A Coaching Power Tool created by Tracy Driscoll
(Executive Coach, CHINA)
We have a lot of tools at our disposal when making decisions, whether the decisions are big life-changing ones or small choices we make everyday. Most people use reason which favours logic, factual information, practicality and efficiency because this usually leads to safe and sensible decisions and outcomes. For example, when deciding on a new career most people would consider their education, strengths and skills, the level of the role they seek, the type of company, salary and location. If they were satisfied with the answers to most of these questions in relation to a job on offer they would more than likely move forward with the role. It would meet most of their requirements and they would be relatively happy. So what’s wrong with this? Nothing. But is relatively happy good enough? What if they had the opportunity to find the job of a lifetime, something they could be passionate about, that would have them jumping out of bed feeling excited and euphoric every day, that allowed them to live the lifestyle they truly desired? What if they only needed to employ a few more of the tools they have at their disposal in order to make the choices which would lead them to this dream job? Learning to use your intuition alongside your reason can help you to make decisions based on the full spectrum, 360 degrees of information available to you on any topic big or small.
Using reason involves gathering and analyzing information from the physical world, outside our body and from other sources. For example, what our senses can tell us – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste; what other people can tell us which we then need to evaluate as true or false; experience or records of other’s experience when they have made this choice; scientific research, market research, magazines, newspapers, books, the internet and all other available information – of which there is a lot. As you compile lots of information to base your decision on, sometimes a problem will arise. You have too much information and are still uncertain which way to turn, which choice to make. This is why reason alone does not always work.
Using reason is usually the most popular choice when decision making, because reason usually guides us to the safest, most efficient route to meeting our needs. Our education system teaches us how to research, evaluate information and make logical decisions. And most people direct life’s questions to their brain to solve. Once again, this is how we have been taught to solve problems and make decisions – to use our head.
Quite often clients who are having trouble making decisions are spending too much time in their head, churning over lots of information, plotting lots of pro’s and con’s but still unable to choose a solution or direction. Signs of this include lengthy descriptions of all the options, often going off on tangents to explain things in detail. They might also describe feeling drained of energy and confused and frustrated. We can likely all relate to this feeling at some time in our own lives.
The solution? Get out of our heads and into our bodies. Tap into our higher selves, our intuition for clearer guidance.
Using intuition involves venturing into our internal world, inside our body, our aura and our heart and soul. Till now this is a largely untapped resource and one which takes some time and practice to use effectively. First lets explore some of the thinking behind using intuition.
Recently there has been a growing interest in intuition – what it is, where it comes from and whether or not it is a skill which can be trained. There have been articles in the Harvard Business Review about how the most successful CEO’s make their decisions and most say that once they have gathered all the necessary information, they use their “gut” to make the final decision. Childre and Martin in their book Heartmath Solution describe intuition as “intelligence and understanding that bypasses the logical, linear cognitive processes; the faculty of direct knowing, as if by instinct, without conscious reasoning. Intuition is pure, untaught, inferential knowledge married to keen and quick insight.” They go on to explain the connection between intuition and heart intelligence and site many practical ways in which intuition, or heart intelligence can be tapped into for more accurate decision making and insights into life’s big mysteries.
Medical intuitive Caroline Myss believes that “Intuitive ability is present in everyone because it is a survival skill”. And intuitive guide Sonia Choquette describes intuition as “the voice of our soul” and “an integral part of our spiritual anatomy” in her book The Wise Child, a guide to nurturing intuition. “It is the art of evolving your consciousness into a highly sophisticated receiver of vibrations, thus giving you more accurate information to work with as you interact with others in this life,” says Choquette.
In fact, intuition has the potential to lead you most directly to fulfilling your life purpose. When you use your intuition your higher self is sending you messages to guide you to the most direct route to achieving your goals and dreams. And the good news is that intuitive skills can be trained. And even better, it can take as little as a couple of weeks to start getting really great results. When you start using your intuition well you will also notice that life’s big and small decisions start becoming much easier. And so too does life in general. Life can take on an almost magical quality as everything seems to go your way.
So how do we awaken our intuition and learn to better flex our intuitive muscle?
Training Your Intuition
Try these practical exercises to help you tap into and hear your intuition:
- Practice calming your body and mind so you can more clearly hear your intuition. When you have a decision to make and want to engage your intuition, find a quiet space where you feel comfortable and happy. Take some deep breaths to relax. Pose the question and then wait and listen. Give yourself time – 10 minutes or so – and just see what comes up.
- Notice where on your body the answer is coming from. And how it feels. Most experts say that a clear intuition is void of emotions – it simply feels right. If you are experiencing butterflies or excitement, try again, your emotions could be interfering. Another thing to watch out for is a racing mind, when your brain is racing it can interfere with intuition. When you are feeling quiet and calm and the answer is clear to you, then you will know the difference between a real intuition and brain or emotional chatter.