Complete Guide to Developing Intuition
Intuition has mostly been identified with being female, which led to the conclusion drawn by many that it is something that can only be found among the fairer sex. What these people fail to realize is that intuition is something that is inherent among all humans, although it is apparent in some people more than others. Yes, even males have intuition. It is just a matter of developing it in order for it to actually be of use.
In this article, you will learn 1) what is intuition and 2) how you can develop this important management skill.
WHAT IS INTUITION?
For the longest time, intuition has been associated with being psychic. If you are intuitive, then you have psychic abilities. This is not wrong, but it would be wrong to limit the definition of intuition within that context only.
Intuition is the “ability to immediately acquire knowledge or understand something, without having to consciously process it, or to call up on one’s rational thinking to make sense of it”. More than conscious reasoning or inference, what is put to use is one’s instinctive feeling, or what others refer to as “gut feeling”.
The feeling will then guide that person to act, or react, in a certain way, even without the need to fully understand why they are acting that way. It is an instinctive response to something that they immediately know, recognize or identify with. What drives one’s intuition is often influenced by, or derived from, experiences.
This is partly the reason why intuition is often regarded as a person’s “inner guidance” or “inner voice”.
The Role of Intuition
According to the great thinker Carl Jung, the human mind has four major functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. We can only maximize our full potential if we are able to balance all four.
This implies that intuition plays a major role, with great impact, in our lives, both personally and professionally. So, when, exactly does intuition become very important?
- Intuition serves as a means of self-expression. Artists, or those who dabble in art, literature and music, are said to be highly intuitive. Creativity is seen to be closely related to intuition, meaning one cannot fully unleash his or her creativity without at least using their intuition.
- Intuition is a useful aid in science. Granted, science is all about rational thinking, but intuition comes into play when one has to exercise personal judgment and perform inductive analysis. Rational arguments may not be able to stand alone, and drawing from experiences and previous knowledge – through intuition – will provide the support needed.
- Intuition also guides one’s decision-making, and we have heard of so many businesspeople that were able to amass and accumulate great wealth because they followed their gut feelings or instincts.
- Intuition has also demonstrated relevance in analytics and environments that involve huge amounts of data. After all, judgment is still required in these areas, so there is no doubt that many companies still place a high importance on their hunches.
The Intuitive Process
The intuitive process differs from person to person, influenced by factors such as their personality and attitudes, their environment and culture, and various other circumstances that they are faced with. But there are basic steps in the process that are similar among all people.
- Decide what you want. You have to be clear-cut about your goals and intentions. Is there a specific problem that you want to solve? A question you want to answer? A goal that you want to achieve? By being clear on what you want, your subconscious will be stimulated to get to work.
- Ask questions that are aligned with what you want. You know what you want; it is time to delve deeper into them. Why do you want to achieve this? What are the stumbling blocks or issues that are in the way of achieving them? What will you get once you have fulfilled those intentions? Ask as many questions that are related to what you have identified in the first step.
- Seek answers. Do not be disheartened when the answers come at you haphazardly, or when they seem to make no sense. The point is that you are getting answers, even if they are not entirely correct. Use your powers of observation and raise your awareness levels. Even the smallest hints can increase your intuition.
- Decide based on your intuitive thoughts. All the answers are pieces of a puzzle that you will put together. The result will then help you make a decision. Congratulations, you just made a decision based on your intuition.
WAYS TO DEVELOP INTUITION
Why is it important to develop one’s intuition? Overall, development of your intuition will help improve your life, and make you grow as an individual. Here is how:
Developing your intuition is one way to unleash your creativity and let your imagination take flight. You never know, you just might be able to accomplish something special, or something great. You never imagined ever writing a book, much less finishing one? Well, you just might be able to do that once you find your inner voice.
You will be more in touch with yourself, making you more objective about several truths and realities that you would not have noticed or realized otherwise. You will have a better perspective about yourself.
You will also have a more complete perspective on issues outside of yourself. This is because you have naturally become more observant and aware of your surroundings and what goes on around you. It is easy to make judgments and decisions when you are simply looking from one side or one angle. With a well-developed intuition, you will be able to make more informed judgments and decisions, since your view is not as skewed as before.
Being intuitive enables you to make better decisions. After all, you are drawing upon your intuition in order to make those decisions. You are more creative, and you can easily find more solutions more quickly.
Stress management skills will be improved when you have developed your intuition. You will be able to identify problems more quickly and find solutions more easily, since you have a broader view or perspective on things. Negative thoughts, emotions and feelings will be kept at bay, because you know how to balance things.
Generally, being intuitive puts you in a better frame of mind, which means you are healthier, with a sound mind and body, and emotions that are not ruled by negativity.
Watch this video and learn 4 ways to sharpen your intuition.
Intuition is innate in all of us, but it needs to be awakened, developed and honed. It is an ability, yes, but it is also a skill – one that can be learned and improved upon. Here are several ways to go about it.
1. Indulge in silence once in a while.
Sometimes, you need time to tune away everything. Quiet your mind and listen – truly listen. Distractions are aplenty, and sometimes we make the mistake of falling prey to each and every one of them, until we lose sight of what is really important, and what truly needs our attention.
Every day, take a few minutes to just be. Be silent, be still. Do not think about anything. All your worries at that moment, forget about them. Open your mind and just let your thoughts move around freely. You’ll be surprised at what thoughts will come to you when you are not making too much of an effort to think.
