Go with Your Gut
By Rebecca Davis
How to Tune in to Your Intuition
Sometimes it's impossible to explain
how, but you just know: A friend isn't telling the whole truth; you should take
that vacation in March, not April; you'd be happier at job A than job B. Call
it a premonition, an instinct, a feeling -- whatever you label it, it's your
intuition talking. And when that little voice abandons you it can be confusing,
frustrating, even scary. Lynn Robinson, author of Divine Intuition: Your
Guide to Creating a Life You Love, reveals how to tap into -- and trust --
the gut you've got. Intuition is like your internal GPS system, says Robinson;
once you know where you want to go, it will show you how to get there.
1. Quiet your mind to hear your true inner voice.
We rarely get the insight we want right when we want it. When you're
stressed and frantic, other needling voices (your husband's, your mom's) drown
out your own -- and you're likely to be sidetracked by nagging
"shoulds" instead of focused on what you truly want. You'll be more
open to clarity at downtimes than you are in the heat of the moment, so reclaim
peace with daily breaks to retreat inward: Go for a walk, or close your door
for five minutes to relax and think. Drawing on your intuition regularly will
help you maintain the calm and clarity to shush the naysayers and the
2. Ask your intuition for answers -- and start acting on them.
Learn to trust your instinct on important issues by giving it a whirl with
lower-risk ones. Don't just barrel through your daily decisions: Give them your
full focus. Instead of asking yourself, What's for dinner? try, What would be
most satisfying for dinner? Then, move on to deeper concerns: How can I help my
daughter to be less shy? Would I be happier living closer to my family? Keep
these questions in the back of your mind and when a feeling comes to you, jot
it down. Once you're used to asking for guidance, follow it -- one baby step at
a time. "People get scared of intuition because it leads to change,"
says Robinson. But change doesn't have to be immediate. If you get the feeling
it's time to switch jobs, don't just up and quit -- look at monster.com or
update your résumé instead.
3. Learn what intuition really feels like.
Intuition by definition is quick-and-ready insight, but it's different from
the knee-jerk reactions we often have out of fear, anger, or sadness. Say a new
acquaintance asks you to go with her for coffee and you immediately decline.
That's probably not your intuition saying, "You don't really like her,"
but rather your fear asking, "What if she doesn't like you?" The next
time you're in this situation, buy yourself some time by checking your schedule
or just taking a rain check. Then, ask your intuition if this person could
become a new friend.