Tune in to your Inner Guidance
And Stop Doubting Yourself
Your life is in your hands. The big question is what will you create? What will you do with your time, energy, attention, focus, and capacity fordreaming?
You may have spent many years moving unconsciously through life, actively ignoring your gut feelings and inner guidance. The reason for this is that you have grown up in a culture and world that has been teaching you, every step of the way, to ignore what you know is true for you in order to conform, please, and comply with the will of others. Even those well-meaning family members who were a source of great support and love were part of the programming that you experienced from your earliest moments in this life.
5 reasons we ignore our intuition
- Being right at all costs. The conditioning you received taught you that it is better to be right than wrong. You were rewarded throughout your life and education for learning what others wanted you to do and doing just that. This can lead to a very deep sense of self-doubt as years pass and you continue to ignore your own inner guidance. This is why even when you make a decision and realize it was wrong, it can feel nearly impossible to change course.
- Doing it for someone else. We all grow up wanting the people we love to love us back. And we learn what they like, starting with our adult care givers/parents, and we start behaving as they like so they will love us. So, a lot of us make choices to do something because we think that it will gain us love and approval. But again, this leads down a slippery slope. How can we be happy if we are ignoring what our gut is telling us and going against our true feelings? Of course we cannot. At least not long term.
- Believing we are supposed to. This is another biggie for me, and for a lot of other people. Again, we can go back to our upbringing for this one. As kids up to age 7 or so, we are sponges, absorbing everything we see, hear, observe, and feel. And a lot of what we absorb are the beliefs of the people and society we live with/in. I still catch myself with this one!
- Because it is easier than doing the work. What I mean by this is that there are a lot of choices we make simply because it creates a nice distraction from our real soul work. I was a master at this one, too.
- Doubting yourself. This is a big one and might actually be a summary of all of the above. Self-doubt is an insidious state that occurs when we feel one way and think the opposite. We sense something is not a good idea but instead of trusting that feeling we let our logical mind, our ego, reason its way to a decision that seems like a good idea but feels all wrong. We doubt our intuition, we feel bad about the decision we made from our ego-mind...and the cycle continues.
Three tips for listening to your intuition
Now about this time you are probably wondering why I did not follow my gut feelings, and what you can do to avoid similar behaviors.
You may be recalling moments in your own life when you felt your intuition telling you something. Or maybe you felt it in your body like I did. And it may be there are several occasions that come to mind. The story above was not an anomaly. It was just one of many situations I can recall with a similar theme. And they are all equally vivid to me because they were pivotal moments when my connection to my soul was very clear, guidance was being given, and I shut it down.
It wasn’t until mid-life when I finally started to listen. Here are my tips for how to hear, listen to, and follow your own intuitive guidance.
- Make the decision to do it and say it out loud. Really, I mean it. Find a time and place where you feel comfortable and say, in your words, that you are going to listen to your intuition and do your best to hear exactly what it is telling you, and, when you can, to follow it. This is a big deal so do not blow it off.
NOTE: it is really helpful to bring up some strong emotion with this. For example, recall the feeling of ignoring your intuition, the discomfort, and surrender it. Say you are done feeling that way, and you are ready to listen.
- OK, so now the trick is listening. And it is really helpful to get as much practice as you can with this. So any time you make a decision, no matter how big or small, ask your intuition to tell you how it feels. Be playful about it. What color shirt are you going to wear? What are you going to have for breakfast? Which road will you take to work. Make a habit of checking in with your gut on everything! This gets you ready for when a big decision comes along.
- My last tip for listening to your gut is to check your feelings. This is a really good down and dirty way to tell if your decisions/thoughts/ideas are in alignment with your intuition. How does it make you feel when you think about it. Look at my example above. I felt sick to my stomach every time I thought “I have to go, we are doing this, pull yourself together.” That was the clearest of clear signs that I was NOT listening to my intuition...that I was ignoring my gut feeling...and I was out of alignment with who I truly was.
Another great way to connect to your intuition
Soul scribbles are one of my favorite tools for getting a quick realignment with my intuition. You can get complete instructions on how to soul scribble here: /how-to-figure-out-what-you-want-in-life-soul-scribble/
Looking for more?
For another great read on intuition, check out this article on goodtherapy.com.