Unlocking Intuitive Intelligence: How You Can Leverage Your Intuition to Make Better Decisions.
August 10, 2023
I recently discovered Manifest – a Netflix series that instantly got me hooked.
Partly because, it focusses on Intuition – an element that I’m fascinated by and rely on heavily in my coaching.
The series sets up the story of a plane that mysteriously lands, years after taking off!
And after landing, each passenger experiences increased intuitive abilities ie “callings” that helps them go on to solve crimes and be there at the right place and right time for other people.
It made me realize that these hunches are not very different from the gut feelings we receive in our day today lives.
Have you ever been to dinner with a friend and everything seems normal until suddenly you find the urge to ask, “What’s wrong? Is there something you need to tell me?”
Or you wake up and feel like you need to withdraw some of your investments that day, just to find out later that the market crashed right after.
Or as a coach, you spontaneously checked in with your client – and later found out that the timing was really important for some reason?
The truth is I’ve personally experienced these hunches. And many of the coaches and leaders I work with have experienced this too, even if they are sometimes shy to admit it.
In today’s newsletter, I am going to break a few common myths about Intuition and a few simple ways to tap into it as a coach, leader or entrepreneur.
Is Intuition Even Real?
Most people aren’t able to tap into their intuition because they believe it’s simply a guessing game where they got lucky.
They believe that without verifiable data or facts we cannot actually “know” or make decisions.
But, what if conventional knowing is just one form. And “just knowing” was another?
Here’s a quick way to test your own belief about Intuition.
Suppose someone says it’s going to rain heavily today. You ask, “how do you know?”
The answers might be;
– I heard it on the weather report this morning
– The sky looks super cloudy
– I can smell it in the air.
– I can just feel it in my bones
– I just know.
When you look at this list of answers, you might ask yourself “which source do I think is right?”
But a better question to ask yourself is, “which source do I trust?”
Would you believe someone who says “I just know” as much as another who says, “I read the weather report this morning?”
We are so trained to only rely on concrete evidence as a form of knowing that we forget there are other forms of knowing that we tap into all the time, consciously or unconsciously in order to make decisions everyday.
Intuition is that feeling or sense of knowing something without the need to reason or question it. It is a high level pattern recognition that our brain has developed over the years to make quick decisions and keep us safe.
When we experience something directly (through experience) or indirectly (through books or podcasts), our subconscious mind takes notes and files it away. Later when we experience something similar, our brain instantly recognizes this pattern and uses this intelligence to help us make quick decisions – almost without us being conscious about it.
I believe intuition is one of the most powerful assets you have as a coach, leader or entrepreneur. And great coaching, like great leadership or great entrepreneurship is highly Intuitive.
Ask yourself - How much do you TRUST your own intuitive abilities?
Is Intuition Right or Wrong?
Intuition operates in different forms and shows up in unexpected ways in coaching conversations. Sometimes it’s a hunch. Sometimes it’s a visual image or a metaphor. And at other times it’s an unexplained shift in emotion or energy.
In order to express our intuition in words, we try to interpret it. And it’s often our interpretation of these impulses that can be off target. The original impulse itself is neither right or wrong.
The problem also happens when we get super attached to our interpretation of these signals instead of just using it as a way to explore further.
A few weeks back I woke up one morning with a strong gut feel to message one of the clients I had been working with for a long time. I had no idea why, but I just decided to trust the feeling.
Little did I realize that my client – a senior leader at a recently funded startup was having the worst day of her professional life. She had no idea how I knew. The truth is I didn’t either. But something just intuitively nudged me to reach out to her. And she was so grateful that I did!
The source of intuition is irrelevant. My interpretation of it need not be correct either.
What’s most important is not to overthink these nudges, just to trust it.
Ask yourself - What gut feelings or nudges have you experienced in the past? In what form did they reach you?
How do you access your Intuition?
Just like a radio that has an antenna to catch the electromagnetic signals, our body has specific access points that catch the frequencies of the universe.
And just like we develop physical fitness by training ourselves to lift weights in the gym, we build intuitive fitness by training ourselves to listen for our intuitive signals.
And they need not always be words. Many people find intuition in their body – in their chest, stomach. Some feel a tingling sensation in their forehead, others feel it in their fingers. A close friend of mine even uses goosebumps as his own intuitive signal.
Take some time to find where you sense your own intuition. Stop, pay attention and listen to your body the next time you feel the nudge to really see where it’s coming from.
For others it might not be inside your body at all. It might be above you or it might be a bubble that surrounds you. Certain environments might activate your intuitive powers more than others.
One or more of your senses might hold the secret to your own intuition. You may “see” it more visually or feel it kinesthetically. Ultimately, you will have to find a way to verbalize or act on the nudge from your intuition.
Your responsibility as a coach is to speak what your intuition gives you. Your responsibility as an entrepreneur is to act on that gut feeling more often.
Ask yourself - How does intuition manifest itself in your body and mind? What kind of external environments helps your intuition thrive?
Intuition is not magic although it may feel like that sometimes. It’s a form of deeper listening and a superpower when harnessed can lead to transformative results especially for coaches, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Have you experienced a moment of intuition that shifted your life or business ? Share your story in the comments below.