Benefits: Gain an understanding of intuition’s role in your life.
So That You Can: Learn to trust your intuition and set yourself free to live the fulfilling life you were meant to live.
Go From Inspiration to Action With the Worksheet Below!
Why Learning to Trust Your Intuition Will Set You Free
Freedom — it’s what we all want and deserve, right? Freedom to make our own choices and create the fulfilling life we were meant to live. Yet, how many of us actually feel like we’ve been set free? I’m guessing that you don’t, or you wouldn’t be reading this. And that realization is a sign that you haven’t learned to trust your intuition — the only thing that can set you free.
It’s also a sign that you might be looking for your personal freedom in all the wrong places. Let’s face it; most of us tend to look for freedom outside of ourselves. We expect it to be granted to us by a partner, an employer, or an institution of some sort. But, as Terence McKenna once said, to believe that anyone but yourself can lead you to the light is ludicrous. Meaning, the only way you are going to find freedom is by learning to trust your intuition.
And, wouldn’t you love a little freedom from that nagging voice in your head? You know the voice I’m talking about — the one that says you shouldn’t trust your intuition. The voice that says you’re not good enough; that it’s better to play it safe than risk failure. Well, guess what? Learning to trust your intuition will quiet that voice so that you can free yourself from it!
So, how do you make this mindset shift? How do you learn to trust your intuition? You do it one step at a time. And you’re going to take your first step today by considering:
- What your intuition is,
- The purpose your intuition is meant to serve, and
- How you can use your intuition to set yourself free.
Your Intuition Wants to Be Heard
You might be asking yourself, “How do I know if I’m trusting my intuition or not?” Well, chances are you’re not. Most adults have lost the natural ability to listen to their intuition, and it takes a lot of practice to regain this skill. And, yes, I know it sounds a bit silly to think that we have to practice listening to ourselves, but it’s true, isn’t it? Because we’ve become very good at ignoring our intuition.
That’s why your intuition has to act up to get your attention. It may even throw a tantrum, just as a petulant toddler would. These tantrums will cause physical and psychological disruptions in your body, and you’ll be left with two choices. You can either do your best to ignore your intuition, which will only lead to more trouble. Or, you can really listen to what your intuition is saying, beneath all the noise, and take a step toward trusting it.
You’ll know that you’re not listening — that you’re ignoring your intuition — when:
- You hesitate to make decisions,
- You lack self-confidence, and/or
- You feel full of regret.
And who doesn’t experience at least one of these thought patterns every day, right? But, to really figure out whether or not you’re listening to your intuition, you need to understand what your intuition is in the first place.
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Meet Your Intuition
Our bodies are designed to take care of themselves; it’s our minds that get in the way. What do I mean by this? I’ll answer that question, but, first, we need to understand a few basics about the way our brains operate.
Psychologists and neuroscientists tend to agree that our brains operate on three levels of consciousness, or awareness:
- The Conscious Mind contains your individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, and environments (definition from Verywell Mind). It holds the information you are focusing on right now. You can think of it as the visual element of the app you are currently using on your phone or computer.
- The Subconscious Mind is the part of your brain that holds the information you can easily bring into your awareness when it is needed or wanted. You can think of it as an app that is closed but that you can easily open and use. For example, you can pull your phone number into your conscious mind when someone asks for it, but it’s not something you’re always aware of. Or, when you watch a movie in which a loved one dies, you can pull the feelings you had when a loved one of yours died into your conscious mind and feel those feelings again.
- The Unconscious Mind is in charge of your body’s automatic actions and responses, such as your heart beating normally (action) or your heart racing when you are frightened (response). It’s also in charge of all the information that is not readily available to be brought into consciousness. This information is “stored away” either because it’s too painful or because it no longer serves any purpose. You can think of your unconscious mind as the operating system on your phone. You have no idea how it works or what it’s doing, but it’s driving the app you are using.
Now, back to the statement I made at the beginning of this section — our bodies can take care of themselves, but our minds get in the way. In other words, your unconscious mind knows how to take care of your body and your psyche. But, your conscious mind wants to be in control so it gets in the way, which throws you out of balance, and makes your life more complicated than it needs to be. Right?
Okay, but what does all of this have to do with your intuition? And learning to trust your intuition? To answer these questions, we need to define intuition. According to Oxford Languages:
[Your intuition is] the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning
Which means that your intuition resides in your unconscious mind. And, as we’ve already established, your unconscious mind knows how to take care of you. It knows how to set you free! Because your unconscious mind is . . .
The Ultimate Problem Solver
Studies have shown that your conscious mind can only consider about three variables at a time. And that’s where your unconscious mind — or intuition — comes into play, as the ultimate problem solver.
Your unconscious mind’s purpose is to work behind the scenes, processing a multitude of variables that your conscious mind simply can’t handle all at once. As Alan Watts observed:
It is within the power of the human brain to comprehend, because of its immense complexity, in a kind of un- or subconscious way, what the surface consciousness [conscious mind] can never grasp.
Let’s consider a simple example to prove this theory out. You’re learning to play hockey (my step-son plays hockey, so that’s always the first sport to come to my mind ?). First, you have to learn to skate. Next, you learn to skate with a stick in your hand. Then, you work on puck handling, passing, and shooting. Eventually, you learn to check and be checked. And, along with all of that, you have to learn to take direction from your coaches and teammates. There are a lot more than three variables in play here, right?
