Tuning into your Intuition

July 28, 2020

Are you familiar with that gut feeling? When your body is trying to tell you something that is perhaps in conflict with your mind? 

Our gut is powerful – it gives us valuable clues about what is going on with our health, our emotions, our circumstances, and also our past. We feel past situations as they reoccur, whether we are conscious of them or not. We can’t help it!

The gut is closely linked to our intuition – when we say we have a “feeling” about something, we are intuitively acknowledging a prediction, based on patterns we’ve observed from the past, although we may not be aware of it! 

How many times have you followed your intuition? Did it take you to where you wanted to go? Sometimes we find it hard to tune into our intuition – sitting still and simply noticing your emotions can help, read more in my blog – How to Overcome Emotional Ties.

The problem with intuition is: how do we know if it is right? (and what is considered “right”?)

The best way to strengthen your intuition is to stop yourself from following it instinctively. Instead, question it. Try asking yourself these:

  • Where is the feeling coming from?
  • Does it relate to any specific past situations?
  • How reliable is my memory?
  • How can I look at things differently?

You may find that, after answering these questions, your intuitive judgement is reinforced, in which case, keep moving forwards! However, you might find that you are holding some unconscious biases. This blog by a neuroscientist gives a great explanation of intuition and biased understanding – Is it rational to trust your gut feelings?

For example: You are interviewing someone for a new role in your department or to join your team. You are chatting on the phone and find out they went to the same university as you! You chat for a while about your similar experiences and connect over your common ground. Sounds great, right? However, this may cloud your judgement for making the recruiting decision, either positively or negatively. You may end up hiring this person just because you’ve bonded!

With this in mind, intuition must be looked at carefully. Don’t limit yourself to patterns and feelings of past behaviours just because it is what feels natural to you. Whether you are moving house, finding a new job, or even choosing your meal for dinner, remember that intuition can sometimes lead us astray. We may naturally want the house that reminds us of childhood, or the job that is nearby, or the dinner that is the quickest to cook. It doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best option, just that it is the least anxiety-ridden, or the least effort – we are often driven by our comforts!

So, next time you feel yourself edging towards a decision because your gut feeling says so, ask yourself why. Allow yourself to build your intuitive muscle and understand your inner motives. Then, intuition can play a meaningful and useful role in your life. 

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