As a business owner, I’ve often counted on books to help me with decision-making. But when I hear a friend or associate say, “Go with your gut,” or “trust your intuition” I stop reading and start listening for my intuition to speak. But how, exactly, can you recognize when your intuition speaks.
Here, I’ve borrowed some ideas from Jack Canfield, and I’ve thrown in some of my own experiences.
Be aware of the still, small voice
There’s a great passage in scripture. In 1 Kings 19:12 it says:
“… but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice.”
You might not believe in scripture, or you might not feel that intuition is “the Lord.” Okay. But try to believe in that still, small voice, because it’s in all of us.
We often blow it off, however, because we expected something louder or more dramatic.
Be aware of images
Jack Canfield says, “you may receive visual messages, such as images that appear in quick flashes or visions that unfold slowly, like a movie.”
Have you ever had a dream where there was a vivid picture of something? Is that perhaps your intuition speaking to you?
Dreams are generated by our subconscious. I’ve had a few vivid, riveting dreams in my life, and in each case, it was my intuition moving me toward some critical action.
There are entire books — probably libraries of books — on the interpretation of dreams. Pursue more information if you wish. Dreams are one way you can recognize when your intuition speaks.
Be aware of hunches, thoughts and words
Sometimes, I enter into a dialogue with what I hope is my higher self.
- Was my imagination triggered by some word or phrase that I bumped into? Perhaps I was reading, and a word or phrase resonated in my mind that raised more questions for me or made me feel like moving forward with something. That’s probably intuition.
- Did I hear the same message from multiple sources in a short period of time? Did a little bell go off in my head each time I heard or saw that message?
- Is this an idea that I’d never come up with on my own? If so, I’m willing to bet it came from the Universe (or the Divine).
Differentiate between fear and intuition
With a quick Google search, you’ll find several good articles describing the difference between fear and intuition. I have one guiding light.
Is this a feeling of restriction, or expansion?
When my ego, my self-doubt, or my negative self-talk kicks in, it’s a feeling of restriction. That’s probably just a fear. And I’m running away from a decision for fear of consequences.
When my curiosity, my intrigue, or my excitement kick in, it’s a feeling of expansion. There, I’m moving toward an opportunity that helps me to become a better version of myself.
Be aware of physical sensations
Canfield suggests that intuition may “speak” from one of our senses. For example, having “goose bumps, discomfort in your gut, a feeling of relief, or a sour taste in your mouth” can be a way to recognize when your intuition speaks.
So yes, some sensations might be a reaction to being startled, or feeling frightened of something that is indeed dangerous. But maybe it’s just feeling anxious about something harmless.
But physical sensations such as these are often an indicator of our internal emotions.
Tune into emotions
Years ago, I was reading articles on how to interview job candidates. One article, however, didn’t give the usual “how to” for creating better questions.
Instead, it said: Pay attention to how you feel when the candidate walks in the room. Then, pay attention to how you feel when the candidate exists.
I thought it was a bit strange, but since then, I’ve used this technique multiple times with multiple candidates.
When the candidate walks in my office and I have an immediate sense of calm and control, I know that’s my intuition kicking in and saying, “Put this candidate on the shortlist.”
Conversely, when I have a sense of uneasiness, or feeling like something is “off,” I know that’s my intuition kicking in and saying, “Nope.”
Keep doing it. It takes a while to recognize when your intuition speaks. But soon, you will prove to yourself that it works.
However goofy it may sound at first, believe me, it has worked for dozens of candidates I’ve interviewed.
Don’t underestimate this technique.
Notice some inner wisdom or certainty or “settling”
Sometimes intuitive messages are simply a deep sense of knowing and certainty. If you’ve ever felt that you knew something to be true in the depths of your heart or soul, chances are it was a message from your intuition.
Learn more about accessing your intuition and decision-making
Undoubtedly, intuition can be very helpful in decision-making. But it’s useless if we can’t recognize the voice of intuition when it speaks.
That said, books on decision-making are also helpful. You might want to consider:
- Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
- Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
- Decision Power: How to Make Successful Decisions With Confidence by Harvey Kaye
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, how confident do you feel that you can recognize when your intuition speaks to you?
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.