That’s why you practice skating, stick handling, passing, shooting, etc., until those skills become second nature — they become part of your intuition, or unconscious mind. That’s how you can focus on the play, the opposing team member rushing at you, and the screams of your coaches from the bench. Your conscious mind can process those variables because everything else is happening behind the scenes.
Now, let’s consider what would happen if you started bringing more variables into your conscious mind. You start thinking about how you’re skating. You start hesitating to pass the puck. You see someone skating at you, ready to check, and you flinch. What’s happening?
You’re interfering with your intuition. And, as I said above, when your conscious mind interferes with your unconscious mind, you throw yourself out of balance, and make your life more complicated than it needs to be. In this example, you suddenly turn into a horrible hockey player.
Before we move on, take a moment to pause, and really consider how many times a day you allow your conscious mind to interfere with your unconscious mind — how many times you fail to trust your intuition. Then we can talk about . . .
How Do You Set Yourself Free?
It’s pretty simple, really (but not easy). You have to allow your brain to work in the way in which it was designed to work, and you do this by acting without choosing. Because freedom is the state of not having to choose.
Whoa! Hold on here! That sounds really scary, right? And maybe even a bit dangerous. Which is exactly why most people will never achieve true freedom — defined by Merriam-Webster as:
The quality or state of being free, such as, the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
Now, let’s use this definition within the context of what we’re discussing today. You become free when you no longer see the “necessity” of choosing before you act; you no longer allow your conscious mind to “coerce” you into choosing; and you no longer feel “constrained” by the limited choices your conscious mind is able to offer you.
You might be wondering how you can have freedom without making choices because most of us believe in of freedom of choice. But, as Alan Watts tells us, choice is not freedom. Choice is the act of hesitation we take before making a decision. That is not freedom, and it’s actually an impediment to true freedom.
True freedom lies in trusting your intuition enough to go where it takes you. Now, of course, you do have to feed your intuition sometimes. You have to learn, practice, study, etc. But you will never be able to learn, practice, or study enough. There will always be more that you could know. So, when your intuition tells you that you have enough data, you need to act (pass the puck so to speak) without choosing to act.
Don’t We Have to Make Choices?
Although this all might make sense on a philosophical level, it seems to make no sense in our day-to-day lives, right? Because you have to make choices, don’t you?
I don’t have the answer to that question, yet, but let’s consider it through an example that we can all relate to. You’re at a restaurant. You’re scanning through the menu of oh-so-tempting, unhealthy options, and then you spot the healthy option. The one that you know you should choose because you will be better off in the long run. You hem and haw, and then you probably find a way to justify choosing one of the unhealthy options.
Now, let’s take the same situation, and assume that you have learned to trust your intuition. Your intuition would tell you to choose the healthy option because it knows how to take care of your body. So, you wouldn’t even scan the menu for the oh-so-tempting, unhealthy options. You would act without choosing and go directly to the healthy options, and you would feel free from hesitation and the stress that accompanies it.
Or would you? Because there’s bound to be more than one healthy option. So you’re still going to have to make a choice, it would seem. But, no, you don’t. Your intuition will tell you which option you would enjoy most. Don’t overthink or overanalyze. Just go with the option that catches your eye first and act.
Yes, I realize this is a silly example, but we have to start somewhere, right?
Practice listening to and trusting your intuition, but start small.
First, notice when you are hesitating, and then ask yourself why you’re hesitating. When you do this consistently, you’ll start to gain awareness and see patterns. And, I bet you’ll find that you usually hesitate to act because you’re afraid of an unknown, and your conscious mind is telling you to pick the known. Because it can easily sort through the few variables it needs to determine that the known option is the safe option.
Then, once you’ve become very aware of your hesitations and your motivations for hesitating, it’s time to start going after the unknowns that you’ve been avoiding. Just act! And trust that your intuition will put you in a situation that you can handle. Sure, you might experience some discomfort and unease, but that’s all part of the personal development process. It will get easier with repetition.
Finally, empower your conscious mind to envision the future that you want to create — one in which you have learned to trust your intuition. Your conscious mind lives in the past. It makes decisions based solely on the data it has collected from prior events. But, by setting a clear intention (i.e. I’m going to act rather than choose.) and then attaching an elevated emotion to that intention (i.e. I feel free, happy, and fulfilled.), you can emotionally embrace that future before it even occurs. And that will empower your intuition to take the lead over your conscious mind.
Dr. Joe Dispenza does an amazing job of explaining how “living in the future” works. My explanation barely scratches the surface, so be sure to check out the video that I’ve linked below.
If you’re ready to take action by learning to trust your intuition, be sure to check out the worksheet I created for you. It will encourage you to sort through the ideas introduced in this essay so that you can go from inspiration to action.
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And until next time . . . STAY CURIOUS!
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Sources & Inspiration
Carl Jung: How The Media // Internet Reinforces Shadow Projection | Psychology & Philosophy, posted to YouTube by Thoughts on Thinking on 10.20.20
Reject Authority, Trust Yourself – Terence Mckenna, posted to YouTube by After Skool on 10.27.20
Alan Watts ~ Getting Your Brain To Work For You, posted to YouTube by TheSpiritualLibrary on 5.03.20
The Choice We All Have , But Only a Few Apply It | Joe Dispenza, posted to YouTube by Motivation Madness on 10.05.20
The Impact of Growing Up In a Domination Culture (w/ Riane Eisler), posted to YouTube by Thom Hartmann Program on 8.08.19
What Is Consciousness?, Kendra Cherry, Verywell Mind, updated 5.13.20
Freud’s Model of the Human Mind, Journal Psyche