how to make decisions using your intuition
Most of our Western culture teaches us to look outside yourself for the right answers. Go to the college that has the best reputation. Pick the career that mentors or parents think you will excel at. When you’re struggling, ask others what they did when they were in a similar situation. Not that I think seeking advice is completely wrong, I just think we have the model a little backwards. Instead of researching and deciding for ourselves, we look at what has worked for others and make the same choices.
Some would say this is safe because there’s proof that it can work for someone else. But what if that person’s success was due to their true match to what they were doing and how they were living. In other words, what if they made their choices with their heart instead of their head?
What I’m getting at is that the ‘right’ decision can only be determined by you. Copying someone else’s actions step by step might not yield the same results if you’re not a real match for what you’re doing.
Making decisions based on what feels right for you is a much different process than making the ‘logical’ choice. I think you can probably think of one example of this in your life off the top of your head. What is something that you did that you now know was not the right thing for you?
Some of us are so distanced from our intuition that we don’t even know how to listen to our gut to make decisions anymore. This is something I really used to struggle with and still sometimes find myself using my head to choose instead of tapping into what’s really right for me. There are tons of different exercises to tap into your intuition (and I absolutely recommend exploring what works best for you) but here’s what helps my left-brain let go of control a little.
Make a list of all the possible options
This allows you to do your research and know that you’re informed. It helps satisfy your mind and any anxiety you may have around giving the decision over to your intuition. Also, if you keep an open mind when you’re brainstorming, sometimes your intuition will chime in with an option you might not have otherwise considered. Make sure you put everything you can think of on the list!
Feel through the list
Go through the list one by one and see how each option feels to you. When something feels like a hard no, you can always feel that strongly. Others may be a little harder to read but take a deep breathe and sit with the thought of it while feeling what comes up. It may be that things feel lighter and easier than you expected and that’s a sign that it might be a good option for you.
You can also write or visualize to get a more direct answer from your intuition. Jess Lively has writing method that many people like and I like to close my eyes and look for a thumbs up or thumbs down when thinking about a certain situation or outcome. Muscle testing is also a fun methodology to try out for receiving answers from your intuition!
Ask yourself follow-up questions
In the same vain as writing or visualizing, you can also ask specific questions about the situation to get clarification. I find that yes or no questions are sometimes easier to get answers from but ask as you see fit.
Give it some time
Reconnecting to your intuition takes practice. If you’ve got the time, revisit your original list of options of the course of a few hours or days. Mark ones that feel like maybes. Sometimes a little distance helps you see things more clearly. Also, remember that this whole practice is to use your heart/gut to make the decision instead of your head!