A Coaching Power Tool Created by Heba Zayan
(Youth Life Coach, EGYPT)
I think we’ve all been in a situation where something looked really great on paper but, for whatever reason, we couldn’t shake that funny feeling that said, “Something about this just isn’t right.”
Logic can sometimes lead us to a starkly different conclusion than our intuition. And when those two forces are in conflict, naturally we feel torn and confused.
Most of us like to think that we are capable of making rational decisions. We like to think that our beliefs, judgements and opinions are based on solid reasoning. But we may have to think again.
So let’s understand more what’s logic and what’s intuition.
According to Wikipedia Logic is the systematic study of the form of valid inference and the most general laws of truth. A valid inference is one where there is a specific relation of logical support between the assumptions of the inference and its conclusion.
Logic is used a lot in the hard sciences, such as Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. We can think of most of mathematics, including things like the rules of Algebra, as part of a framework that is anchored in Logic. Physics and related sciences use logical and mathematical models to describe the world. These models are what allows the hard sciences to be so accurately predictive.
According to Wikipedia Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired.
In the age of big data, relying on intuition—what others call gut, instinct, a sixth sense or a hunch—can seem like a cop-out or an inferior system but here’s how it works:
The human mind is wired to see patterns. Not only does the brain process information as it comes in, but it also stores insights from all your past experiences. Your intuition has been developing and expanding for as long as you’ve been alive. Every interaction, happy or sad, is catalogued in your memory. Intuition draws from that deep memory well to inform your decisions going forward.
In other words, intuitive decisions are based on data, in away. When we subconsciously spot patterns, the body starts firing neurochemicals in both the brain and gut. These “somatic markers” are what give us that instant sense that something is right … or that it’s off. Not only are these automatic processes faster than rational thought, but your intuition draws from decades of diverse qualitative experience (sights, sounds, interactions, etc.) – a wholly human feature that big data alone could never accomplish. It’s also faster than rational thought, which means intuition is a necessary skill that can help decision-making when time is short and traditional analytics may not be available.
Use intuition to develop a theory and test it with data: A hypothesis, whether in the boardroom or in a lab, is a hunch. It’s an educated guess fueled by intuition, and it can point you in the direction of a potentially remarkable discovery. Once you have a theory, you can put it to the test with data. If intuition is the spark, data is the kindling that allows the fire to burn. Validating, then iterating, provides a method for exploring the hunch further.
So we can say that intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.
Intuition is seeing with the soul. Dean Koontz
How to make your intuition stronger?
Meditations are one of the most useful ways of clearing your mind of extraneous thoughts, worries, and overthinking. Even 5-10 minutes a day of meditation can help you tune into your deeper feelings, desires, and needs. You may have insights that come up during the meditation, or they may arise later after you are in a more calm and centred state of mind. Remind yourself to pay attention to any ideas or “ah-ha” moments that arise shortly after meditation.
➡ Pay attention to sudden feelings.
Have you ever noticed that your mood changes suddenly? Or you walk in a room of people and feel uneasy? Remind yourself to pay attention to these shifts in mood, and once you are aware of them, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Close your eyes, and say to yourself silently, “What is this feeling telling me?” Then wait for an answer. It may not arrive right away, but at some point, you’ll have an insight into your mood change. The key is learning how to use these insights to manage your life in order to minimize negative people or circumstances.
➡ Notice your body’s reactions.
Your body is the perfect messenger of intuitive knowledge. You’ve heard the expression, “Follow your gut.” You often feel things in your gut that let you know loud and clear that you aren’t in the right place, with the right person, or making the best decision. Your body will tell you through pain and disease that something is wrong or that you need to make a change. Treat the symptoms, but also seek out a possible cause for your physical reactions that might be more than just physical.
And a lot of other ways……
You will never follow your own inner voice until you clear up the doubts in your mind.― Roy T. Bennett
Don’t confuse intuition with wishful/fearful thinking. Sometimes we are invested in a particular outcome or fear a possible result. Try to distinguish between an intuitive hunch and wishful or fearful thinking. Some decisions that we know are good for us intuitively can make us afraid on the surface. Learn to discern between your “deeper knowing” and reactive thinking or feeling. Always combine your intuition with solid analysis and due diligence to ensure you’re using your full brain power to make the best choices for your life.
Intuition is a powerful force that can be developed to give you an edge in life. Don’t neglect this ability, even if you think of yourself as more of an analytical thinker.
As Henri Poincare, French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and philosopher of science says,
It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.
Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wind in the Door
Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.― Bill Hicks
Exercise to develop your intuition:
- Find a place to sit comfortably.
- Follow your breath by counting '1' on the inhale and '2' on the exhale.
- When you are relaxed and quiet, identify an event or situation that you'd like more insight about.
- Focus on the event or situation intently for a few minutes.
- Let it go.
As coaches, it is important for us to be able to dance between these two viewpoints. On the one hand, we use active listening and gather all the facts from the perspective of the client. On the other hand, we also learn to hear what is not being said and use our intuition to ask a powerful question that can help our clients shift their perspective, in order to move forward.