.
Amy B. Scher is leading voice in the field of mind-body-spirit healing and L.A.-based author of How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can (Llewellyn Worldwide, Jan. 2016). As an energy therapist, Scher uses energy therapy techniques to help those experiencing illness and those in need of emotional healing. She has been featured on healthcare blogs, CNN, Curve magazine, Elephant Journal, Cosmopolitan magazine, OM Times, and the San Francisco Book Review. Scher was also named one of Advocate’s “40 Under 40” for 2013. She can be found at www.AmyBScher.com.