If you’ve ever been confused, stuck or overwhelmed, when your life has presented you with a critical decision, then you are not alone. Many of my clients come to me because they are grappling with significant choices. One of the reasons you get stuck is because you look at your situation from different perspectives. This can result in a range of options with no real insight into what is best for you. Much of my work is based on Carl Jung’s personality types. It was from Jung’s work that the Myers-Briggs Personality Type (MBTI) tool was developed. Although I use MBTI, Carl Jung’s enlightened understanding of how our personality works enable me to help my clients make better choices as they align with their hearts and mind. It shows the advantages of using your intuition for better decision-making.
What is Intuition?
Intuition, your inner compass, guides you through life’s maze, helping you make instinctive decisions based on your subconscious mind’s amalgamation of experiences and knowledge. Tapping into this latent resource can be transformative, particularly for leaders who need to make quick, yet effective, decisions in volatile situations.
Part of the decision-making process is gathering information. In simple terms, you usually collect information in two ways:
Through your senses
The first and most common way is through your senses. What you see, hear, touch, smell and taste. Predominately, you gather information through the first three, although sometimes all five senses, depending on the situation. If you prefer gathering information through your senses, you tend to like evidence, facts, and data. You are often described as a “down to earth” person, and you want to analyse the information you are receiving to inform your decision-making.
The second way you may gather information is through your intuition. Your intuition can work in two ways; it takes the data it sees through the senses and forms patterns and possibilities, which can be creative and involve using your imagination. The second way is to tap into insights, ideas and guidance, which can be described as coming from the unconscious part of your mind. When your intuition is tapping into your unconscious, it can give you illogical insights and wise guidance. This can sometimes be known as your “gut instincts” “higher self” or “collective unconscious.
We all can tap into both types of information, but as Jung and the Myers Briggs team have demonstrated, we have a preference for one or the other. Sometimes this can be a very strong preference, and sometimes it can be borderline.
You also have a preference about how you make decisions. The two decision-making functions are “thinking” and “feeling”. Some of us prefer to make decisions based on our feelings about the information, and others through our logical conclusions. Often, when we are confused, we alternate between the information we receive through our senses and that we are receiving through our intuition. For example, “I have a strong gut instinct to take that job, but the salary is less, and there seem to be no promotion prospects”.
For me, the best decisions are made when you feel good about the decision, and the logic of the information that informs your decision aligns with your beliefs. Part of the formula for doing that is to get in touch with your intuition and trust it. If you have a strong preference for sensing, then this can be uncomfortable but doable.
How to Test Your Intuition
Testing your intuition can help to build your confidence in this innate skill. Start by applying your intuition to minor decisions. Note the decision you made intuitively and then observe the outcome. This could be as simple as guessing who’s calling when your phone rings or predicting the outcome of a movie. Gradually, begin to use your intuition in more complex situations. It’s essential to remember that intuition is not about perfection; it’s about tuning in to your inherent knowledge. Over time, you’ll find your intuition growing stronger, with more accurate insights guiding your decisions. Remember, this is a learning process, and every step – whether seemingly successful or not – is a part of your intuitive development.
How to get in touch with your intuition
Over the years, I have found the following five ways to help people connect with their intuition.
It is giving you a holiday from the clamour of your daily thoughts and stream of information. It is finding the gap between your thoughts and staying there. Silent and observant, you can watch your thoughts without attaching yourself to them. It is allowing your intuition or your unconscious wisdom space. Through meditation, your intuition may come to you in different ways, either through thoughts, ideas, or an encounter with someone or something. Use meditation to be open to whatever comes up.
It is also about clearing your mind, but for me, it is more purposeful. You may have a problem or a situation where you’re unsure what to do or don’t know the solution. Ask clearly what the problem is, observe the problem from different angles and instead of actively thinking about the information, let thoughts come up. Often, you can be inspired by a solution, although sometimes, the emerging solution isn’t immediate. It can pop up at any time.
It is extremely powerful if you are disturbed or upset, even if you aren’t sure why. Write down how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way and then ask your intuition how you can look at the situation differently. Then write down different ideas until you find a perspective that feels good and you can believe. Writing is about telling the story of what is going on in your mind and allowing you to see it from a better perspective. The real trick is to ask your intuition how to perceive the situation so that you can be at peace with it. It’s not about repressing feelings, though. Feelings are a great emotional guidance system, and it’s important to let them come up and help inform the writing process.
4. Listen to Music
You are better aligned with your intuition or higher self when you are feeling good. You know you feel good when you are in touch with appreciation, gratitude, love and laughter. Listening to music you love can quickly help you get into those places which feel so good. A daily dose of music you love can align you with your intuition.
5. Going outside
Whether it’s fresh winter air or warm summer sunshine, getting away from the clutter of a busy workplace or a demanding home can clear your mind and give you a space that you might not otherwise give yourself. Staying in the present moment and clearing your mind while you are outside is a must. It’s no good getting out into the open and taking all your clamorous thoughts with you.
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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.
I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.