Our intuition is our immediate reaction or understanding to a situation or information presented to us. Our intuition isn’t necessarily a factual interpretation, but rather an emotional or physical response to a scenario unfolding; a gut instinct. So why don’t we always trust our intuition? Why do we turn to outside opinions or sources of validation to remind us that our initial response was correct? Well, we are human, after all. And that means requiring more than one hundred percent certainty that big decisions we’re making are “correct.” Therefore, we seek out more beyond our intuition.
We turn to the Universe for signs that assure us we’re making the right choice or moving in the right direction. We have chats with friends and family to seek advice and opinions on the right’s and wrong’s of our choices. Until eventually, the signs and the outside voices have completely silenced our own intuition or voice.
So, where do we go wrong? Why do we lack trust in ourselves in the first place? And why do we go seeking out white noise until we can no longer hear our initial thought? Did you know that the average human being is exposed to roughly 74 Gigabytes of data per day (roughly equal to 16 movies)? That’s a lot of information to process, interpret, and make decisions about.
Now imagine that roughly .5 megabytes of that information is information about an important decision. You have a gut reaction to that information but find that you still need reinforcements to make a final choice. We do this because we feel a false sense of urgency towards making a final “right” decision. This urgency we feel informs us that to make a quick decision, we need even more information than we already have, so we turn to outside sources to assist our decision-making process.
How Fear Influences Our Intuition
What do you do when you’re urgently making decisions? Say you’re running late to a doctor’s appointment and you missed your morning cup of coffee. Do you stop at Starbucks while you’re frantically trying to make the green light and show up an additional seven minutes late? Or, do you skip the coffee, grab it after, and make it on time? Most of us, I would say, choose to make our appointments on time. Therefore, our urgent decision-making brought us to our destination. Now scale that example.
Perhaps you’re sitting at your desk, and you receive a call that another company is offering you a dream job with a raise, better benefits, and the position is what you’ve always wanted to do. But, you have to move across the country and you only have until the end of the day to make your decision, or they offer the job to someone else. You’re offered two scenarios, one: play it safe and stay where you are, or two: pack your bags, move across country, and take a leap of faith.
The Intuitive Leap
Posing this hypothetical scenario, what does your intuition say? The urgency of the situation requires quick decision-making. Your potential new employers know this, meaning they’re banking on your ability to trust your intuition and go with your gut. So, where do we get stuck on taking this leap? Well, that sense of urgency we feel when it comes to big decisions like this is influenced by our desperation to make the right decision. We hear what our gut is telling us, but the fear of making the wrong choice is louder.
The choice to move and begin a new job impacts your entire life and those in it. The option to stop for coffee on your way to the doctor impacts maybe a few people, but yourself the most. Despite the urgency required for the situations, one holds much more gravity in the unfolding of your life. We feel desperate to make the right call, so we call on others to help us out in the decision-making process.
The comfort zone is the great enemy of courage and confidence.Brian Tracy
HOW to Trust Your Intuition
Our intuition speaks to us like a response stimulator. We receive information, process it, and not only does our mind react and decide choice A or B is ideal, but we also have emotional and physical responses to the options. Perhaps a new job offer looming gives you butterflies in the stomach effect or a feeling of relief, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. These are all instinctual responses, yet we still look to outsource our decisions. Now, this isn’t to say we shouldn’t run these big decisions by our parents, best friends, or partner. It’s always great to have someone we trust lend an ear and talk things out. But the problem, or distrust, in ourselves arises, when we think, “I can’t decide for myself, so I’ll just ask X.”
We often feel the pressure of making these big decisions is too much, so we shift the burden to someone else. Instead, we should be taking steps to trust ourselves to make the right choice, meaning trusting our intuition.
Weigh Your Options
When a big decision comes into our lives, many people like to start with the practical approach—weighing your options, looking at the pros and cons, and seeing how the decision may affect the unfolding of your life. This is a great place to start to get the analytical point of view out of the way and see realistically how this decision change your life.
Once you’ve got all the information in front of you, you can tap into your intuition to weigh the emotional and physical response to the options. As a spiritual learner, I feel these responses speak louder than the “practicality” of the situation. Despite how safe or unsafe a decision may feel, we can never truly gauge how a situation will play out. But by meditating and getting in touch with our physical and emotional response to a decision, we can best understand how it may make us feel in the future, which means how it will affect our safety within our comfort zone.
Follow what feels aligned
Not following your instincts is the same as being indecisive. We can often gauge what decision feels best for us, but because we’re so scared of making the “wrong” decision, we make no decision at all. Which, in itself, is a decision. Following your instincts can be a matter of following your heart over your mind, which is often what is most aligned with what you desire for yourself. Even if the decision feels uncomfortable, that doesn’t make it unsafe, just ballsy. And sometimes, the best decisions we make are borne of trusting our intuition, and truly take us beyond our comfort zone.
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