Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. ~ John Naisbitt
You probably know someone who is always ahead of the game. They seem to know intuitively when bad news is coming or when to go ahead with a new project.
What about you? Have you ever had a thought that you didn’t follow up on only to discover later that you made a huge mistake? Then, in comes your inner voice screaming, “I told you to do it.” The gentle inner nudge and this screaming voice is your intuition.
Everyone has intuitive potential. Although, not everyone listens or acts upon the messages.
What is intuition?
Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines intuition as: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence: a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.
Kelly Turner, Ph.D says, that intuition is one of two very different operating systems. She goes on to say that research has found intuition to be part of System 1: our quick, instinctual, and often subconscious way of operating. Which explains why intuition comes on rapidly and often does not make rational sense to us. The other operating system, System 2, is our slower, more analytical, and conscious way of operating.
Intuition, Francis P. Cholle states, is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.
Most people do not trust their intuition for the very reason that it doesn’t make rational sense. So, why should we even consider it?
Why you should trust your intuition?
Researchers have found that intuition often knows the right answer long before your conscious mind does.
The second reason to trust your inner voice, as suggested by Kelly Turner, is that, “trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain”.
Prof. Marius Usher et al, found that intuition was a surprisingly powerful tool. In fact, he reports that when forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants were correct 90% of the time.
A third reason for trusting your intuition is because intuitively, the human brain has the capacity to take in many pieces of information and decide on the over all value of this input. This is where your intuitive signal happens letting you know this is valuable.
A fourth reason could be considered a plus or a minus depending on the person. Individuals who operate from intuition are willing to take more risks. Often these risks pay off.
6 Proactive ways to strengthen your intuition!
Your intuition is like a muscle and in order for it to get stronger you have to work at it. Much like the muscles in your body, if you don’t use your intuition, it weakens. By being proactive you can strengthen your intuition and get the edge on others.
Look into your past
Have you had moments when you wish you could rewind time and do things over? You had a feeling that things would turn out this way but didn’t act on it. Now, you regret it.
Pay attention to these missed opportunities. Keep track of all the times you didn’t listen to your intuition and should have. This is one way you can get in touch with those signals you may have missed before but won’t miss again.
Ask yourself questions
Ask yourself questions and then listen to the first thing that pops into your mind. This isn’t easy because doubtful thoughts will flood your mind.
Begin with a question or situation where the outcome doesn’t matter either way. For example, the next time you are out for a meal, glance at the menu then pick the first thing that catches your eye. Ignore the barrage of thoughts that will flood your mind. You could be pleasantly surprised.
Then slowly move on to more complex questions and situations. For example, ask something like, “Should I do …?” Pause and wait for that flash of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then act on it!
Not acting is the same as ignoring your intuition.
Find out how your intuition communicates to you
Not everyone has a gut feeling. Each person experiences their intuition differently. Many people talk about a gut feeling while others might experience a strong inner knowing, a mental picture, repetitive thoughts or ideas and even dreams.
Start paying attention to how your intuition communicates with you. The more often that you acknowledge this communication the stronger it will be come.
Quiet your mind and relax your body
When you have to make a major decision, it is very easy to get caught up in worry and fear-based thoughts. As your mind races from one thought to another it can drown out the voice within ~ your intuition.
By taking time every day to quiet your mind and relax your body you will be opening a space for your intuition to speak to you. You can do this by setting aside some quiet time or meditating.
Keep an intuition journal
Write down any guidance you have received and when your intuition is correct. You might also consider keeping track of any sensations associated with your intuition. By looking back in your journal you will learn more about how to recognize your intuition and also to trust it. This is a great way to build confidence.
Create intuitive games
Strengthen your intuitive abilities and your imagination by creating and playing guessing games. While watching a sporting event, guess who will win. When your phone rings, guess who is calling. Guess the color of the shirt your boss will be wearing. Have fun with your intuition. The more you use it the stronger it will becomes.
Your intuition is a powerful asset!
It just might be the life changer you are looking for. Go ahead give it a try and see what happens.
Featured photo credit: meditation/alicepopkorn via flickr.com