Gut feelings, instincts, premonitions, hunches … all these words lean towards a deep ability that we all harbor inside called intuition.
The origin of the word intuition can be traced back to a Latin word known as intueri, which can be translated to mean “to look within” or “to contemplate.” If we fail to harness the powers of our intuition, we tend to only depend on our limited rational mind or output from others, which can easily steer us off the right path.
The highest form of intelligence – is what a host of scientists and researchers are telling us about our intuition. Therefore, intuition is no longer confined to the magical thought or new world; it is highly being perceived as a correct way to make choices and judgments.
Equally, Carl Jung – a Swiss psychiatrist also reckons that intuition is a strong force, he once penned that; “Intuition gives outlook and insight; it revels in the garden of magical possibilities.”
Intuition is a fundamental and basic life skill that we must all learn to grow and enhance; the earlier the better. Without intuition, we will get stuck in a maze of stringent, obsessive or anxious thoughts that will further restrict our ability to perceive things clearly. The less we can see, the likelier it is that we will make wrong choices.
When we put our intuition to good use, we will experience and feel absolute clarity or clear insight that will enable us to make wiser decisions in our lives. Below I will share two strategies on how intuition can help you make better life choices.
To gain aces to your intuition, it is important that your thoughts and mind are free of any worries and thinking. To achieve this, I recommend that you relax, meditate, listen to a soothing music and mindful breathing. Often times, you will find it difficult to listen to your intuition when you are stressed out or uncomfortable.
For instance, you may want to attempt taking deep breaths for a couple of minutes. To do this, you have to breathe in slowly through your nose and allow your stomach to expand gently. Alternatively, you can count four seconds as you intermittently breathe in and breathe out.Try using any method that relaxes your mind. The moment you are relaxed and calm, you can tap into your intuitive power.
2. FOCUS ON YOUR BODY SENSATION
In order to synchronize with your intuition, listen and focus on to the response from your body while you ponder upon a decision that you are about to make. For example, ask yourself questions about decisions you are pondering (I want to leave my job and start my own business, is this the best decision for me? This medical procedure may not help me, but is it the best decision for me?) The sensations that you will feel will be directly connected with the answer that you seek. You might feel warmth and an opening of your chest, or a tingling in your belly, arms or legs, or a smile or softness around your eyes.
Once you can discern the difference between feeling compelled, light, drawn towards open and feeling heaviness, tension, resistance, ill, and unsettled, you’ll be able to interpret the feeling that you are getting from your body.
Here are some things you can do to cultivate intuition:
One of the most beautiful benefits of listening to intuition is that the more you use this tool, the more available it becomes.
A steady dose of negative thoughts will poison the mind and weaken your abilities. How many times per day do your find yourself injecting your mind with debilitating thoughts, such as:
I’m a failure. Only the worst can happen in my life. Nothing goes right. Nobody likes me. I don’t know what to do. What if I lose my job? I shouldn’t be so lazy. I can’t remember anything. I can’t focus. I must do this perfectly. I’ll never meet the right mate. People are against me. Nobody’s life is bad as mind. Everyone has more fun than me. This is too much for me to handle. The whole world is mean. I have nobody. I made too many mistakes.
Your thoughts are driven by the way you feel about yourself and the level of your self-esteem, and it's these thoughts which turn into actions or deeds. The key factors of getting what you want out of life are the actions that you take. Therefore, if you are not reaching your goals and ambitions, take some time to carry out an assessment of how you actually feel about yourself.
Sometimes in order to reach your goals you have to take repeated action and continue doing so without giving in. The determination and drive you need to achieve success can be found in your high self-confidence and personal power.
Quiet the Inner Critic
On the other hand, if you are always criticizing yourself your self-worth will be low and this will make it difficult for you to take the correct actions enabling you to reach your ambitions. This connection between thoughts and actions is what stops you from getting going and is often the cause of surrender. The power of positive thinking was recognized thousands of years ago, and it’s still effective today.
Try This Every Day
So what can be done about your self doubt and how can you energize your actions? Positive thinking is a good place to start so give yourself a pat on the back for your lifetime achievements so far. When you switch your thoughts from negative to positive, you will be able to actually feel the increased energy level and the motivation to take action.
We have all excelled at something so make a list of your accomplishments and how they came about. What did you do to make them happen? What obstacles did you have to overcome to reach that particular goal? Acknowledging your success to date is a great way to boost your self-confidence. You can then use your list of wins as the foundation to build your success for the future.
The greatest killer of dreams is thoughts of a negative nature. If you constantly tell yourself you cannot do something, you will reduce your effectiveness and lower your self-esteem to the degree that you will never reach your goals. This is where your list of wins can make you feel positive when such nonconstructive thoughts come into your mind. Try telling yourself that you can do anything if you really want to. Positive thoughts like this will fill you with confidence, make you optimistic and you will then concentrate on the job in hand and make a success of it.
Plant positive seeds in your mind and the high esteem you feel will impel you to succeed by getting rid of any doubts or negative thoughts which are preventing you from living the life you dream about.
"Atychiphobia" is the fear of failure which eventually holds you back so strongly that you refuse to do anything unless your success is guaranteed. And there are no guarantees in life. The fear is so powerful it stops your from doing the things that can move your forward to achieve our goals.
