Strong intuition is a guide that helps you take better decision, be more grounded in the present and mindful of what is happening. How do you get better at it? I’ve put a guide to share with you my personal method and what works me every time I need to find guidance within.
Let’s start from a blank state. We’re taking this from the beginning not to miss anything. So sit down somewhere quiet. Take a few deep breaths. Focus solely on the air coming in and out of your body. Repeat until you empty your mind and feel calm. Do this every time you want to reset yourself.
1 | Understand what intuition is
Intuition is defined as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning“, but also “a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning“ (source). It comes from the Latin word intueri which means consider, observe.
Intuition is an instinctive feeling. To really grasp what intuition is, what our gut feeling is, we need to understand what instinct actually is. Instinct is an innate ability to respond to events and situations in a given way. All species have their own instinct. Human beings are hard-wired to desire certain things and have certain behaviours. It is not always conscious, so the whole exercise of developing your intuition is understand what your own instinctive behaviours are, what triggers them, and how you could (if you want) change or improve them.
2 | Drop to the gut
In this week’s podcast I told you about an exercise that works really well for me: the head-heart-gut. The idea is that whenever you are in a situation that you find difficult, or you don’t know what to do, or what decision to take, dropping your awareness to the heart and to the gut is a good way to find answers. It will allow you to think with your emotions, which shouldn’t be dismissed, and with your instinct. The podcast episode will tell you exactly how to do that, as well as the article below.
RELATED: How To Listen To Your Head, Your Heard, And Your Gut (Article)
3 | Give yourself time
Listening to your gut and developing a strong intuition are not things that happen overnight. If they were, I wouldn’t need to write this article.
I am a very impatient person and I found that accepting that it requires practice made me more compassionate and kind to myself. I had no expectations when I started and I think that’s what made this experience so successful for me: I wasn’t disappointed if I didn’t see any immediate result, I just kept on practicing and listening and being aware. One day, I made a decision solely based on my gut feeling. That’s when I knew it worked. It was very empowering and it was the confirmation I was on the right path to be more connected with what my gut was saying. It just requires time, but you’ll get there too.
4 | Identify your physical triggers
So your intuition will never send you a clear message, however there will signs that something is still happening down there through physical responses. Find out how your body reacts to internal conflict or instinct. Here are a few signs to pay attention to:
- Your energy levels: is it high, is it low, does it change very fast?
- Signs of heart palpitations or heavy chest: do you feel a weight on your chest?
- How you carry yourself: are your shoulders heavy, is your chest open or closed?
- Any pains or aches: we tend to keep stress in our upper and lower back.
- Is your body fidgeting, moving a lot? Are you restless?
- Your sleep patterns: have they changed recently? Do you get enough sleep?
- Your mood: is it alternating a lot more than usual? Are you happy?
- Your approach to others: do you avoid people lately, stay at home more?
5 | Feel the current situation
Intuition is a feeling that might go against the objectivity and the facts of a situation. Rationality is great, but rationality is rarely enough. We are not robots, we are passionate living things with a innate need for love, care, and acceptance. Why am I saying this? Because too often we dismiss our feelings. We expect people to understand a new process for instance, without acknowledging (and to be honest, respecting) the emotional response to that change and what it entails.
We shouldn’t be just rational, the same way we shouldn’t be just emotional: we need a balance of the two. That means feeling the situation, feeling the decision, noticing emotions as they happen and understanding the reasons behind them.
6 | Analyse your feelings with objectivity
As I wrote above, the key to develop a strong intuition is balancing facts with emotions. It’s important that you acknowledge feelings, and that you treat them as data, as information. The way to do that is to objectively look at them. So here what you want to do is incorporate emotions when you look at facts, and facts when you focus on emotions. Juggle between the two at all times to create a picture that is the closest to reality.
7 | Write down all the possible outcomes to the problem
I always recommend to write down everything you think about when it comes to yourself. Not just for your intuition. Literally every thing. The act of writing your thoughts down is a way to externalise them. It also allows you to go back to them later, reflect, and add to them if necessary.
In the case of an internal conflict about a situation you’re in, or a decision you’re about to take, use this technique to put on paper all the possible outcomes, ranging from the best to the very worst. What’s the worst that can happen? What is it about this worst-case scenario that holds you back? Very often, it’s not as bad as we imagined.
8 | Never stop learning about yourself
Consider that you are at the beginning of a journey and that you’ll learn about yourself for as long as you live. You will change, you will improve, you will meet new people: all that needs to be incorporated in your personal development. It will make you grow, and you need to always remain mindful and aware of that. How? Never stop reflecting, learning new things about individual preferences, relationships, psychology, etc. Be curious.
9 | Repeat
This never ends. It’s a loop. Continue dropping to the heart and the gut, to be compassionate, to identify new triggers, to feel facts and analyse feelings. Go back to the beginning when needed and carefully go through the same steps.