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Following Your Intuition

One of the things I work on a lot with my client is following their intuition. We all hear things about gut instinct, but what is intuition really? Well, intuition is defined as the ability to understand something without the need for conscious reasoning. It’s just a knowing, without logic. It’s your inner insight and a sense of something from unconscious knowledge, and many times you feel it in your gut. But did you know that listening to those gut feelings is a skill that you can actually develop? Let’s explore that a bit more. 

Every experience you have ever had in your life, and all the knowledge you have ever gained from those experiences, is stored in your brain like an old school library card file. So even if you don’t have that book right in front of you, that info is still there stored away in your long term memory, the card just needs to be pulled so you can find that book and bring it into your conscious mind. But even if you don’t access that information consciously, it still plays a role in your behavior, reactions, and instincts every single day from your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind can only focus on so many things in the present moment, so those memories and automation-such as breathing, blinking, digesting, and circulating-are controlled by the subconscious. There is far too much information that you are exposed to on any given day for you to pay attention to, so all those moments are stored away for safekeeping. 

Then, something will happen and a situation arises where you just get a feeling about something from deep within, which is when your brain is drawing on those past experiences and everything you have learned from them to make judgments around what is happening now. First example, first impressions. You get a feeling from someone based on their body language, facial expression, tone of voice, and demeanor, and your mind goes back through all those past experiences to infer whether that person is nice, helpful, rude, or a threat. In the case of negative past experiences and traumas which may have caused a person to have anxiety or post-traumatic stress, their warning system becomes overactive and extra sensitive to anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. 

Much of the time we are on autopilot, and go in and out of a trance state very much like the state someone is in when they are under hypnosis. When you are first waking up and remember all of your dreams, when you are driving home from the store and don’t remember how you got there because you were thinking of something else, or when you are daydreaming about the future, or caught up in remembering the past. In the case of driving on autopilot, while your conscious mind is focused on other things, your subconscious mind draws from experience to go through the motions and get from point A to point B, and safely at that. But if something startling were to happen, a car stopping suddenly, for example, your conscious mind is alerting and brought back to the present moment. Just like the dream and driving examples, we can move back and forth between awake and trance states many times throughout the day, which means we can learn to build that muscle to control the transitions or at least be more aware of them and to use that to increase our awareness of our intuitive gut feelings.

So how do we fine-tune our intuition and strengthen that muscle? Start by thinking back and looking at the intuitive choices you have made in the past, and how those choices have played out. When I am working with my clients on tapping into their own inner wisdom, we look at their choices and those gut feelings from multiple perspectives so that they can hone their power and tap into their own inherent knowledge to help them make better choices now. Pay attention to those nagging feelings, good or bad, and listen to them. Whenever I have gotten an answer wrong on a test or made a poor choice, it’s been because I second-guessed my first instinct. So practice listening to your gut more and see what happens. Again, examine what you are feeling and ponder why you are feeling that way, and then evaluate the outcome when you follow your intuition. And if you would like support in making a big decision and tapping into your inner wisdom to make the best choice, or you want guidance in practicing following your intuition, please reach out to me and book a call to discuss working together here.