What is intuition? Much of what we call intuition is simply listening to the wisdom of our emotions. We all have access to this “deeper knowing.” Yet, for a number of reasons, we distrust or don’t read the messages we get from the emotional centers of our brain. Some of these reasons include:
1. We believe our rational brain is smarter than our “gut” feelings.
2. All of our lives people have told us, “Don’t let your heart rule your mind.”
3. We’ve been taught to have a “stiff upper lip” and not reveal our emotions because it makes us look weak.
4. We believe that people who are in touch with their emotions are “high maintenance” and a boring drain of energy on those around them.
THE RESULT: We create habits that block our ability to use emotional information when we make decisions and communicate with others.
BRAIN TIP: Whether the goal is to be a better manager, to be a better parent or to be a happier human, you must be present to what your heart is feeling and saying without editing from your head. Success and happiness requires you be fully alive and present, aware of your emotions and the messages they are trying to convey to you. Quit saying, “I knew better.” Instead, trust the “irrational” signals your body is giving you.
Acknowledge when your stomach churns, your throat tightens or your heart feels heavy. Fear is a warning signal. Your brain is telling you that you could be hurt. Is this true? Stop for a moment and explore the possibilities. Anger indicates a possible loss of something important to you. Determine what you think is at stake, which could range from your possessions to your reputation, and you will know what you need to ask for or protect. Sadness begs you to stop for a moment and allow your heart to heal. Once you acknowledge your emotions and give them a voice, you can freely choose the best course of action in the moment.
Know your emotions; befriend them. Allow your feelings to color your perception. People will marvel at your “intuition.” You will revel in the broader perspective.