Have you ever arrived to a solution from nowhere? You know you did not reach the answer from a well thought out decision making process, but rather it was a feeling you had. Einstein once said, “I believe in intuition and inspiration, I sometimes feel I am right. I do not know that I am”. Similar to Einstein’s quote, this feeling you had was your intuition.
Intuition is an innate phenomenon that can be explained as a “hunch”, “gut feeling”, or an “aha moment”. It is often described by many as a sixth sense, inner voice or instinct. Its origin comes from Latin, “intueri” which means “to consider” implying some level of reasoning. However, intuition goes beyond reasoning and involves the mind more than the brain. It is part of our internal hub station where information from our senses, memory and experiences come together and synthesize resulting in a feeling that we often do not understand its source. It does not require conscious effort and works seamlessly moving from our unconscious to subconscious.
While the concept of intuition has been around for centuries, it has had a bad reputation historically, often seen as a pseudoscience. Nevertheless, intuition has been the focus of discussion in many disciplines and a vast amount of research has changed the view of this sixth sense as an important skill to be used in both your personal and work life. Researchers have looked at the process of intuition and attempted to describe what it is and how we truly benefit from it. Research
L.A. Burke and M.K. Miller (1999) investigated intuition among highly respected executives and described it as a viable approach in business. In this study, executives described the use of intuition within an organization as beneficial in several areas that included, expediting and improving decisions, facilitating personal development and promoting decisions compatible with the company’s culture. The executives viewed intuition in the work place as essential and a skill to be developed by employees and managers instead of disregarding it. Research
Our intuition helps us connect to our purpose and expands our awareness of alternatives in our decision making process. Even though a natural occurrence, intuition is deep within us requiring our attention so it can emerge into our daily consciousness. So, how can you increase your intuition? There are seven steps that will help you connect to your inner voice:
Become aware of internal and external factors- Internal and external factors affect our ability to access our sixth sense. Internal factors are thoughts and feelings that influence how we perceive situations; such as anxiety, fear and thoughts of incompetence. On the other hand, external factors are environmental cues that impact our ability to focus; these factors can be the noise around us and a physical ailment. Both internal and external factors can distract us from listening to our inner voice. Therefore, becoming aware of these factors is the first step in reducing their interference and working towards accessing your intuition.
Practice responding to your thoughts and feelings – Sometimes our thoughts and feelings are so strong that our first instinct is to react to a particular situation or circumstance. However, intense thoughts and feelings can cloud our intuition; blocking our ability to listen closely to our inner self that is free from emotional influence and preconceived notions. The goal is to find clarity and respond to your emotions and ideas not to react to them.
“Consider” anything that comes to mind- Our ability to reason is what separates us from other animals. While logic is an effective method to problems solving, imagine how much more effective we could be if we use both reasoning and our intuitive skill in situations and tasks. How many more options would be available to us? Breaking away and allowing yourself to “consider” will open up a plethora of possibilities. Meditation is one strategy that can help us break away and “consider” possibilities. There are many different ways to meditate; Meditation yoga and walk in the park, running, and centering. Practice meditation that feels right for you.
Practice your creativity- We are born creative beings and as children we frequently use our creativity; however, this innate ability is frequently suppressed as we become adults. We must go back to practicing our creativity and engage in exercises that foster it. Take time to involve yourself in activities that encourage your creative thinking; such as art, music, writing, building, and playing. Creativity Meditation can also help in this area as it opens our minds to new ideas.
Trust yourself- We are often held back from action because of our concerns of being “wrong”. We see “failure” as an end result that we cannot come back from. When we trust ourselves, we are not fearful of the outcome and focus more on the experience and process. We trust that we learn more from our lack of success than our accomplishment. We believe in ourselves that we will bounce back and try again; this time with more experience, knowledge and insight. So, trust yourself and your intuition.
Engage in your passion- This is something we often do not do; simply because of the high pace, multi-tasking world we live in. Engaging in what we are passionate about will power our soul. It will allow us to become closer to ourselves and be more in tune with our inner voice. Find your passion and immerse yourself in it. Passion Feeding your soul will give you a sense of freedom from within and take you a step closer to accessing your intuition.
Communicate effectively- We may think of communication as a way to relay our feelings and ideas to others. However, communication is very much about communicating with ourselves. Communication Whether using our internal or external voice; self-talk is a strategy utilized by many to work through problems and tasks. How you talk to yourself and others will raise your consciousness and open you up to listening to your inner voice when it speaks to you.
Understanding and accessing your intuition will improve your performance, self-confidence, relationships and overall well being. Incorporate the above steps and become a more effective intuitive thinker.
Dr. Maria Dowling holds a doctorate degree in Psychology, Masters in Pharmacology and an MBA. She is a transformational certified Core Energy Coach and ICF certified. Interested in taking your life or company to the next level; contact Dr. Maria @ email@example.com or visit or website: aimcoachingandconsulting.com