Intuition is a skill we are all born with but drown out over time in busy modern lives. It is the 6th sense, your “gut”, your “inner voice”, which always knows the best path for you in any situation or decision.
Unfortunately, only a handful of people really know how to use it to their full advantage.
Six Ways to Strengthen Your Intuition:
1. Use your natural empathy – Imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. Better yet go experience what they’re experiencing. If you are working a helpdesk and someone calls from the factory floor complaining about the speed of the printer, don’t sit at your monitor looking at graphs and metrics. Get off your ass and go down to floor and see what’s going on. Go feel their pain! Get your whole self involved it will strengthen your intuition. Great battlefield generals know this. Get out of your bunker and ride up to the front line and see it, feel it, and act on it. Experience what others are experiencing.
2. Allow yourself to feel your fear and flow past it – You don’t like fear do you? I don’t either. But most of us will have to live with it and find a way to make it our friend instead of our enemy. Unless you are superman and have transcended fear, you’ll have to find a way to harness it for good intent. Fear blocks intuition and is strengthened when we resist it. Allow yourself to feel your fear. Don’t resist any part of it. Don’t bury it. Focus directly upon it and ride it through to the end. You will come out the other side stronger with more clarity. Allowing yourself to feel your fear strengthens your intuition because it teaches you to listen to you inner world and accept it for what it is instead of fighting it.
3. Connect with others on an emotional level – When you engage with another person, face to face, on the phone, or online, try to read their emotions. Name their emotions. Does the person sound angry, happy, hopeful, joyous, depressed, or sad? The more you connect with others emotions, the deeper your understanding of social situations and the better your intuition will function. Intuitive hunches and abstract ideas come from the same place inside you that form your emotions, so the better you are able to read and identify emotions in others the better you will be able to create and communicate via intuition. Identifying and naming emotions within yourself and others is a powerful exercise.
4. Shut down internal judgments – When you find yourself judging someone or something – including yourself – that isn’t intuition, its negative energy that blocks your intuition. When you hear the critic in your mind saying, “he’s stupid”, “she’s ugly”, “I’m fat”, or “I’m gonna lose.” Stop and think – Why did I say that? What part of me is out of alignment? When you hear your inner judge, shut him down – not by burying him, that won’t work, he’ll surface somewhere else – but by forcing a positive question into your consciousness. When I catch myself thinking, “I’ll never get this done.” I consciously change the thought to, “How can I this done?” If I am patient and I listen to my inner voice, it will tell me how I can get it done. When my inner judge says, “it’ll never work”, I ask myself “what part of this idea will work?” or “what is a better idea?” Once you start asking positive questions your sub-conscious mind will start handing over solutions in the form of intuition.
5. Find Solitude – The best way is meditation. Find at least thirty minutes a day to spend alone with your thoughts. Leo at Zen Habits has some great tips for finding time for solitude. Take time to sit alone with your thoughts, feelings, and visualizations. I’ve spent most of my life nearly unaware of all the stuff going on inside me. By taking the time to listen to your inner world, you’ll find out what an amazing magical being you really are. Learning to listen to yourself in solitude will train you to listen to your inner voice when you aren’t alone and will lead to catching powerful intuitive ideas right when you need them.
6. Ask questions – lots of them – This is what I call intuitive bodybuilding. Questioning is the best way to create stronger intuitions. The most powerful creative intuitions will come to you after long question and answer sessions. Get together with a group of curious people and discuss complex issues – philosophical, scientific, sociological, medical, or literary topics. The most power comes not from the answers but from the questions, bringing you down paths you hadn’t considered, spurring further questions and more answers. There is no better way to exercise your intuition than lively question and answer sessions.
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