“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”- Albert Einstein
Intuitive thinking is an unconscious process for rapid action, judgment, and decisions. Most decisions we make are automatic. Your brain develops unconscious habits for handling situations over time. Our intuitions sharpened over evolutionary history for making quick decisions mostly in the social realm.
Using intuition, we translate our experiences into judgments, responses, and actions. You rely on intuition when you make decisions without concrete proof, scientific facts, psychological evidence, or active reasoning. Intuition helps us create expectations, connect the dots, flag inconsistencies and warn us of potential problems.
Intuition often referred to as “knowing without knowing why”, “thinking with your heart” or “gut feeling”. Intuition is the unseen force that drives us.
Unfortunately, if the models you have built over time for making quick and intuitive decisions are wrong, or they were deeply rooted by your experience, circumstances and the beliefs you have evolved over time, you are likely to suffer from unconscious incompetence. That affects your choices and judgment in life and business.
We live in a fear-based culture that obsesses with trying to control life. We are terrified of uncertainty, so we are constantly anticipating everything that might go wrong and doing everything within our power to guard against the inevitable disaster. It is an exhausting way to live.
Nevertheless, like courage and optimism, intuition can also be cultivated. Here are some tips to turn up the volume on that trustworthy inner voice.
Learn a conscious, active form of meditation that you can do anywhere. Those messages from your intuition tend to be quiet, so spending time in silence will help you hear and interpret these messages. Meditation would also quiet those messages that were developed from past experiences, circumstances and beliefs you made have that are holding you back form listening deeply.
Start by noticing all that you can with your five conventional senses and in doing so it can raise your sensitivity to your sixth sense. Your intuition speaks to you through your body, and the more you cultivate somatic awareness, the more sensitive you become. If you get an uncomfortable physical feeling when you are trying to make a decision, pay attention. It could just be the result of stress responses activated by false fear, but it could also be your intuition ringing loud and clear.
Being in the natural world, away from technology and the cognitive mind’s other temptations can open up the kind of intuition we needed when we as a species lived outdoors and relied upon it to keep us safe from the elements, predators, and other true fear dangers. Get away. Slow down. Go on a retreat, take a sabbatical, or just spend a day in new surroundings with nothing planned. When you are overly busy, it is hard to be sensitive to the quiet voices of intuition. Try clearing up your busy schedule.
Before a situation happened, think back to whether you got any feelings that urged you to steer clear. Maybe you got a gut feeling something was not right. Maybe you had a foreshadowing dream or a vision. If so, did you pay attention to that feeling, dream, or vision, or did you talk yourself out of it? Recall as many details as possible. The more you can get in touch with the part of you that tried to warn you, the more you will trust it next time.
The beauty about these techniques is that they meet you right where you are in your awareness and then take you just a little further. Your mind may steer you away from your integrity, but your intuition never will. Become comfortable with how you feel when you are betraying your values, and you will learn what intuition does not feel like. Learn what it feels like to behave in alignment with your values, and you will start to sense your intuition more clearly.
Journaling can strengthen our intuition by helping us keep track of insights, visuals, and inspiration for ideas. Many great intuitive thinkers kept journals and could visualize solutions to problems. Isaac Newton had what he called a “Waste Book” where he stored any important passages from the texts he read. It inspired many of his discoveries.
Smart people listen to those feelings. Moreover, the smartest people among us – the ones who make great intellectual leaps forward – cannot do this without harnessing the power of intuition. Intuition is not a skill just within the purview of gypsies and crystal carriers. We all possess it, and it is a well-researched phenomenon revealing that our brains have an amazing ability to notice patterns and respond to them in a nanosecond in the form of intuitive insights.
Always combine your intuition with solid analysis and due diligence to ensure you are using your full brainpower to make the best choices for your life. Intuition is a powerful force that can be developed to give you an edge in life. Do not neglect this ability, even if you think of yourself as more of an analytical thinker.