Intuition is the hot topic right now. To hear or not to hear…that is the question. We can’t seem to figure out if it’s our yapping mind or the Still Small Voice Within aka Ms. Intuition that’s trying to get a word in.
So how can you know if you are overriding your intuition?
Well, I’m going to share with you a super effective method to help you know FOR REAL. But first, I want to tell you a story about something that happened the other day and inspired me to write this in the first place:
While driving, on my way to run errands in town, I spotted a sign for an estate sale in the opposite direction. My first rapid-fire sense was to turn left toward the sale, and have a look — after all, you never know when you might make an amazing find.
Not even two seconds out of the gate, my first sense is trampled by my steal-the-show rational mind, as it spouts off several — very rational, mind you — reasons why I should definitely do no such thing; I need to go directly to town, do not pass go, stay the course, and get my butt back home as soon as possible because I’ve got work to do.
Caught in a tug of war between these two ideas, I eventually negotiate by saying I will stop at the sale TOMORROW when I have more time.
Of course, after about 5 minutes into my decision, heading directly into town, an “oh shit” lightbulb goes off, and I realize exactly what I’ve done: I succumbed to an Intuition Takeover.
The truth is we all do this all the time, and we often don’t even recognize that we’re doing it.
So how can you know if the voice you are hearing is your intuition or your rational mind (usually talking you out of your intuition)?
I call it my 5 Question Intuition Check:
- Is the voice soft and unassuming or argumentative and pushy?
- Does it make you stretch a bit beyond your comfort zone or does it advocate for routine, predefined plans and procedures?
- Is the voice advocating for an idea that is exciting and new or one that is habitual and comfortable?
- Is it first on the scene or has it charged in afterward, intent on overriding the earlier arrival?
- Do you find yourself negotiating, editing and rationalizing with why’s and why not’s?
Using these questions, you can easily determine which part of you is speaking. Chances are that if you’ve gone into the long list of “why not’s,” then your rational mind has kicked in to high gear, and an intuition takeover is about to take place.
Now before you go on a death-to-the-rational-mind tirade, you should know that it has your best interest in mind (no pun intended). It’s simply coming from a desire to preserve and is doing what it thinks best to keep you safe ie boring, stuck, monotonous, humdrum. In fact, you could even describe it by saying your left brain, rational mind has your best interest in mind, and your intuition has your best interest at heart.
So if using the 5 Question Intuition Check above you’ve discovered that you may be experiencing a hostile takeover, then here’s what you can do:
Back your bus up. Say what? That’s right! To help you heed your intuition, here’s my
Walk It Back Technique
- Awareness – become aware of the moment you start to talk yourself out of something.
- Pause – take a breath and stop what you are doing so you can be really present and get a front row for this inner conflict.
- Listen – let the rational mind do its talking (it clearly needs to feel heard). Hear it out.
- Now Walk it Back – trace back and find the original full picture idea that the rational mind tried to override or edit in the first place.
- Do Not Negotiate – do not be fooled by the rational mind’s negotiation and compromise tactics . If it fears losing, it will quickly offer a solution that edits the original intuitive idea (remember my example from the story above: “we can do it tomorrow instead”).
- Be Gentle with Yourself – either do it or don’t. But if you don’t, or you recognize it after the fact – no worries. Congratulate yourself for your blossoming awareness. Commit to following your intuition next time you are aware.
This technique is super effective in helping you build your intuitive muscle, gain confidence and let go of doubt.
The truth is, if we really want to live a life of magic, then we need to be open to the infinite possibilities that exist for us. In order to do that, we have to be willing to listen to the part of us that is usually so quiet we hardly remember it was the first one on the scene of our consciousness.
And who knows? Even if just one intuitive idea has a chance, it could end up being one of the greatest ideas of your lifetime – one that totally changes your life forever.