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Intuition is a gut feeling that comes in response to an external situation. It is the ability to know something without reasoning or rationalizing it. Intuition is also a kind of instinctive thinking that differs from analytical thinking.
Intuition can manifest itself in many ways: as a hunch, an inkling, a premonition, a gut feeling, or an inner voice, for example.
It can be about a particular situation or person or about one’s life direction. Intuition can come as an image or symbol, in words or music, through physical sensations, or by other means.
It can also come in a dream or daydream; some people even consider their dreams to be intuitive messages from the spiritual self.
According to psychologists and researchers who study the mind and brain, intuition results from various processes that take place in our subconscious minds.
These processes involve areas of the brain working synergistically together to process information and decide on how to respond—sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously ... and using the combination of the two!
"It's your own intuition, combined with your experience and judgement, that can really guide you forward." - Berrak Sarikaya.
Table of Contents
Ways to be Intuitive
We define intuition as a quick and ready insight into something with no conscious effort, before you’ve had time to explain your reasoning or examine your logic. It’s the way you can sometimes feel someone’s presence in a room even though you can’t see them.
It’s being able to recognize when someone is lying to you, even though they’re telling you what they think you want to hear.
It’s following your gut instinct even when all the evidence points away from what it’s telling you—and having that instinct turn out to be right. You make the correct choice even though the odds are against you.
It’s knowing what the right thing is, even if it feels counterintuitive. Above all else, it’s having faith in yourself and your own decisions—even if those decisions come from a place deep inside yourself where there are no guarantees and no one can understand how or why you know what you know.
It’s an important part of who we are as humans—a way we learn things that our minds and our conscious experience don’t allow us to pick up on. It helps us solve problems before they happen, live healthier lives, and helps us get out of trouble when we’re in it.
Signs of Intuition
- Having an urge to do something even though you don’t know why
- Feeling restless or agitated
- Having physical reactions, such as a headache or stomach ache
- You have sudden insights about people or situations that seem to come out of nowhere
- You get an idea for solving a problem, but you don’t know where it came from or how you arrived at it
- You suddenly feel like doing something, such as taking action on something important, but you don’t know why or where the idea came from
How to Listen to Your Intuition in Your Relationships
Intuition is an essential part of a healthy relationship. It provides the information that you need to make sense of what’s happening between you and your significant other.
In a personal relationship, intuition can help you recognize when something isn’t right with your partner and help guide you to the conversation that needs to happen.
Implement these tips and you’ll discover how to be intuitive in a relationship:
Pay attention to subtle cues.
If your partner is upset but trying not to show it, pay attention to their body language. Do they look like they are on the verge of tears? Are they staring off into space or at the TV? This is important because once your partner talks about what is wrong, it may be too late to fix it.
Watch for a change in behavior.
If your partner is acting differently than usual, discern how you feel about it. Are you feeling upset? Alone? Angry? Comforted? Your reactions are clues about why he or she is changing.
Look for patterns.
Do certain situations trigger negative reactions for one or both of you? Keep track of these patterns and look for ways to avoid them in the future. If there are triggers, you’re less likely to make assumptions about what’s going on and more likely to talk through the root cause.
Listen to your body.
The stress that comes with being in an unhealthy relationship can manifest itself physically as well as mentally. If you’re feeling sick all the time, have headaches, or have trouble sleeping, consider the messages that your body may try to tell you.
Set aside time in your schedule for couple time.
Plan activities that allow you and your partner to talk. Continue to watch for non-verbal signals from your partner that might show their need for attention or affection.
Give your partner the gift of intuition by being open to hearing what they have to say and showing an interest in what they have to say. The more attentive you are to your partner’s needs, the more intuitive insight you’ll gain.
Use discretion when reading between the lines.
You should not assume things without checking them out first! Intuition isn’t always right (or wrong), so don’t jump to conclusions based on an assumption alone; ask questions and get more information.
Listen to others’ intuition.
People who trust their intuition usually feel an inner sense of peace, even when they’re unsure about the outcome of a situation. They also make better decisions because they’re able to see things from multiple perspectives and consider all the options available.
Intuitive folks are open to gleaning the wisdom of others to gain a greater sense of understanding about how best to navigate life.
Intuition is a commonly misunderstood force, but it’s a powerful one that you can harness to improve your relationships. It’s not the ability to predict the future—it simply means that you’re able to accurately read and interpret the subtle signals from others’ actions.
How to Listen to Your Intuition in Business and Career
Intuition is an untapped resource for many people, but it can make or break your career. If you stop to listen to what your intuition has to say, you’ll find that it can be a good building block for business success.
Here are some suggestions to intuitively traverse your career path:
Trust your instincts.
