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How to Use Your Intuition to Make the Best Decisions

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

A Quote From Confusion To Clarity, The Book

What is intuition? How often do you trust and follow your intuition? How can you strengthen your intuition and harness it to serve you?

Intuition has been defined in many ways including: inner wisdom, the voice of your higher self, the voice of God, a gut feeling, and inner guidance, to name a few. The definition of intuition that best resonates with my own intuitive sense of the word, is the one by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, who describes intuition as “being in touch with the wisdom of the body.”

According to Marla Mitchell, a professional spiritual and medical intuitive, “Everyone has intuition. The more you acknowledge it, the stronger and more accurate it gets.”

How do you acknowledge your intuition? For starters, many people experience intuition as a feeling in part of their body. I experience mine at times in my solar plexus and at other times, I hear a definite knowing, a yes or no, with regard to the best direction to take in a specific situation. What feelings or words do you notice as a truth signal that guides you?

In a world where we have often been taught to value rational thinking and information that comes to us from outside sources over our own inner-knowing., how often do you trust and follow your inner-truth signals? What makes intuition confusing is that sometimes we allow our thoughts to get in the way and talk us out of what we sense. This occurs when our intuition is not strong enough to direct our thinking or we feel unready to act upon what our intuition is telling us. We need a balance of both intuition and rational thinking to make the wisest decisions.

Hindsight being what it is, how often have you looked back and said, “I should have followed that hunch I had about such and such?” Intuition can help you make decisions in every area of your life, from business and relationship decisions, to what to eat for lunch. Steve Jobs called it, “more powerful than intellect.” Intuition is even used by the U.S military. It has helped troops to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.

Spending quiet time alone and engaging in mindfulness meditation which stills the mind and trains it to focus only on the present moment, can help you hear and adhere to the voice of your intuition. Learning to clear your mind without focusing on anything in particular can have a similar effect. Paying attention to your dreams which draw information from the subconscious can also provide powerful intuitive direction with regard to handling situations in your daily affairs.

Tools to Strengthen Your Intuition

David Stevens, professional intuitive and founder of Yoga of the Mind suggests doing a blind reading.

  1. Sit down at a writing table with three blank index cards.
  2. Think about a decision you are currently grappling with and write three solutions for it, one on each card.
  3. Turn the cards blank-side-up, shuffle them and place them face-down on a table.
  4. Run your hands over the cards and notice the feeling of each card.
  5. Assign a percentage to each card based on how powerfully you’re drawn to it.
  6. Turn the cards over and take note of the answer with the highest percentage.

Another fun way to practice strengthening your intuition is to take two index cards and write yes on one, and no on the other. Turn them blank side up and ask a yes or no question while running your hand over the top of each card. Turn the card that you feel most drawn to and follow through with the answer.

What is your experience with using your intuition? How do you experience the voice of your intuition and from where does it arise?

35 Responses to How to Use Your Intuition to Make the Best Decisions

  • jbutler1914 says:

    I listen to intuition or gut feeling a lot. It keeps me from making mistakes and staying on the right path.

  • With regard to intuition, hindsight is such a good thing that you’ve got to wonder why we don’t notice the trend. I’ve learned to listen better and sooner.

  • I think intuition is a sub-conscious collection of all the information you know about a subject that your mind retrieves. We call it intuition but it I believe it’s also knowledge-based. It’s hard to have intuition about how to build a house when you don’t have a clue. It’s another to have intuition at the bridge table and intuit the opponent’s strategy. That’s because you’ve experienced the situation before and intuit what might possibly happen.

    • I believe intuition also consists of tapping into the collective subconscious meaning that you need not have directly experienced something before in order to use your intuition in its regard. That said, I don’t think it is always knowledge based although it can be at times. Thank you for your comment Jeannette

  • Arleen says:

    I have seen over the years that using my intuition has worked. When I doubt it and then I think I should have used my intuition. My children say they think I am a witch because I can predict things. I just tell them I used my institution. I think it is getting in touch with yourself.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better

  • bolaaka says:

    I’ve been guided by my intuition and 9 out of 10 times they are correct, but we can easily doubt ourselves!

  • Eve Koivula says:

    I’ve learned to trust my intuition when it warns me about someone I just met for the first time. That has never failed me.

  • Michele I find intuition to be a key part of my business. I’ve been at it for 2 years almost now and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to listen to my own gut. If I get a bad feeling about a client or a good feeling about a particular opportunity, I listen. Like you said, our intuition is always correct. We just need to learn to listen to it.

  • bindu saju says:

    I doubt my intution all the time. Thanks for the suggestions to improve it.

  • Meredith says:

    Such an interesting concept. I think intuition can also be defined as “what you know, without knowing it” and this reminds me of the book ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoyed it and it made me think of things a little differently.

  • As I get older I pay more attention and use my intuition to guide me. It never lead in the wrong direction and because of it I have learned to not make rushed decisions. In the past, there have been so many time when I have said “I should have listened to myself.”

