Cold, hard facts take centre stage in a lot of our decisions. My worst decisions were a result of critically looking at the facts and blatantly ignoring my screaming inner voice.
I’ve done this many times now to have learnt the hard way, that when making a decision, if my intuition has anything to say, then every other consideration goes out the window. Even when the facts are stacked against my decision, when people have been against my decision, I still go with what I ‘feel’ is right and I’ve never regretted it, neither have those who were initially against my choice.
Learning to listen to your intuition is one of the most valuable skills you can develop that will help you life-long. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and makes life a whole lot simpler. I call it a skill, because while everyone has an inner voice, we overlook it in favour of facts. It takes time to learn to distinguish between your intuition and your desires and initially, this is difficult. You’ll find a few people who say my ‘intuition turned out to be wrong’ – it’s not their intuition that’s wrong, it’s them listening to their desires.
Intuition is a mysterious thing – there’s no clear definition for what it is, and there definitely isn’t concrete science backing it. Its existence is undeniable though. While limited, humans can have premonitions and intuition somehow seems to know what the outcome of a choice will be. Sometimes, you’ll get a feeling or know irrationally how something will turn out and end up being right – that’s your instincts speaking.
If you’ve read my post on Failure – you’ll know that I ended up failing in something potentially life changing. Before I went down that path, I had a choice between this and another path. When it came to making a decision on which path to choose, I went against my intuition and went with facts.
The facts were glowing and supported my decision, others agreed with my decision wholeheartedly and yet, the whole time, I couldn’t shake off this perpetual bad gut feeling. I went with what my head said and the outcome ended up being terrible. As an added bonus, I also developed depression during that stage (which I beat, thankfully). I’ve learnt a lot from that failure but the biggest lesson was to go with my instincts and this time around, when making another life-changing decision, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Our intuition is very specific, but gives no reason behind its decision. It’s probably why we ignore it so much. It’s unnerving to have to trust something which has no foundation and nothing to back it up. Sometimes though, you just have to trust the unknown. Our senses can fool us, the ‘known’ can sometimes be an illusion so rely and fall back on your instincts. They’re there for a reason.
Practice listening to your intuition
Start off with small insignificant things. I’ll give you my example. Just today, I went to the store to buy some prawns in plum sauce (yum). There were two boxes left. One was at the back of the fridge and the other was at the front. I usually take food from the back because it’s less likely to be dropped but for some reason, my gut was telling me to go for the one in front. I nearly didn’t listen but in the end gave in and picked up the front box of prawns.
When I went home, I found I had 2 extra prawns than what was supposed to be in the box – result! It’s very insignificant, but these little insignificant decisions help you practice, so when it comes to the major decisions, you’ll be well-versed and won’t be mixing up your intuition with something else.
Try this yourself next time you go shopping – try and listen to your intuition when buying something. Your intuition knows you better than yourself – trust it!
‘Intuition is seeing with the soul’ – Dean Koontz