The definition of intuition, according to Merriam-webster is:
the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference
One of our higher faculties is our Intuition. Everybody has it, not everybody is using it. Intuition is the gentle way of our subconscious mind (and infinite intelligence) of communicating with us and help us achieve our goals. The more we listen to it, the faster we will reach our goal, and even the happier we will be.
Most people don’t know that listening to our intuition is a skill that can be cultivated or neglected like any other skill. The more we use it, the better it becomes.
How to not listen to your intuition
As a teenager, I had a pretty low self-esteem. I was pretty clumsy and my co-ordination was not one of my strongest points. I kept thinking that no matter what I’ll do, something will probably go wrong with it. One of the side effects of my low self-esteem was not trusting my intuition. Since I didn’t trust myself, I made it a point to not trust my hunches and only rely on cold reason.
Every time I would get a feeling to do (or not do) something, I would deliberately do the opposite. Since I mistrusted myself so much, I reasoned that if I feel that I should do A, then it means that the better thing to do would be B. I unknowingly developed a habit of ignoring my intuition. This subsequently led to many failures, heartaches and generally things that went wrong (which only served to reinforce my low self-esteem). I was the perfect example of how to not listen to your intuition.
As I grew older, I turned to using reason more and more, ignoring my gut feelings and intuition.If it wasn’t backed up by reason, I would simply ignore it. It took me well over 20 years in my early 30’s to realize that I mistakenly shut down and ignored an extremely powerful resource that I had in my possession. Ever since then I try to listen more and more to my feelings, my hunches and am constantly working on developing my intuition.
Here are a few ways to go about doing that.
How to strengthen your intuition
1. acknowledging it
The first step towards improving your intuition is acknowledging it exists. I wish I knew that one when I was 15. This is less simple than it sounds. It’s easy to say “well, of course, I have intuition” and be done with it, but acknowledging means not only intellectually understand that we have it, but also understand that it is a part of us, and it is a faculty that we have like our imagination or sight. We use our sight all of the time, so it’s easy to know it’s there, but confessing to ourselves that we are intuitive by nature, might be a bit challenging.
This might sound scary, but meditation simply means relaxing and sitting still. The point of meditating is to increase the awareness to yourself and getting to know yourself better.The more in tuned with yourself you are, the easier it will be to notice the “hunches” your intuition sends your way, and to follow them. If you are a beginner, simply sit down and close your eyes for 2 minutes. You can set a timer for 2 minutes, and during that time focus on something. It could be your breath or sounds that you hear, or even imagine an image and focus on it. Whatever it is, just focus your attention on it, and observe the thoughts that go through your mind. Make sure to do this every day for a period of time.
Like with any skill, the more you practice listening to your intuition the better you get at it. Try out your intuition. If you get a phone call, try and guess who that is. Someone at the door? guess who might that be. You feel someone is having a bad day? Ask them about it. You probably won’t get it right all of the time, but it’s not succeeding that’s important. It’s the practice and feedback that would improve the skill.
Intuitive messages can be expressed in many forms. Hunches, feelings, sounds, dreams or thoughts, even the feeling of deja vu might be your intuition trying to send a message. Whatever the way you experience your intuition, try and look for those messages and listen to them. If it’s a strange dream that you would normally ignore, take the time to try and understand what it means. If it’s a feeling that something is “odd”, try and understand what it is that strikes as odd. This might be strange at first to do this, but as time goes by it will become natural and it would take less time to decipher the meaning behind those hunches.
Sleeping well is important not only for developing and using intuition but for many other reasons as well. As a father to a small child, I can tell you all about how sleep (or lack of it) can impact our life and behavior. Sleeping well clears the mind and will enable you to be more perceptive when intuitive thoughts or feelings arrive.It will help in understanding the meaning faster, and act upon them with more determination.
6. Connect the dots in retrospect
I’m sure you have experienced coincidences in your life. Meeting someone you recently thought of, which you haven’t seen in ages, or suddenly getting a phone call in regards to the matter you were just thinking about. We all have these. Once this happens, think back on the thought or feeling that preceded the coincidence. Did you get a feeling to go somewhere, and “accidently” met an old school friend you recently thought about? Did you suddenly thought about your mother, and she suddenly called? Every time we reaffirm those intuitive hunches, we build confidence when using our intuition.
If you’re anything like me, you are excited to find out that you have a tool at your disposal that you can listen to all the time and feel secure that only good things will grow out of. That is exactly what intuition is. It’s the still voice in you that tells you what is the next step for you to take in order to achieve the goal you keep thinking of.
Every time you listen to it, you can rest assured that its a step in the right direction.
So, back over to you. Do you make a habit of listening to your hunches?