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how do you know it’s your intuition?

Popular psychology and new ageism tell us that it’s important to trust our gut or follow our intuition, and it is.

But when you’re in the middle of it, weighing the pros and cons, how do you know it’s your intuition doing all the talking?

The amygdala

There’s a part of our brain called the amygdala, or the reptilian brain. This is the part that’s focused on keeping us safe. It finds safety through predictability. It’s kept us on this planet as a species because when we’re heading out for some hunting or gathering, we can predict that we will likely survive the day.

But that subroutine that kept us safe was built on our assessment of the future based on what’s happened in the past. This assumes that how we have defined that future is what will come to pass, even though it hasn’t happened yet.

It also assumes that we haven’t learned from past events, which will make us behave in the same way. It assumes our recollection of the past events. The stories we told ourselves about the past events and how we gave them meaning were true.

Our amygdala runs on its own battery, so we can’t turn it off. It’s the reason we choose to stay in our comfort zone instead of growing through our imagined fears. Everybody has this safety subroutine, which, for the most part, doesn’t keep us safe, it keeps us stuck.

When considering a new possibility, two routines will be running. Our reptilian brain will be telling us to stay where we are, stay safe, don’t try, and don’t trust.

Then there will be a still, quiet voice that says, “Grow.” We need to feel it. Our safety voices are usually louder and more urgent as it’s often a sense or feeling.

The truth comes out when we make that decision. If we trusted our intuition, there’d be a feeling of lightness, a sense of knowing, and relief. There’s often some fear or excitement there too. But the overarching sense is that release. What matters is knowing the difference between the two.

recognize your intuitive urge

Think back to a time when you decided, and it was the best thing for you. Recall what you were thinking and feeling as you considered your options. Find those two voices. The still quiet, intuitive voice and the urgent, louder safety voice.

Do the same thing for a different decision that you made that was the right decision for you. 

Have you found those voices? As you think about that situation, seek those voices out. You’re beginning to recognize your inner voice, which is run by the amygdala and your intuitive voice.

It’s brilliant at its job of coming up with solutions. The problem comes when we use it instead of our intuition to seal the answer.

Do you want to know how to use the power of both to problem solve or create opportunities?

how to make better decisions

  1. Take a moment to reflect on something that’s been on your mind lately. Frame the circumstance as a question and write that question on a piece of paper.

2. Find somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed and get quiet. Hold your question in your mind and allow your mind to begin gathering possible solutions. 

3. Write on a piece of paper as they come to mind. Keep doing this until it’s quiet. Then ask your intuition: “What don’t I yet see?” Get quiet. and notice what comes up. 

Once this is done, thank your mind. Seek the intention of allowing your higher self, or however you like to refer to him or her, to consider the possibilities.

acknowledge your mind

There will come a time in the process where your mind will start acting up. When this happens, just acknowledge it and be grateful for the power of your mind. It’s only your mind trying to keep you safe. Whatever that means, keep reflecting on the question throughout the day and ask yourself to work on it through the night while you’re sleeping. 

Often, you’ll wake up knowing the answer, or it will come to you while you’re in the shower or during quiet time. The important thing is that you create the space of silence so intuition can come through. 

Remember, you recognize when your intuition and your mind is speaking. Notice how you feel and trust your intuition.