Your unconscious mind is a phenomenal resource.
We all know that – and in case you don’t, ask yourself: how many of your best, most pivotal-moment decisions, career or otherwise, were not guided by some impassioned inner voice?
Our intuition is a powerful ally to our more “rational” decision-making tactics – if we can learn to listen to it. And it should be very possible: our brains have been conditioned from the day we were born to be highly-attuned to other people and the environment around us.
So let’s use that resource and learn to listen to ourselves.
The 3 channels of your unconscious mind
There are 3 channels for us to connect with our unconscious on:
- Instinct. This is gut reaction. An innate response or behaviour, like ducking or flinching. For the pivotal moments, we may not want to go with our auto-response. We need a different approach.
- Intuition. This is gut feeling. A hunch or inkling. It’s decision-making on an unconscious level and with all its resources – so is worth listening to!
- Insight. Those “aha” moments of clarity and illumination. Insights are new connections being made in the brain – and come with a motivating and energising change in brain chemistry. We want to tap that energy and run with it!
To overcome obstacles and make the most of all our opportunities, we want to be sensitive to all 3 channels – but not necessarily treat them all the same. For whilst we might want to move-on from our instinctive response, we want to acknowledge and work with our intuitions and insights – something that can be learnt and developed.
Tuning in to your message
Being able to listen to intuition is about developing your self-awareness; tuning in to the messages; and trusting rather than overriding them. Try these techniques.
- Accept your emotions, whatever they may be. There is no “should be” with feelings. If you don’t like the way you’re feeling, there are ways to change that – but all feelings are useful feedback.
- Take the label off your feelings by dropping the name you’ve given your emotion and instead focusing on the physical sensations. Where in your body are they? Intense? Constant? Changing?
- Listen to your emotional messages by considering that these feelings are trying to tell you something. Ask: if this feeling has a message for me, what is it trying to say?
- Know what is and isn’t intuition by distinguishing kinaesthetic feelings (intuition) from internal conversations (conscious processing, experienced as language).
- Listen to your gut. Place your hand over your navel and imagine you are breathing into that area. Notice what new insights come to you, what extra perspectives you see and how you feel differently about your situation.
- Listen to your heart. Focus all of your attention, past, present and future, on the beating of your heart. And listen. What is your heart telling you?
So, what are you trying to tell yourself?