In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.
Intuition serves us in two different ways: we are able to increase our capacity to read what’s happening in our immediate environment and we can better anticipate the future. Yet, if we are not trained to be more still and present to what’s happening at the moment, we will undoubtedly miss the rich signs and indicators that are waiting for our attention. In today’s fast-paced and increasingly complex world, it is more difficult than ever to slow down and tune into what we are sensing and feeling on the inside.
This week, we are focusing on doubt. Doubt is a function of the mind and is so powerful and prevalent that it deserves its own spotlight. Doubt is second-guessing our deeper knowing. The destructive result is that we begin to stop trusting ourselves. Doubt can creep in especially when a situation seems risky and unfamiliar. As intuition is neither linear nor predictable, it is a threat to the control-aspect of the mind, which seeks order. Doubt tries to keep us in our safe comfort zone of what is familiar.
Doubt in the form of fear and distrust in ourselves shows up on a fundamental level with the commonly asked question: what if my intuition is wrong? Or what if I have “bad” intuition? I would say that there’s no such thing as bad intuition. Instead, you might have a bad relationship to your intuition. This distinction is key as the seduction of the mind, in order to stay in control of your system, is to convince you that you can’t trust your inner compass.
It will judge your intuitive nature as a threat to its supremacy and power. In fact, this is one of the main reasons people become disempowered: they doubt their intuition and inner guidance and ignore, override, or outsource their knowing to the logical mind or to the viewpoints of others.
How Do You Distinguish Between Doubt and Your Intuition?
An intuitive hit is a clear message that doesn’t come with a lot of emotional charge or drama. It’s a feeling of obviousness, of clarity. You don’t need to defend your position, make a case for it, rationalize it, or prove anything. It’s simply a knowing.
Doubt, on the other hand, often comes with anxiety and fear, and tends to backpedal on intuition. That’s where the second-guessing, internal lawyering, and never-ending debate scrambles your conviction. With practice, you can begin to separate the clear message of an intuitive sense from the endless debates over whether you should trust what you feel.
How Do You Separate the Two?
Engaging in some type of physical activity—like running, swimming, yoga, or martial arts, which all demand being present—are incredibly helpful tools to separate intuition from doubt. Focusing on an activity does not allow space for the swirling chorus of doubts and second-guessing. I find that after a physical practice, my body is more tired and rested and my mental activity is more relaxed. Doubt subsides and I can more easily tap into my intuitive center from this place.
Meditation and various mindfulness practices are also powerful tools to help you dis-identify with your doubts and thoughts, and you stop feeding them with your attention. Find the practice that speaks to you and that helps you quiet your mind and you will experience huge benefits.
Stay tuned for the rest of our series as we’ll explore all five of the top roadblocks to accessing your intuitive intelligence. For more information on how to access intuitive decision making for you and your team, contact [email protected].