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How to Trust Your Intuition | NY

Trust your intuition reminder written on a napkin beside a cup of tea

Have you ever had a "gut feeling" about a decision, something that seemed to guide you without any rational explanation? This phenomenon, often called instinct, is not just a fleeting sense but a potent psychological process that can significantly influence personal and professional decisions.

Learning to trust your intuition involves tapping into this instinctive guidance system that combines your life experiences with the wisdom of your subconscious mind. By understanding and refining this ability, you unlock a powerful tool that can confidently and easily lead you through life's uncertainties.

Key Takeaways

  • Instinct leverages subconscious knowledge and past experiences to guide decisions, contrasting with rational thinking, which often leads to overthinking.

  • Trusting your instinct involves recognizing and acting upon physical sensations like gut feelings and mental insights such as persistent thoughts.

  • Enhancing your intuitive skills can be achieved through practices like creating quiet spaces, mindfulness, reflective journaling, and guided by a professional.

What is Instinct?

Instinct is often likened to a sixth sense — a natural, intuitive compass that guides us beyond the reach of logical reasoning. It's integral to personal growth and decision-making, offering insights that are not always accessible through our conscious thought processes.

Instinct, or gut feeling, arises from our subconscious mind, tapping into a blend of past experiences and internalized knowledge to push us in the right direction.

Conscious reasoning vs. subconscious signals

Our rational mind operates on the surface, processing information we know. It helps us make decisions based on logical analysis, systematic thinking, and concrete evidence.

This conscious reasoning is essential for handling complex tasks and problems where details and objectivity are paramount. However, it operates at a conscious level, sometimes leading to "analysis paralysis," where our overthinking obstructs decision-making.

In contrast, instinct comes from our subconscious mind. It's less about deliberate thought and more about an automatic, often unexplainable feeling that something is right or wrong.

This instinctual response is not random; it's informed by a real psychological process where the brain uses past experiences and cues from our environment to make decisions swiftly, often without our conscious awareness.

For instance, a study by Leeds University concluded that intuition — our ability to know something instinctively without conscious reasoning — is a strong psychological process that can enhance our decision-making abilities, particularly when timely decisions are crucial.

Instincts can help us detect danger, recognize when something is beneficial, or steer us away from harm, leveraging the wisdom accrued from our own experiences.

Recognizing Signs of Instinct

Recognizing the signs of instinct is crucial for harnessing its power in your day-to-day life. Often, these signs manifest through both physical sensations and mental signals, providing guidance when you might be unsure of the next steps to take.

Physical sensations of instinct

One of the most common ways your instinct communicates with you is through physical sensations in your body. These are not just random feelings but are deeply connected to your subconscious mind's processing of information, often before you're even consciously aware of it.

For instance, you might experience a gut feeling, literally felt in your stomach, that something is amiss or remarkably right. Other physical signs include a sudden chill, increased heart rate, or even a sense of discomfort that nudges you away from a particular course of action.

These sensations are your body's way of signaling attention to something significant that your conscious mind may have overlooked.

Mental signs of instinct

Beyond what we feel physically, instinct also manifests through mental signs. These can include a persistent thought that won't leave you alone, an unexplained certainty about a particular decision, or even a sudden and profound insight that comes seemingly out of nowhere.

Such mental signs are often dismissed as mere coincidences or irrational impulses; however, they are indeed products of a very real psychological process where your brain connects dots based on past experiences and current observations.

For example, you might have a recurring dream that points towards a decision you need to make or find yourself consistently thinking about a particular path, even when it doesn't immediately seem the most logical choice.

These mental nudges are often your subconscious communicating what your conscious mind hasn't fully grasped yet.

Learning to trust the signs

To effectively trust these instincts, it's essential to develop a practice of paying attention and respecting these cues. This can be as simple as taking a moment to reflect when you notice these sensations or thoughts rather than rushing past them.

Keeping a journal can also help you track these instinctual messages and evaluate how following them impacts your decisions and their outcomes.

