Find the answers by unlocking intuition & analyzing less
Go with your gut, listen to heart, follow your instincts…all easier said than done.
How do you stop, listen & find the truth needed to make the right moves at the right time? Our fast-paced professional lives put us in situations where we do not have the luxury of drawn-out decisions. Often, we have minutes to make consequential choices based on limited information.
But you may possess more information than you know.
Most cultures and languages have ideas that suggest a source of wisdom that exists someplace other than your brain (e.g. heart, gut).
What is Intuition?
Intuition refers to the immediate knowledge or understanding of something without the use of analytical, conscious reasoning. Multiple studies, including one by the Medical Research Council in the UK, reveal that our subconscious, visceral reactions are faster and more accurate than our though processes.
In one University of Iowa study, for example, the scientists make participants play a game that was rigged and measured how long it took for them to become suspicious. Their sweaty palms (in other studies it was an increased heartrate) proved that on some level, their bodies knew what was going on before their minds consciously became suspicious.
Strengthening our ability to listen and translate these physical cues heightens our instincts, helping illuminate truth.
A few tips can make it easier to grasp the language of intuition and craving in your everyday life. Better decision making & truth-based living starts here.
Think Less, Solve More
Paralysis from analysis is real! Chances are you have slipped into this state before so you know the struggle. Have you ever overanalyzed a scenario to the point where you are utterly lost, overwhelmed and unsure of how to act?
Our fear of overlooking one tiny detail and making a wrong decision (even if it is reversible) hinders our ability to make any decision at all. But what if you already know the answer before you begin those agonizing hours of weighing the pros and cons?
Whether you know it or not, you are constantly collecting information.
Your subconscious has your back. In the modern era, however, our noisy minds prevent us from interacting with our instinctive knowledge on any level. Herein lies tip number one: stop overthinking!
Our natural inclination when faced with a big decision is to hunker down and rack our brains for the most logical answer. We stay here for hours and hours, wrestling with different options.
Next time you find yourself with a choice to make, clear your mind and be still. Thinking and analyzing creates tension and distraction that takes us away from intuition.
First, just quiet yourself for a couple minutes. Focus on one of your options, then the other. Afterwards, write down how you feel. In most cases, you will be able to associate different emotions or apprehensions with one of the options. Which one do you feel the most peace with?
Tapping into intuition does not mean that you necessarily have to give it more weight than your reasoning. It simply gives both of them a voice in the conversation. When making a decision, why not use all of the wisdom at your disposal – instinct being one of them?
Catch the Cues
How fast is your heart beating? Are there any areas of tension in your body right now? How are you sitting and carrying yourself? Are your palms sweating? How have you been sleeping? Are you losing more hair than normal?
So rarely do we check in with ourselves. If most people lack a connection with their bodies, how can they possible notice when it is sending them invaluable, subtle cues?
Start by figuring out what defines your normal, in bodily terms. If your life is chaotic and ever-changing you may find this challenging. Ideally, give yourself a routine as much as possible: a daily bedtime, a daily wake-up time, consistent mealtimes, etc.
If this seems impossible given your work schedule or family life, just do your best: e.g. root yourself in a morning ritual, eat breakfast at the same time every day, give yourself five minutes of silence each afternoon.
Use a mobile app or iphone bedtime option to achieve consistency in your life rhythm. Watches that track your heartrate can create graphs that summarize your heart activity or periods of poor sleep.
Observe your body’s behavior.
Do you ever break out? When? Do you chew your nails? How does your stomach feel? When does it get upset?
Once you know what constitutes “normal” for you, it will be easier to measure abnormalities. You can use these abnormalities as cues to help you make decisions based on all the information you have, not just conscious information.
Act & Breathe
Even with strong instincts, it is normal for us to second guess and rehash our decisions after the fact. This represents an entirely unique problem unrelated to whether or not you made the “right” decision.
Next time you send an important email – which might include a project proposal, a stance, an opinion, etc. – notice how long you think about it after you have clicked send. Does obsessing over what is done bring you any value? Why are you doubting yourself after the fact?
By learning to trust your intuition you are actually learning to trust yourself, reducing the panic that sets in after a decision is made.
Next time you make a decision attempt not to dwell on it for at least ten minutes after the fact. Thoughts of worry will try to force themselves into your mind. Recognize their presence and let them slip out of focus again.
After that, if you haven’t already, write down why you reached that decision. Even if it was initially based on intuition, it may help put you at ease to articulate your reasoning. This also prepares you to defend your decision to colleagues if necessary.
- Work to control your analytical brain
- Translate your body’s signals
- Trust your decisions once they are made
Doing so brings your decision making and your leadership to the next level.
What has your intuition taught you? Share with us by commenting below!
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Omozua is a Certified Emotional Mastery & Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach who empowers & prepares clients’ hearts & heads to take the journey from where they are to where they want to be by bravely accessing their own potential.