You’ve been successful in business because you have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t work. Trust that same sense when it comes to the next step in your career.
Pay attention to hunches.
If something doesn’t feel right about a job offer or other opportunity, don’t ignore it. Instead, turn off the rational brain (the one that tells you to do things like “take any job” and “avoid risk”) and tune into your gut instinct.
Listen to others’ intuition, too.
You might be hesitant to follow your gut instinct in business situations because of a lack of intuition or a tendency to doubt yourself. Don’t let that hold you back.
If you’face an important decision, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from others to help your intuition. The key is not to get too caught up in the opinions of others—instead, focus on the parts of their advice that mesh with your values and instincts.
By considering everyone’s point of view, you can zero in on what will bring about the best result for your company and career. By listening to the inner voice that guides you, you can learn how to put your deepest desires into action.
Quiet your mind.
To listen to the voice within, quiet the mind and get into a meditative state, or put on some music you enjoy that will put you in a relaxed mood.
Set an intention for the questions you have about business or career: “I want to know what’s next for me.” “I want clarity on how to accomplish this task..” Whatever the questions are you’re seeking answers to, set it as an intention.
Ask your questions in your mind or out loud, then wait for a response from your intuition. It may come as words, pictures, sensations, feelings, or flashes of inspiration. Write whatever comes to you so that you can reference it later.
Recognize the signs.
Pay attention to feelings you get when certain opportunities come up. If you’re feeling excited and see a pathway toward business success, that’s a good sign you should embrace it.
If you’re feeling an initial hesitation or uncertainty, that may be your subconscious telling you that something doesn’t feel right about the opportunity. Listen to these messages and consider the plausible reasons for them before deciding.
Learn from others’ successes and failures.
Before you decide whether to go on that job interview or get involved with that business deal, take a look at what happened to others who did the same thing. You can learn from their successes and their mistakes.
For instance, if you’re thinking about investing in stocks or purchasing a franchise, look up articles or books about someone who had a similar idea and see how they fared. Don’t cut yourself off from this information.
Some people think they can’t learn from others’ mistakes—that they’re special—but this is short-sighted where you’re cutting yourself off from the big picture that can fine tune your intuition.
Ask yourself questions.
Questions are important tools for self-discovery and growth. You don’t have to answer them right away; you can use them as guides for reflection later on.
How to Listen to Your Intuition in Life
"Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." – Joyce Brother.
There are many methods we can use to hone our intuitive skills. Here are just a few that I have found to be effective:
1. Quiet your mind and spend time in nature. The quietude of a walk in the park or a ride in the car with no radio or phone is a good start. If you don’t have these options handy, try going for a drive in your car with no music playing and just sit quietly, focusing on your breath.
After a time, you may find that your mind quiets down enough for you to hear what you’re really feeling about something.
2. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness are two simple practices that can help you listen to your intuition. Meditation is the practice of focusing on one thing, like your breath or a mantra, for a set amount of time. It’s a great way to get in touch with yourself and discover what you really want in life.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps you to be present in the now by noticiing your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
Both meditation and mindfulness have been shown to enhance your intuition by helping you focus on what’s most important—and it’s easy! You can do it anywhere and at any time: while walking down the street, waiting in line at the grocery store, or even while sitting on public transportation (where no one will judge you if they catch you staring off into space).
3. Use the powers of observation. The intuitive powers that are within every person are manifested through the ability to observe and decipher subtle cues.
Every day, there is a constant flow of information from our five senses that we can use to gain insight into the situation at hand. In this instance, you don’t have to be psychic or even gifted with an overactive imagination to gain insight.
Simply being observant is all you need ... as long as your attention is not diverted by something else.
By taking a second look at the same situation and applying your knowledge of what you have seen in the past, you may notice things that appeared unrelated before. When you understand how to interpret these actions, your intuition will become stronger and more reliable.
4. Ask questions. At the end of the day, intuition is just a subconscious process that helps us make choices based on experience and instinctive feelings. The more we learn to harness it, the more effective it becomes.
To refine our intuition, we can intentionally ask ourselves questions that trigger our subconscious to send signals back to us.
When we want to hear from our intuition, we can ask questions like: “What do I need to pay attention to right now?” or “What does my gut tell me about this?” or “How can I feel better about this decision?” or “What do I need to know about this situation?” or “What is the best way for me to handle this in the future?” or “What should I expect next from this person/situation?”
When we’re asking these questions, we’re wondering about aspects of our lives that concern us and that we want insights into—that’s what will generate the responses from our subconscious.
We shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to come up with answers; instead, we should let them come naturally in their own time. It may take a few days before you even have an inkling of an idea; but once you get one, you’ll start recognizing intuitive reactions in yourself with greater frequency.
