Almost everyone has a story about a time in life when they felt something in their “gut” that made no logical sense. They trusted that intuitive sense and it served them well or they didn’t and it was a huge mistake. Intuition by definition is “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning” according to Dictionary.com. Whether we can logically explain intuition as our conscious mind picking up on unconscious cues, or if it comes from someplace else, is something to be decided on an individual basis. Wherever it comes from, however it manifests, I’ve found that trusting your intuition takes practice and mindful awareness.
We often turn to our intuition when we have a decision to make or feel mired in confusion. If we knew what to do next, if the path was clear, chances are we probably wouldn’t be looking for a more intuitive approach. In the moments when we feel desperate for answers or guidance it’s important to be able to discern the difference between our intuitive voice versus our projections. It can take time to learn this difference which is why intuition is really a practice.
Here are three key elements that can help you develop your intuitive abilities.
1. Mindful awareness
None of us come into this world with an operating manual. It’s up to us to figure ourselves out. That’s a lifelong journey especially because we are complex, ever-changing creatures. When it comes to intuition it’s very important to understand who you are and what type of default thinking you have in place. For instance, when you face an uncertain situation or lack information do you immediately expect the worst or the best? Do you trust easily or not at all? Understanding the nuances of who you are, with no judgement, will help you recognize the difference between your intuition and other inner voices.
2. Pay Attention
Intuition is never an angry or disappointed voice from within. Intuition comes from a quiet, calm, detached space inside of us. I’ve noticed that some of the clearest intuitive information seems to come out of the blue when I’m focused on something else. It’s very similar to the problem-solving process you hear about when answers come once someone takes a shower or goes on a run. When this intuitive voice pops up I always pay attention to both the message and the long-term validity of the information. I recognize my intuition for what it is rather than some random thought or inclination. This has allowed me to build a trust in my own intuitive voice, believe in it, and take action.
3. Trust Yourself
Sometimes the things we know intuitively defy all logic and circumstantial evidence. When that happens, it can be exceedingly difficult to trust yourself. The one time I trusted outer appearances over my own intuition I got burned badly. I knew inside what was coming but I listened to all the well-meaning people around me instead of my intuition. It was a hard lesson but it affirmed the importance of trusting my intuition above all else. There are many times when listening to your intuition is a leap of faith in yourself. In the end, I find it more appealing to listen to my intuition knowing that if I’m wrong I can trust myself to find the best way forward.
Everyone has the ability to develop their intuition. Like any relationship it takes time and care. Intuition provides another layer of information that helps us navigate our lives in ways that align with our values and core self. Whether your intuition whispers or shouts make the space to listen.