2. Be aware.
Pay attention to everything that is taking place around you. Sometimes, we are so engrossed on solving problems that we forget everything else. Thus, we are not as aware as we would like to think.
The advantage of paying attention to increase awareness is that you are powering your subconscious, giving it fuel to work with. Some of the best ideas are obtained just by observing and listening, and the most useful facts or data are stored for future reference.
Keep in mind that experiences and knowledge are essential for the development of intuition. The more you know, the better your intuitive skills will be. Do not be afraid to ask questions and let your inquisitive nature take over. You will learn more that way.
3. Trust your instincts.
Some people are hesitant about trusting their hunches, or going with what their “gut” tells them. That is because they believe that these are uncertain. Which they are, in actuality. However, they should not be dismissed so easily. After all, your instinct is your “inner guide”. If something does not feel right, then it must not be right. If you feel like something great is going to happen, then there must be a reason why you feel that way. You just have to learn to trust it.
But trusting your instincts is not enough. You will get nowhere if you do not act on it. Do something about it.
4. Document it.
Remember when you were in grade school and your teacher told you to keep a diary, writing your thoughts on it at the end of each day? That actually helps. Keeping a journal and filling it with your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, writing them all down freely, is one way to let your inner voice speak out. Some people are often surprised when they go back and re-read their journal entries, unable to believe that they were thinking those thoughts, or feeling those emotions, at the time.
Sometimes, putting things in writing provides a more objective view on things. You tend to discover new things about yourself when you try to write them down. So what if you are not a very good writer? No one said journals are only for those who can write. You can feel, and you can think, and you can write them down. That is what’s important.
Look into your past. Your experiences definitely play a huge part on how you make decisions about your life in the present and in the future. By acknowledging mistakes, you are increasingly becoming more accepting of yourself. Reflecting on the past also gives you a chance to revisit your experiences and try to imagine how things could have turned out if you made a different decision, or you acted on it differently. If you realize that you have been berating yourself for doing something when your subconscious told you otherwise, that is your intuition talking, and you should have listened to it the first time.
This improves your perspective, or how you view things. They say that we should forget what has happened in the past. Put the past where it belongs, they say, but there is nothing wrong with trying to revisit it, if only to use what knowledge we have learned from it in the future.
Meditation has been seen as a very effective solution to many health and emotional problems. It is one way that people use to connect to their inner selves and, in the context of intuition, tap into their inner thoughts and emotions. It increases one’s sense of awareness, putting him in touch with his subconscious mind.
7. Do not be afraid to learn something new.
Gain new experiences. Expand your horizons. Get out of your comfort zone if you have to. Try something that you have not tried before. Learn something new. Acquire more knowledge. This way, you will have a larger reservoir of experiences and knowledge to draw on, making you more intuitive. By doing so, you will successfully keep your subconscious stimulated. An active subconscious means an equally active inner voice.
Often, you might not realize it, but the one that is holding you back is yourself. This is probably because you are afraid of failing, or you do not want to be disappointed in case your expectations do not match reality. Take these as learning experiences and look at them as something that will help you grow.
8. Maintain a healthy emotional state.
Your moods will have a lot of influence on your intuition. If you are stressed, exhausted, or are feeling slightly depressed, there is a good chance that your inner voice will not come out. Worse, it may come out, but it may be too distorted, that you will end up interpreting it wrongly. Bad decisions usually come out of these situations.
Calm down and relax. Let go of all the stressors and get rid of any negative thoughts in your mind. This will make room for your inner voice.
9. Effect a lifestyle change, if necessary.
If your current lifestyle is preventing you from developing your intuition, then you might want to consider changing things. If you find that your schedule leaves you no time for yourself, even to relax or calm down for a few minutes, maybe you should rearrange your schedules. Re-evaluate your priorities and find out what matters most to you. Change might be the best thing that you can do in order to improve your intuition.
Make healthy lifestyle choices. Maybe your fitness levels are preventing you from performing well and are actually becoming a hindrance, preventing you from picking up on signals coming from your subconscious.
10. Use your subconscious even in your sleep.
When you are asleep, you have no control on what territories your mind will wander into. Train yourself to employ your subconscious even when you succumb to sleep. You can do this by spending several minutes lying down, reflecting upon the issues that bothered you during the day. Did you have a question that you have been wondering about the whole day but could not find an answer to? Mull over this and turn it over and over in your mind, until you fall asleep. Chances are, you will find answers or solutions when you are asleep.
11. Be patient.
You cannot fully develop your intuition overnight. It takes a while, and it takes a lot of work. You are bound to hit some snags along the way; that’s all right. Some of your intuitions may be wrong; that is also all right. Just keep going at it, and eventually you will be able to have a better handle on your inner voice.
There is a catch to all these talk about intuition and how it can improve your life: it is not infallible. Many times, we have known some of our intuitions to be wrong. So it takes a lot of skill to judge whether your intuition is leading you the right path or not.This requires judgment and rational thinking on your part.
Even as you are putting every effort into developing your intuition, it would be best never to forget that you should not rely entirely on it. You still need to do your homework. You still have to use rational thinking and conscious reasoning. Research is still very important when you have a problem that needs to be solved. Putting everything on intuition is not such a good idea. It should only serve as a support to rational thinking, to prop it up.