  • Donna Janke says:

    Interesting post. I like the exercises with index cards to help strengthen intuition. I will try that. I get better at trusting my intuition as I age, but I still have a ways to go.

  • Carolyn Field says:

    What a fascinating post Michele! I also think intuition is important and find that for me it is particularly strong in yes/no situations and in changes of direction. I don’t know if it comes from me or to me from elsewhere.

  • I was a Private Detective for years, and all I can say is intuition is vital. I think you can improve your intuition, but what you have you are born with. You either have it, or you don’t. Those with it, know when to trust it. Those without a strong one, do not know how to follow what they do have, or are unable to distinguish intuition and beliefs, which are different.

    • I find your comment regarding intuition fascinating, William. It never occurred to me that someone could be born without intuition. My intuition is strong at times and quite weak at other times. I know my intuition is something I can and intend to improve.

  • Laila Raza says:

    I have always believed in intuition. It grew stronger when I lost marks in exams for not following my first gut feeling.

  • Intuition is one of the most powerful guiding forces we have. Call it your “gut” or a “feeling” and listen. You are so right that it grows with practice! It’s like a “soul muscle” and needs tending to be strong. I like Michele Harvey’s idea of giving it a value. When you do that, it becomes much clearer.

  • Ken Dowell says:

    At a time when much of the rest of the world is focused on data, it is refreshing to hear someone counsel reliance on intuition.

  • Pat Amsden says:

    I’ve always believed in intuition and as Susan says, often your first gut impulse is the right one. I love the tools you’ve given us to test and strengthen our intuition. Thank you.

  • Beth Niebuhr says:

    I tend to make my decisions based on intuition. However, if someone gives me clear evidence that I am wrong, I will abandon my earlier thoughts.

  • Susan Cooper says:

    Sounds like an interesting exercise in using your intuition. Usually when I go with my intuition or gut instinct I’m pretty spot on with my decisions. Its when I second guess my intuition and change course I tend to have a problem.

    • Interesting observation regarding intuition, Susan. It reminds me that in test taking, the first answer you think is right, usually is. If you second guess it and change your answer, your changed response is usually incorrect.

  • Tim says:

    Gut feelings and intuition have always been a part of my life and for the most part I think they have served me well. There is nothing worse that having to think back and say “If Only”. The term gut feeling is accurate as it usually churns when I am making a blunder.

  • I love the tools you give to hone into our intuition. Sounds like a good place to start. Thanks for an insightful post:-)

  • Kire Sdyor says:

    I rely heavily on my intuition, sixth-sense, gut feel, whatever it is. Never thought to practice strengthening it. May have to try this.

  • Good tips for strengthening your intuition, Michele. But I’m more of the mind that the exercises strengthen our confidence in following intuition. Indeed, it’s a trust issue. And often, we’re afraid that if the answer is “no” or the feeling is negative, we can’t trust what we “know” or act upon it.

    • Thanks for your comment regarding intuition, Vernessa. I believe we face the trust issue you refer to when the answer is ‘no’ because it requires us to change our thinking in a way that may seem bigger than we are at the time. I had this experience myself some time ago when I received a clear inner-knowing about something and rather than act on it, I ignored it. Eventually what I realized came to pass and I wished I had saved myself all the time that it took, by following my gut right away.

  • Lenie says:

    I strongly believe in intuition and follow it. My husband used to laugh because I would say, let’s go for ice-cream, so and so is coming over and I don’t want to be here when he comes or similar things. I did notice though that when a lot of other things are going on, intuition seems to disappear. I will be trying that exercise, sounds like fun.

  • Catarina says:

    Personally have strong intution mainly when I fall asleep and wake up. Sometimes I even dream things that happen. First time was a week before my father died. So, believe me, I don’t want to develop my intution because you get both positive and negative in-sights. No choice:-)

    Having said that the insights I get, above all, when I fall asleep or wake up are fantastic and have been really helpful.

  • andleeb says:

    I believe in intuition and I love that quote related to it. I think that intuition is a voice of God and our heart that is always having a check on us and try to guide us.
    But intuition can not always be true. I trust many of my intuitions and was always guided best by them.
    I loved the idea of cards and will try it someday. There are many ways to learn much through intuition and meditation is a nice way to enhance it as well.

  • I have learned to trust my intuition over time, yet I also accept the fact that it isn’t always correct….but what in life offers a 100 per cent success? I agree…for me it can be a physical feeling too! But I love the yes and no index cards…I think I will try that!!

    • I think our intuition is always correct although we sometimes tend to sense it as a percentage. For example, sometimes we feel an answer that is a 70% yes and 30% no. From there, we need to debrief the yes and no, in order to hone in and achieve greater clarity regarding our perception and what feels true for us, since things are not always black and white and sometimes need to be broken down. Thanks for your comment, Jacquie.

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