How to Sharpen Your Instinctive Skills

To effectively tap into and trust your instinct, you need to hone the skills that allow you to access and interpret your subconscious cues.

Here are three practices that can significantly enhance your ability to connect with and trust your instinctual guidance:

Creating space for silence

In our busy lives, silence is often scarce, yet it is in quiet moments that our subconscious can most effectively communicate with us. Creating space for silence means setting aside time to simply be — no distractions, no noise, just stillness. This could involve activities like taking long walks alone, sitting quietly in a natural setting, or even practicing quiet meditation early in the morning or late at night.

These practices allow your inner voice to emerge more clearly, enhancing your ability to hear and understand the intuitive signals that often get drowned out by the noise of daily life.

Mindfulness and body awareness

Woman doing mindful yoga movements

Mindfulness teaches us to live in the moment and be fully aware of our current experiences and bodily sensations. By practicing mindfulness, whether through meditation, mindful breathing, or even eating and walking — anything that needs conscious thought and can keep you grounded in the present — you can increase your attunement to your body's instinctual cues.

For instance, noticing how your stomach tenses in certain situations or how your heart rate increases can provide valuable insights into your subconscious reactions to the people and environments around you.

Learning to observe these reactions without immediate judgment allows you to better understand and trust these instinctual signals.

Reflective journaling

Journaling is a powerful tool for developing a deeper connection with your instincts. By regularly writing down your thoughts, feelings, and the sensations you experience, you create a record that you can reflect upon. This practice not only helps in validating your feelings and hunches but also aids in recognizing patterns over time.

For example, you might start to notice that certain types of situations consistently trigger a specific gut feeling. Reflective journaling can help you differentiate between fleeting emotions and deeper instinctual responses, enabling you to make more informed decisions based on your instinctual knowledge.

Practical Applications of Trusting Your Instinct

Trusting your instinct can be incredibly beneficial in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to career decisions and even everyday choices. Here's how you can apply this innate capability to improve and enhance different areas of your life:

Personal relationships

Trusting your instinct can help you navigate interactions more effectively. Your gut feelings often alert you to underlying truths about others' intentions and compatibility with you.

For instance, if you feel uneasy around someone without a clear reason, it might be your instinct picking up on subtle cues that this person's values or behavior could conflict with your own. Trusting these feelings can guide you toward healthier relationships and help you avoid those that could be detrimental.

Also, listening to your inner voice can strengthen bonds with those who genuinely resonate with your spirit.

Career decisions

When it comes to career decisions, your instinct plays a crucial role in identifying opportunities that match your true passions and professional goals.

If you're considering a job offer or a career change, pay attention to what your gut instinct tells you about the fit. Sometimes, a prestigious or high-paying job might not feel right. Trusting that feeling can lead you to a role that is more fulfilling and aligned with your personal values and professional aspirations.

Instinct can also signal when it's time to leave a stagnant position or when to pursue a new project that excites you, even if it seems risky or unconventional.

Daily decisions

On a day-to-day basis, trusting your instinct can enhance decision-making in seemingly mundane choices, such as which route to take to work or whether to attend an event.

For example, opting out of a social gathering because you feel it will be draining rather than enjoyable is a way your instinct protects your energy. Similarly, a sudden urge to take a different path or try something new can lead to serendipitous experiences and opportunities.

By paying attention to these intuitive nudges, you allow a more natural, aligned flow in your daily life, which contributes to greater overall satisfaction and harmony.

In each of these scenarios, trusting your instincts requires an awareness of your inner signals and a willingness to trust them without overanalyzing. The more you practice listening to and acting on these instinctual cues, the more attuned you will become, enhancing your ability to navigate life's challenges with confidence and ease.

Remember, while instinct may not always lead to perfect outcomes, it steers you towards choices that are true to your deepest self, promoting authenticity in every aspect of your life.

When to Trust Your Instinct

Woman waling outside at night, sensing something a bit off

Trusting your instinct can be a powerful tool for navigating life, but knowing when to rely on it over logic or emotion is important. Here's how you can differentiate between fear-driven reactions and genuine instinctual guidance, along with examples of when trusting your instinct can lead to better outcomes.

