Intuition, instinct, listening, inner voice and trust
Intuition: Are You Listening?
Paula Brown | 14 June 2022
Have you ever noticed when you say yes to helping someone out, yet you mean no, what occurs within your body? When that voice from deep inside, softly whispers or loudly (yet silently) screams NOOOOO!!
If you know this to be true, then you’ve experienced your intuition, that (usually) soft, inner voice that knows instinctively what’s right for you, rather than relying on conscious reasoning.
Steve Jobs, the founder and creative mind behind the most valuable company on earth, believed intuition to be more powerful than intellect. In fact, did you know that 5 out of 6 of the top valuable companies in the world were not borne out of a natural resource but an idea, an intuitive, gut instinct that set the ball rolling. Job’s nemesis, Bill Gates, the founder of the second most valuable company in the world, believes this too. Often having to rely on intuition himself.
The question is, therefore, if it is our truth, our guiding light, why do we so listen to it? We’ve theorized that it's one or both of these reasons:
About that Noise
The noise – this includes the data, our learned beliefs, Google, our intellect and rational mind, the media and every other source of content that targets our cognitive thinking. If unfamiliar with it, we may confuse the messaging of our intuition as an emotion, and we’ve all heard that emotion is not sound grounding for important decisions. Or is it?
We’ve been taught to follow the data, to value IQ over EQ, love and compassion. We’ve been taught by people we love and respect to trust the data, to believe that hard work and sacrifice is the only way. Yet is it? I don’t believe Steve nor Bill would agree. Yes, of course, hard work and sacrifice comes with the territory of building a valuable company, but it’s not what founded it. It's not what provided the courage for these two (then) young men to do what they did: follow their instincts. Trusted themselves. It takes courage to trust ourselves, huge dollops of it, as in the process of following our intuition, means letting go of much of what we’ve been taught and giving ourselves permission to rather feel it – if we ask, our inner wisdom will guide us to finding a quiet place to sense if the message our intuition is bringing us, is the truth or the right thing, then plucking the courage to go with it. Why? Because it felt right.
From childhood we have been taught that ‘clever’ wins every race. We’ve been taught that clever means understanding data, science, and mathematics. If you want to be rich (supposing that is everyone’s dream) then best, you follow the data and science. This is however not how the world has panned out, and we know that now. We know now that empathy, kindness and compassion are skills that the World Economic Forum and many other companies set as prerequisites for future workplaces. We know that mental health and connection have made it onto boardroom agendas.
Yet we still do not trust ourselves.
Letting go of limiting beliefs is one of the hardest things to do – it means stepping into a world that does not conform, that does not follow the pack. It often means stepping out of what we know into a lonely, empty space. The wonderful truth is that it is when we are brave enough to step out into that space, we will find it to be not nearly as lonely as we thought, rather, we will discover others who too have had the courage and will join you in finding your truth your future, your joy and most of all your freedom.
Your invitation to learn to listen and trust your intuition.
Here are our top four ways to begin, taken from this superb article where you’ll find eight more ways to tap into your inner knowing.
1. Start doing daily body scans
Many of us live most of our lives from the neck up. Some even find it hard to identify and name emotions or sensations in their body. If this is you, then it’s unlikely you’ve been tuning in to your intuition, let alone trusting it. Get started right away.
2. Take a Tech Fast
Technology goes beyond the phone in your hands; the messaging and images you see ignite your nervous system, sending messages to your brain, activating hormones and many other bodily reactions. Sometimes positively, often negatively. Either way, they keep your nervous system constantly alert, sending these self-protection messages to your brain. And you wonder why, at the end of the day, or in the mornings, you’re exhausted. Now you know.
What to do?
3. Ask your intuition a question
Write it or find a quiet spot to ask it. Anything. We tap into our inner voice whenever we’re in doubt. It helps direct us or at least provides a different perspective from that which our rational brain was informing us. And if you find, after seeing the data, you’re still not sure, then here’s a hint – THAT is your intuition telling you you might be on the wrong track.
It helps to find a quiet spot where you can come into your body to ask. Some of us go into the garden or sit on our yoga mat wherever we can find a little bit of space. You could even do it in the bathroom or at your desk. Start with a deep breath, close your eyes, maybe do a quick body scan to really be present, and then ask away. (It's often handy to have a journal nearby to make notes afterwards).
4. Stop overthinking it.
So what if you make a mistake? One day your mistakes and failures will form a part of your story, possibly your book. No story ever has a straight line to success and happiness. Heed these words from one of our favourite humans and game changers: "We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success." ― Arianna Huffington
Author: Paula Brown
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