5. Look back at the past. In order to trust yourself and your intuition, you need to have a firm grasp on your own patterns and experiences.
To figure out what has been intuitively correct in the past, it’s important to gather as much information as possible.
If you are working on a specific project at work or home, take the time to reflect on how things turned out when you relied on your intuition and when you didn’t—which situations resulted in positive outcomes and which led to negative ones? What might have caused this discrepancy?
This should give you some insight into your own patterns and set a foundation for listening more effectively to what your subconscious is telling you.
6. Reflect and journal. Intuition is the ability to “feel your way” to a decision, without relying on logical thought. People who have an intuitive sense can often act on hunches and gut feelings that lead them in a positive direction—and they can do so more effectively than someone who relies solely on logic.
Intuitive people can also gain deeper insights about themselves and the people around them through reflection, and then process these feelings by writing them down.
They can use those insights to work through problems and issues, both in their own lives and in the lives of others.
7. Free yourself of judgement. Letting go of judgement is an essential part of intuition. Intuition is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. It takes practice, and if we keep ourselves in a state of judging, we’re never going to develop the capacity to hear it.
A judgment is an evaluation based on comparison, while intuition is a quiet voice within us that guides us to take the next best step in any situation.
8. Accept when your intuition proves to be incorrect. Don’t criticize yourself if your intuition proves faulty. Learn from it. If your intuition doesn’t turn out right, don’t beat yourself up over it — just figure out why it didn’t work and try again next time!
Your brain may have made certain assumptions based on experiences that were incorrect in this situation; consider whether those assumptions might have been correct in other situations where you got better results from following your gut feelings.
Perhaps there was another reason this particular intuitively derived plan didn’t work out. Accept the error and encourage yourself to continue to seek your intuitive wisdom.
9. Be mindful of your social circle. You can listen to your intuition through other people. By staying with supportive people who encourage you to trust your instincts, instead of hanging out with folks who tell you what to do.
Why is this important? Because your intuition is always there for you, but it’s only as strong as you allow it to be. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who tell you what to do, then your intuition will become less powerful.
Conversely, if you surround yourself with people who believe in your ability to make excellent decisions, then your intuition will flourish and grow stronger.
10. Be open-minded and imaginative. In life, there are a lot of things that can compromise intuition. You might be worried about what other people think, or you might be scared of failure. But when you’re open-minded and imaginative, it’s easier to listen to your intuition.
It’s easy to fall into patterns when you’re living your life—you get used to doing the same thing every day and following the same rules. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself every day and try new things!
When you’re open-minded and imaginative, you’ll be able to hear your own voice better than ever before, free from limitations or restrictions placed on it by our minds or our emotions (this includes fear).
11. Listen to others’ insights. When you hear something that strikes a responsive chord within, pay attention. If you already feel you know what they’re going to say next, then this is probably one of your own kernels of wisdom coming up to the surface.
If you don’t have any idea what they mean, then maybe this person has insight into the situation that you could use right now. Either way, listen closely when someone says something that resonates with you and write it down so you won’t forget it later on down the road when it might be useful again.
Final Words on Intuition
Testing Your Intuition
Research has shown that people who are able to successfully trust their intuition are more likely to succeed in life, including academics, art, sports, and business.
The following is a list of different ways you can test your intuition:
- Ask yourself a question about something you’re uncertain about and see what comes up inside you.
- Observe what happens when you decide with little thought.
- Turn off your brain and see where your body leads you.
- Meditate on an issue and see if you find any answers while you’re doing so.
- Look at something familiar in a new light.
- Concentrate on something ordinary and tune out all other distractions.
Intuition is a powerful tool, but it's easy to take it for granted. Even though we may not always listen to it or trust its guidance, our intuition is constantly working and providing us with information about the world.
We’re able to sift through all of this information and feel like we have a handle on what’s going on, but that’s only because we’ve learned how to filter a lot out—we don’t realize how much we’re blocking.
Instead of simply listening to the information that comes in, we should also practice being mindful of our intuition so that we are better able to hone in on it when we need the guidance most.
When we trust our intuition, we are allowing ourselves to be guided by our inner wisdom.
Intuition is a divinely inspired knowing that comes from within us. It often manifests in dreams and visions, but it can also come as an instantaneous knowing of something with no rational explanation.
The ability to trust our inner voice is essential for spiritual growth because it allows us to make decisions that are aligned with our highest good instead of what feels safe or comfortable.
Trusting our intuition takes courage because it requires us to take action based on what we feel rather than what others think or say about what should be done.
I’ve highlighted many ways to trust your intuition in life, in your relationships, and in your career. Now it’s your move whether you will listen and act on your intuition or dismiss it.
I hope you soon realize and harness that quiet, wise inner voice within you!