Learn How To Trust Your Intuition

How many times have you made a business decision when something just didn’t feel quite right? Your 'gut' was telling you not to proceed but you did anyway and as you expected, your decision came back to bite you in the butt. 

Many of the most successful business people I know have learned to "trust their gut." As you know, being in business requires you to make instant judgements and difficult decisions on a daily basis. Yes, we have sophisticated analytical systems, to help us with our business decisions but we also have our own sophisticated internal system which is our intuition. Our intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

My experience has been that any time my gut was giving me a warning signal and I pushed it aside, the rational reason or proof that escaped me at the moment popped into my brain within the next couple of days. Sometimes by then, it was too late to undo a bad decision that I made because I relied on other people or influences to steer me in the wrong direction. 

History has proven that great leaders whom we hold in high regard today relied very heavily on their intuition because they did not have the technical resources that we enjoy today. They used their own experience, credibility and conviction. Albert Einstein said "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

Here are 10 tips you can practice to hone your intuition:

  1. Pay attention to the way your body reacts in different situations. Noticing your emotions and body reactions is the first step in re-establishing the frayed connection with your gut.
  2. As you go through your day, notice the signals your gut is trying to send you. Instead of rushing head on to your next decision, take a moment to check in with yourself and let your body help you with your decision making. 
  3. Spend as much time as possible with people who reinforce you and as little time as possible with people who bring you down.
  4. Take time to dream about your life and your career without putting any restrictions around it. Don't censor the ideas that come to you. The more you tell your body to help steer you where you need to go, the more guidance will receive.
  5. Hit your replay button at the end of your day. Think about the positive reactions and the fear reactions you had during the day. Try and think how you might handle those same fear reactions differently tomorrow. 
  6. Think about your life so far, and identify distinct moments when you listened to your gut and made the right decision. The percentage of right decisions will be higher.
  7. Be aware of your thoughts that will tell you to leave your body out of the decision-making process and listen only to your busy brain. Resist the urge to react without checking in with our gut.
  8. Take steps to try things differently and get out of your comfort zone. When you do the same things over and over again, you become an automaton without meaning to. Travel, meet new people and try new things. Change it up as much as you can. 
  9. When you have free time, don't rush to the To Do list that will consume your day. Sit quietly and ask your body "What should I do now?" The answer might be something a long walk, or a call to a friend you haven’t spoken with for a long time. Reconnect with others and with yourself. 
  10. Stop and attend when your body signals you, it is doing so for a reason. Pause and reflect on the message your intuition is sending you. 

Intuition is the natural intelligence that allows us to see ahead of the curve, to generate innovative ideas, to communicate powerfully and to do so without having to study spreadsheets or gather piles of data. It is a skill we all possess that has the ability to guide us to better defining our personal brand, attaining greater success and achieving more sustainable levels of innovation and service.

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