Differentiating between fear and instinct

It's crucial to distinguish between reactions driven by fear and those guided by true instinct. Fear is often characterized by anxiety, confusion, and a sense of urgency without clear justification. It tends to be noisy, pushing you to make quick, possibly irrational decisions based on negative outcomes or past insecurities.

For example, declining an opportunity because it feels daunting and your mind floods with thoughts of past failures or worst-case scenarios.

In contrast, instinct, though it may also involve a rush of emotion, usually comes with a sense of deep knowing that something is right or wrong. This guidance is more centered and composed, even if it's alerting you to danger.

It provides a clear feeling or thought that doesn't waver — there is often a calmness or resolve that accompanies the decision, even if that decision is to avoid a potentially harmful situation.

Examples of trusting your instinct

  • Avoiding harmful situations: Imagine you're considering a shortcut home that passes through a poorly lit, secluded area. Suddenly, you hesitate and decide to take the longer, well-lit route. Later, you hear reports of suspicious activity in the area you avoided. Here, your instinct helped preserve your safety.

  • Seizing opportunities: Consider a moment when you're offered a new job or project that feels slightly out of your comfort zone. While there's a flutter of fear, there's also a strong, gut-driven pull towards saying yes, filled with excitement and a deep sense that it will open doors for personal and professional growth.Trusting this instinct can lead you to expand your skills and advance your career in unexpected ways.

  • Personal relationships: You meet someone new and instantly feel an unexplainable ease and safety around them, unlike your usual cautious nature around strangers.This instinctual feeling can lead to a valuable new friendship or partnership, tapping into an intuitive recognition of compatibility and mutual respect.

Practicing discernment

The key to effectively trusting your instinct is to practice discernment. This involves paying close attention to how decisions feel in your body and mind.

Do they come with a sense of peace and certainty, or are they fraught with tension and fear? Learning to listen carefully and reflect on these feelings can enhance your ability to make instinct-driven choices confidently.

Unlock Your Instincts: Harness the Power of Intuition with Trish Barillas

Are you ready to turn your instincts into your most trusted advisors? I'm Trish Barillas, and I'm here to guide you every step of the way. I can help you refine your intuitive skills, enabling you to make decisions with confidence and clarity. Don't let uncertainty dictate your path — learn to trust your gut and embrace the outcomes that align with your true self.

Schedule your complimentary 15-minute coaching session with me now or leave me a message to know more. Tap into the wisdom of your intuition and transform your approach to life's challenges and opportunities. I've already helped countless individuals harness their inner wisdom, and I'm ready to help you too.

Start your journey to intuitive mastery today and live the life you're meant to lead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I practice trusting my intuition?

To practice trusting your intuition, begin by noticing and reflecting on the physical sensations and mental insights that arise in different situations.

Create quiet moments in your day to connect with these feelings, use journaling to track and analyze your instinctual responses, and consider the outcomes when you've followed your gut feelings in the past. Regular mindfulness practice can also heighten your sensitivity to these internal cues.

How do I know if my intuition is right?

Determining if your intuition is right involves paying attention to the quality of your instinctual feelings. True intuition often comes with a sense of certainty and clarity, unlike fear-driven impulses that may feel more chaotic and unsettling. Reflect on past instances where you've trusted your gut — more often than not, these decisions tend to feel right in hindsight.

What does trusting your intuition feel like?

Trusting your intuition can feel like a quiet confidence or a deep knowing. It often doesn’t shout for attention; instead, it provides a steady sense of assurance that something is right or wrong, without the noisy interference of overthinking or emotional turmoil.

How can I make my intuition accurate?

Improving the accuracy of your intuition involves practice, awareness, and discernment. The more you tune into and act on your gut feelings, the better you'll become at distinguishing between genuine intuition and mere emotional reactions.

Ensuring you are physically and mentally healthy can also enhance your intuitive clarity, as stress and fatigue can cloud your inner guidance.


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