“Ali, what’s the difference between intuition & overthinking? How do I distinguish between the two voices in my head?” That has to be one of the most common questions I’m asked as an intuitive bodyworker.
The answer is simple enough, though many would have us believe intuition is not so simple a thing.
Intuition holds no emotional connection. There’s no sense of despair or triumph, gnaw-biting fear or any other emotional attachment. Intuition kicks in regardless of the outcome.
(The one caveat would be joy. When we follow our internal navigation system it often brings us a sense of joy that we don’t otherwise feel.)
Intuition is almost passive in its acknowledgement, dismissive of every other factor our minds would often consider. There is no need to validate it, prove it, back it up…intuition just is.
Thoughts on the other hand, always come attached with an accompanying emotion. Whether they are fear based, determined, judgemental, unsure or otherwise. The emotional connection is your body’s way of trying to communicate the thought beyond a mental capacity. Emotions are just messengers in a different language.
That is how to distinguish between the two voices. But once we’ve distinguished our intuitive voice, why do people feel like they can’t follow it? Perhaps it is intuition’s inexplicability to be understood that makes us feel like there’s more we have to do to trust it. We don’t.
By dictionary definition, intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively without conscious reasoning. My point being, if you find yourself trying to logically explain away a situation to your desired outcome, you aren’t operating from an intuitive place.
In a world conditioned to follow the science, question ourselves & put conscious reasoning first, we’ve detached from the ability to let our intuition take the lead in our lives. Without the data to back up our decisions, how can we be so sure it’s in our best interests?
To that I would respond, intuition comes from the same space in our biological make up as instincts – designed to keep us alive. While we might not consciously recognise the stimuli that sets our instincts off, we know without a shadow of a doubt they benefit us.
Being dismissive of intuition because it doesn’t fit the societal mould, or because you feel the need to justify your actions (for any number of beliefs & learnt behaviours in life), serves no one. Living a life from conscious reasoning & logic is…predictable. Some would say boring. Most would say safe.
But if intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively and our instincts are designed to keep us alive…why is intuition being ignored in favour of predictability? Have we become so wrapped up in the sense of safety & the known that only 1% of us are willing to step forward & explore the unknown, consequences be damned?
By that logic, intuition isn’t designed to only keep us alive but to give us a life worth living.