“Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind.” – Albert Einstein
The routines of everyday life—the same rituals in the home or work place—don’t make big demands on our decision-making capacities. But when making decisions under pressure, or choosing between solutions, or while making important choices about a career direction, many of us feel ill-equipped to make the right choice. This is because most of us developed logic and reasoning skills through education and learned only to think rather than feel our way through life. So we navigate through life using only our logical left brains as a compass thereby undervaluing the intuitive capacities of our right brain. Most often our intuition capacities remain unappreciated and are largely left unused.
Many of us are hesitant about going with our gut instincts because we believe that they are uncertain. We fail to recognise that intuition serves as a means of self-expression. Whenever you experienced the feeling that something in a situation wasn’t right, then you’ve experienced intuition. Same way, if you ever experienced a situation where everything did seem to come together or right, that is also your intuition.
So, what is intuition?
Intuition is an ability to know something directly without analytical reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind. It is knowingness that which is right before the fears and self-doubts make space in your mind. You can tap into your intuitive self when there are no emotional or psychological blockages that cloud your judgment and perspective. It is an instinctive feeling you have about something that directs your focus and attention.
You probably use or access your intuitive self on a regular basis without being fully aware of it like for instance,
• When you have to make a decision or a choice and weigh the pros and cons, and are still confused or uncertain, and are at crossroads of your decision-making process.
• When there is too much information to digest consciously in a situation, you tend to go with an option that fits with your intuition rather than the guidance of others.
• When you don’t have enough time to rationalise a probability thoroughly, you resort to an instinctive action.
Why is your ‘intuitive self’ important?
Many times, we begin to question our own judgments as we confuse our learned behaviours for instincts or intuition and thus often find ourselves reacting rather than responding to our circumstances. Learned behaviours are responses that we pick up and are the root of prejudices and fear-based responses that make us question our judgment instead of questioning our beliefs. Developing our intuitive intelligence is more important now than it ever has been before. This is because of the expanse of information we are exposed to these days in the form of countless data, opinions, and endless expert advice telling us what we should and shouldn’t .
With information coming from all directions, it becomes even more important to rely on your inner guidance system so as to make good choices and decisions that will guide you towards your best interests. When you properly develop your intuitive self, it can lead you to right choices, ideas and innovations that can guide you to your higher potential. Also, you can become more present in the moment and your subconscious desires become congruent with your conscious intentions paving way for right solutions and perspectives.
You cannot always consciously rationalise every choice you make. Sometimes you have to go with your instincts, especially when you feel strongly about something. When faced with making tough choices, trusting your instincts can steer you in the right direction and can be a reliable guide in your decision-making process and you will be able to make well-informed decisions. By tapping into your intuitional self, you will be able to find solutions more easily and be able to develop a complete and a broader perspective of issues outside of yourself.
Understanding your ‘intuitive self’
Our intuitive self operates at four levels.
Gut based intuitive self can be attributed to safety, security and survival. We all experience this level of intuition. We cannot depend on it alone to guide us to our highest potential. When your intuition is operating as gut instinct, it uses impressions such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ safe or unsafe. Gut based intuition guides you to ask questions such as “is this choice or person or relationship in my best interest?” “Will this meet my deepest needs?” “Is this environment suitable for my growth?”
Heart based intuitive self encourages us to adopt the practice of attributes like courage, compassion and communication. Our intuitive wisdom at this level prompts us to ask questions such as “is my life filled with happiness?” “Do I love what I do?” “Am I being my best self?” “ what would I do if I were not afraid?” “ How can I find my happiness?”
Vision based intuition is attributed to imagination and creative possibility. At this level of intuition, right solutions, alternate perspectives and ways of doing things and new ideas come into play. When this level of your intuitive self is active, it guides you to ask questions such as “What do I see as a solution or possibility?” “Is there something I am overlooking?” “What is my vision for my future?” “What dreams I am not able to make them into reality?”
Awareness-based intuition is purely universal consciousness and oneness. This level of our intuitive self is often activated during deep meditation or through advanced awareness practices. This makes us consciously aware of our present moment. When we are aligned with this level of intuitive self, we recognise that all things in life are valuable and that the power lies within us to change and heal our lives.
Intuitive process differs from person to person influenced by factors like their personality, attitude, their environment, culture, and other situations as your intuition depends on the collection of all your subconscious experiences. As you become familiar with the level of intuition, you will be able to navigate any situation with a sense of clarity.
So, what impedes your intuitiveness?
Intuitive thoughts are easy to miss because of their subtle nature. We all can access our intuitive capacities. But it depends on how you develop your intuitiveness and stay in tune with it and make it to work. Some factors can impede your ability to access your inner guidance during your decision-making and may let the logical mind control your thoughts and actions. Here are some such factors:
• Your intuitive capacities are fully intact but often hidden behind screen of logic and reasoning. Logic can impede on your ability to feel things instinctually and bar access to your intuitive self.
• Lack of focus Often, intuitive messages are drowned by all the noise and activities that are going on in and around you. With distractions you cannot access your true feelings, thoughts and words.
• Lack of awareness of your surroundings and insight prevents you to get in touch with your intuitiveness. Your inner sense impressions most often come to you through one of your five senses. And the lack of awareness of your mental filters and learning to perceive reality objectively makes your intuition distorted.
• You will not be able to access your inner guidance by being fast-paced. The subtle messages go unnoticed and aren’t available to those who has the free attention to notice them.
• You can’t live Intuitively if you have an unhealthy emotional state. If you constantly compare yourself to others, or worry, or stressed, or exhausted, your will end up interpreting your intuition wrongly.
