“You must train your intuition – you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.” – Ingrid Bergman
The last time you had to make a decision – big or small, professional or personal – how did you do it?
Did you weigh the pros and cons, carefully measuring all of the elements and factors?
Did you play out a scenario of each possible option in your mind, to see what it might look or feel like?
Did you have a "gut" sense of the direction to take – some visceral sense of what was truly "right" for you?
Or some combination of these (or other) ways?
There's no right or wrong way to make a decision: the best methods or tools required often depend on the situation or context.
For many of us, while we can feel we've had an intuitive "hit" – a nagging gut sense – about the direction to take, we might have learned to ignore our intuition or gut – to marginalize it or not take it seriously.
New research from neuroscience and other fields is beginning to
demonstrate that there is more to having a "gut sense" than we've previously thought.
Scientific studies aside, information from our intuition is not better or worse than information we get from other sources – our intellect or our emotions, for example.
Information from our intuition, just like information from our smarts or emotions is neither good or bad – it's just information. How we interpret it is how we make meaning of that information.
But the good news is that intuition can be trained, honed, known more fully as a trusted and valuable information source through attention and practice.
If you'd like to learn how to trust your gut more, try this:
1) Think of a time in your life when you just "knew" what to do, either personally or professionally. How did you "know"? Where did that knowing come from? Did you have a sensation in your body (eg., heart or gut; tightening or tingling; constriction or release)?
2) Remember a time when you walked into a meeting or gathering, and before someone said anything you instantly knew that something big or important had just happened: how did you know? What sensations or cues did you pick up on?
3) From these two examples, how do you find and trust own intuition?
In the Comments below, I'd love to hear from you on this topic of intuition! Tell me:
- How do you tap into your intuition?
- How does intuition help you make decisions as a leader?
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