Collins Dictionary defines intuition as:
“The direct knowing or learnings of something without the conscious use of reasoning.”
Similarly, in Carl Jung’s typology, he described two ways you can take in information through your “Perceiving” mental functions:
- Sensing: Where you rely on your five senses and collect concrete facts and details based on reason and experience in the present.
- Intuition: Where you gather information as patterns or global wholes focusing on interrelationships and possibilities for the future.
While you can use both, you’ll likely lean on one as your “go-to” that you trust most.
How intuition and your instinctual tendencies differ.
Intuition, also known as your “sixth sense,” is connected to trust, i.e., your “gut reaction” to a person, thing, or situation. You’ll know you’ve ignored your intuition when you say things like, “Ugh, that was my initial choice, “I knew I should have…,” or “Something just felt off, and I wish I…”
Instinctual tendencies are innate impulses designed to keep you safe, no matter the consequences. It’s important to understand these because what was needed at one point in your life for “survival” may no longer be required or benefit you. When you’re in touch with what’s happening inside you, the more you can notice when you’re triggered and pause before reacting, which will help you to choose an appropriate response.
Develop your intuitive capabilities with curiosity and inquiry.
There are many positive outcomes to deepening your trust in your sixth sense, such as boosting your confidence, increasing clarity on what you think and feel, and strengthening your decision-making capabilities.
As Thich Nhat Hanh stated, “If you don’t communicate well with yourself, you cannot communicate well with another person.” To help you tune in, here are five ways you can enhance your intuition:
Evaluate your gut instincts.
For centuries, philosophers, scientists, psychologists, and doctors have been captivated by the brain and its many unknowns, specifically the connection between our brain and gut and the capacity to reshape and retrain parts of our brain to overcome behaviors and shift our mindset. Assess if, when, and how you tap or don’t tap into your gut instincts and reflect on how this has worked or hasn’t worked for you. If you usually defer to others to consider the facts or decide, experiment with “trusting your initial response” as a valuable data source to expand your perspective and increase your self-reliance.
Use the Zig Zag model.
Effective decision-making requires gathering information from various perspectives and applying sound evaluation methods. The Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator (MBTI) “Zig Zag Process” is a type-based approach to help you problem-solve and make better choices. You can make sure you’re considering all perspectives by using all four MBTI functions in a specific order – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling – and not just your preferred ones.
Access your emotional intelligence skills.
Also known as emotional quotient (EQ) skills, these are critical for self-leadership, interpersonal relationships, performance, and advancement. You can sharpen and balance out your EQ capabilities with purpose and practice. The Multi-Health Systems’ Emotional Quotient Inventory assessments (EQ-i 2.0® and EQ 360®) apply decades of emotional intelligence research in five composite areas—all interrelated—with their corresponding competencies, which also equate to an overall “Well-being/Happiness” score.
Get to know all aspects of yourself.
As Carl Jung said, “What you resist persists,” which is about acceptance. Deep Coaching, a therapeutic modality grounded in psychology, spirituality, and consciousness studies, is a terrific way to slow it all down and synch with what-is so you can let go of limiting beliefs and move forward. Also, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, which is based on the principle that the human system is comprised of multiple parts, is an empowering way to expand your intuitive capacity and work through issues and internal conflicts to feel more aligned and balanced.
Listen to your inner wisdom.
Start by centering and grounding yourself. Once you’re comfortable, breathe in and out to calm your nervous system and invite in silence. Concentrate on what’s happening inside you and connect to your innermost wisdom, which can appear in many ways, like thoughts, feelings, sensations, or simply as “knowing.” Ask yourself a critical question about whatever you’re contemplating, such as, “What do I know to be true about X?” and listen to the response.
Accepting all aspects of yourself takes time, commitment, and kindness, so create a habit of listening to yourself without judgment. As you gain more insight, you can apply that knowledge to communicating and connecting with others.
Activate your best through self-leadership.
As a lifelong student, certified professional coach, and consultant, activating the best in others through self-leadership, interpersonal relations, and team dynamics are passions of mine. My approach is personalized and customized, tapping into various assessments, disciplines, modalities, and techniques. To learn more, schedule a call with me.