• Analytical thinking can help us solve problems, but it also distances us from using what we already intuitively know to navigate life’s circumstances.
How to strengthen your intuitive self?
While making important decisions, we often face difficulty as we rely on only on our conscious mind and get lost weighing many options and variables. The left brain has knowledge, but without the intuitive wisdom of the right brain every decision comes out half-baked. By bridging the gap between conscious and subconscious, inner mind finds the connection through association and brings possible solutions into conscious awareness. To strengthen your intuitive mindset, its important that you trust in your ability to differentiate between a rational or emotional decision and an intuitive decision. Here are certain ways to strengthen your intuitive mindset.
Set a meaningful goal
Work on your purpose in order to send clear message of intent to your inner mind to make relevant associations that will help you direct your intuitive thoughts. Research shows that your intuitive self is important in your decision making as it is tied to your Reticular Activation System(RAS) & inner mind. For instance, when you set a concrete goal that you would like to achieve, this becomes an indication to your RAS that anything associated with this goal is important to you. The RAS then filters through your five senses only the most relevant information that is applicable to achieve your goal thus providing clarity and guidance.
What meaningful goal do you want to achieve? What is your purpose? What problem would you like to overcome and why? Answering these questions can encourage your subconscious mind to make necessary connections to past memories and experiences that might be of value to your present goals and objectives.
Trust your intuitive messages
“ If you have some idea you believe in, don’t listen to the croaking chorus. Listen only to what your own inner voice tells you.” – Daniel Carnegie
Believing in your ability to access and understand the messages can help you make better decisions. Trusting your intuition is a way of listening to your basic self through your physical senses and emotions. The better you can see, feel, or hear the inner guidance, the better equipped you will be in accessing your intuitiveness. Have the willingness to trust your instincts, when you feel uncertain or doubtful.
In order to begin accessing and trusting your intuitive powers, you need to let go of logic sometimes. Logical mind dominates and devalues the intuitive messages and logical thinking distances you from using what you already intuitively know to navigate through certain situations. Use both logic and intuition, but not at the same time.
Make time for self-reflection
Whenever you experience a negative emotion, you tend to focus on things you don’t want. Instead of focusing on solutions, you get absorbed into worrying about your problems and thus increases the difficulty of your situation. It is only when your emotions have passed, can you begin relying on your intuitive self to arrive at solutions. Otherwise, you will of course still be guided by your intuition, however, it won’t be in the direction of your desired intentions.
The more relaxed you are, the more your usually dominant, logical left brain steps back and your intuitive capacities come forward. To strengthen your intuitive mindset, you have to make time to reflect on your experiences. Reflecting on the past experiences can give you a more objective view of things and makes you more aware of your negative emotions that might be preventing you from picking up intuitiveness of your subconscious.
Intuitiveness can’t flourish in a busy environment. Mindfulness helps you to trust your intuitive self. By developing a contemplative practice, you begin to understand the natural flow of your thoughts and various cycles and rhythms of mind. You can gain awareness and let go of your negative thoughts attuning you to clarity. During meditative breathing, the attentiveness to the breath frees you up to go beyond your analytic mind to hear your deeper self in a more intuitive way. This will make room for your inner voice and can lead to decisions that result in better outcomes.
“ When we consciously breathe, we connect to the present moment. This is when we are most in alignment with our intuition.”
Apply intuitive perspective
You may sometimes lack sufficient perspective to make a clear decision. How can you know the consequences of a decision ten years from now? you cannot know. But you can gain an intuitive perspective by using your imagination into the future. This enables you to apply intuitive wisdom to a decision by anticipating the future consequences of that decision rather than looking only from view-point of present. Asking questions that are aligned with your goals and seeking answers to them can raise your intuitive perspective.
How is my perspective significant? How could this be overcome? What other possibilities are there? How could this be best solved? Ask yourself questions that will help simulate subconscious to keep making relevant associations that will help you gain deeper insights about you circumstances.
Avoid external validation
At times, an intuitive thought or feeling might come from your rational understanding of the situation based on assumptions or opinions and perspectives you have about things. It is also easy to be led astray by other people’s perspectives and opinions and they tend to cloud your intuitive thoughts and feelings. Constant comparison with others and need to compete with others to validate your self-worth can make you lose touch with your intuitiveness. Develop your intrinsic self-worth by questioning your assumptions and by avoiding the need for external validation of your choices. Keep an open mind to consider others’ opinions, but, however, make up your own mind by trusting your intuitive self.
Your inner guidance does not necessarily always lead to risk-free decisions. Sometimes your intuition guides you onto a difficult path But this doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision. Believing in your bigger goals can teach you to deal with difficulties and evolve in the process. You must be receptive, passive and open to notice subtle things that pop up in order not to let your emotions, assumptions or others’ opinions cloud your judgment and prevent you from unlocking your intuitiveness.
Intuition is not about certainty. It is about trusting and having the courage to treat everything that happens as exactly what you need for your highest good and learning. By tapping into your intuitive self, you will be able to navigate any situation with a sense of joy and ease. It may not tell you what you want to hear, but it will tell you what you need to do, and thus can be a reliable guide and can be something that is worth following in your everyday life.
So, are your decisions aligned with who you are and who you want to be? How do you learn to trust yourself more fully? We all have innate ability to use our intuitive self to master our lives. Tapping back into your intuitive self is possible, but this is something which takes effort and you have to learn and relearn every day to reconnect with it. Apply the above mentioned strategies to develop an intuitive mindset and begin to live more intentionally.
“Follow your instinct. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.” – Oprah Winfrey