Don’t Let Your Fear of Failure Keep You from Seeing Your Ultimate Success
Everybody has a fear of something, but one of the worst fears that can derail your chances of success is the fear of failure. The most important thing for any person to understand is that in order to reach higher levels of success and happiness, you will experience failure.
If you allow fear of failure to rule your life, your chances of success greatly diminish. Therefore, it's imperative to overcome this fear anytime you are presented with something new and challenging. You’ll thank yourself for it!
Failure is a natural part of life. Everybody makes mistakes. The mistakes you make shape your future. In fact, failure is the groundwork for success. You cannot be successful without making incorrect decisions or wading through problems that arise. It’s your failures that make success even sweeter when you attain it. Without some type of struggle, you don’t really gain anything from success.
The Cure is to Learn to Use Fear of Failure to Drive You To Success
You don’t have to see fear as a bad thing. You can use fear to propel you to your ultimate goal. Far too often, people use their fear to stop them from getting what they want. They use fear as an excuse. It’s this kind of attitude that keeps people from being successful in whatever venture they were striving for.
People are prone to making bad decisions, but they also worry about looking foolish and the consequences that can result from their decision. They don’t see failure as a challenge to do better – to try something else.
People are human beings – you will fail! You will not always make the right decision, even if it feels right. Use that fear of failure; use your mistakes to guide you into the next step in life. The wisdom you gain from the failure you have experienced is what helps you to get better. Use that knowledge to better yourself.
Persistence and Patience after Failures Are Keys to Success
Failures are going to happen along the path to success. The best things you can be is persistent and patient. Do not give up the moment you experience a setback. Do your know anyone who has never failed or made a mistake. Of course not! There is no living without making mistakes. According to statistics, the majority of entrepreneurs have failed in their first business venture, succeeding finally by the third try. It’s obvious that in order to have success, there must be failure too.
You have to understand what happened and learn from it to try again. What makes you different from others is how fast you stop feeling defeated and work towards your success.
What Failure Teaches You
Each time you experience failure, your fear of it becomes less and less. This decrease in fear enables you to take on greater challenges. Each time you fail, you become wiser, better and more powerful. Failure lets you know that what you’re doing isn’t working and you’d be better off trying something else. Mistakes are your chances to learn something – allow yourself to see the mistake another way.
Failure helps you to grow personally. You don’t grow without experiencing the good and bad things in life. Put yourself out in the world to experience what it has to offer. Remember, mistakes will happen. Try, try and try again – don’t allow the fear of failure to hinder you from the happiness you rightly deserve. See them as life’s adventures that will eventually end in success.
Break a Bad Habit and Instill a New One
If your goal is to break a bad habit (or two), you know that you have a difficult goal to accomplish. Why? Habits are a recurring, unconscious behavior – behavior you’ve picked up from repetition and continues to occur when you’re not aware that you’re doing it.
When a situation or thought happens, a strategy to deal with it occurs unconsciously. That means you never even realize that you’ve picked up a “habit.”
Since it’s an unconscious behavior, beating a habit via sheer determination and willpower is extremely hard to do. For instance, a cigarette smoker has a goal to quit smoking and the routine has been having a cup of coffee while smoking. While drinking a cup of coffee he suddenly realizes that he is smoking too. The smoker lit the cigarette without even thinking about it.
Bad habits can also manifest as negative emotions. Have you seen co-workers, friends, or family members who automatically become angry or moody whenever things don’t go their way? Do you find yourself often being critical about other people or events? These negative emotional responses could also be viewed as emotional bad habits.
One way to eliminate a bad habit is to implement a new habit. You will have to practice this new habit repeatedly until it becomes automatic. There is a common theory that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Twenty-one days appears to be a minute price to pay to overcome a bad habit and to experience the life time of benefits that come from a good habit.
3 Ways to Start the Process of Breaking a Bad Habit
Do you have a bad habit or two that you want to beat? Be aware that you’re not alone! Everybody has a bad habit they’d like to break. What can you do to start the process?
Practice Self Awareness
Self- awareness is about understanding your own particular needs, wants, failings, habits, and everything else that makes you who you are. This helps you to reinvent who you are, to make better decisions and get in touch with your feelings and thoughts. Pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. This is also called mindfulness. By practicing self-awareness, the unconscious automatic thoughts and behaviors become conscious, and this is where you make tremendous progress. This is where you can stop or change the habit instantly.
Decide To Focus On Each Habit Separately
In order to defeat your habits, try to focus on the worst one first. Trying to eliminate several at once could become overwhelming. Negative habits are self-destructive and embedded deep into your subconscious mind. You may choose to eliminate that habit, but it’s still going to rear its ugly head. Don’t become discouraged. Have compassion when you notice you're repeating the bad habit. Implementing changes will take time.
Get Support for New Habits
Seek out support to help increase your chances for success when instilling new habits. This can be a single person or a group that keeps you accountable and provides you with the encouragement to attain your goals. There’s no reason to create a formal support network. Talking with a friend or loved one may be enough to keep you on track.
Regardless of how many days it takes you, the focus should be to break the bad habit and continue with the new one that adds positive rewards to your life
Coach, Counselor, Author.