Some people spend time doubting their intuition. They wonder if it’s really ‘real’. ‘How do I know it’s not just my anxiety,’ a friend once asked me. It was a good question and not uncommon.
It can be challenging to trust your intuition because many of us have been raised to ignore it. Instead we seek the ‘evidence’ that a choice is the right one to make. We must weigh everything up, this way and that, before finally ‘knowing’ we’ve made the right choice. This type of knowing is all about rational thought, reason and the cultural traditions of our western society.
I believe all those things are really important. We have reason and rationality to help us problem-solve, bring projects to fruition, create and develop as human beings. But what if intuition can also play a huge part in that process?
We all have intuition. Sometimes it warns us that something is wrong while other times it can shows us a better way to do things. It is an extra sense that shouldn’t be discounted just because it doesn’t ‘make sense’.
Some of the most successful people I know use both their intuition and rational thought in partnership. It is a powerful and liberating combination because it enables them to use all their skills to achieve their goals. Do they still make mistakes, feel pain, fall over and get up again? Absolutely. They are human and we’re all here to learn. But their forward progress, the development of their self-knowledge, and their surety of purpose always returns. They accept unexpected events and twists more easily although others might find it more unsettling. They understand there is often a reason these things happen. They embrace random conversations that deliver unexpected droplets of information. They realise everything is connected and, when you couple this understanding with a strong inner knowing and a clear and grounded rational purpose, things shift. Sometimes this happens in a way that you don’t want (at the time), other times it moves things along in ways that you could never have foreseen.
I believe your intuition is a gift you can connect into to make your life and the world a better place. It can help you keep on track and show you a world of possibilities you didn’t see before.
As for the question about discerning the difference between your anxiety and intuition, well, I think that’s about practice, trusting yourself and improving your self-knowledge while remaining nicely grounded with your feet on the ground.
Have you ever noticed that when something isn’t going your way, you want to control it even more? You want something to happen and you want it really badly but it’s stopped down the track and it’s not moving. You can see it in the distance; it’s oh so close. But it’s not getting closer.
If you’re anything like me (and I know some of you are) this can occasionally bring on a ‘control meltdown’. This is the moment when you’ll feel like if other people would just get their act together then it would all work out. It will be the moment when you want to get in there and ‘sort the situation out’. It will be the time when you will feel determined to drag that thing towards you inch by painful inch until it’s where it’s supposed to be. You’ll feel stressed, anxious or even angry because you’ll want to control that situation and ‘make it happen.’
Sigh. I feel exhausted just thinking about it.
Things rarely work well if we try to control them. Life just isn’t like that. Instead it’s an organic thing that grows best with a little love and a lot less control. That’s just the way it is.
So much of what we’re taught is about control. For example, if I do X and Y then this will result and I will be able to create this outcome. But what if you’ve followed this formula and the outcome hasn’t eventuated? What then? Have you stuffed up the formula? Did you do it wrong? Is there something wrong with you or are ‘they’ to blame? Should you be doing more? Can you force it?
The questions will buzz around your head like flies and drive you crazy if you let them.
The truth is, all we can ever control is what we do in this moment. So my advice is (and trust me, I’m still working on this myself), if it’s not working and you believe you’ve done everything you can, then let it go. Allow it to eventuate or not. You can’t control the outcome and you certainly can’t control what other people are going to do. And you can’t force something to happen if it’s not supposed to.
Let it go and know all is as it should be. Often that’s when the thing you want will slide effortlessly into place and later you’ll wonder why you ever worried about it at all.
Yesterday I was dwelling on something I really want and trying to work out how it could come to pass. How? How could this think I really want ever happen when it seems impossible right now?
My mind tore at the problem this way and that. How?
Now, my inner guidance has shown me repeatedly that this thing will come to pass and it’s all about timing. I just need to live my purpose and all will be fine. But still my mind won’t let it go. So I torment myself. It’s not much fun.
But yesterday morning something new happened. A voice inside me said, ‘Commit. Commit to it.’
‘Commit. Commit. Commit.’
The word reverberated through every part of me and drowned out every other thought and doubt.
‘Commit. Commit to what you want. Commit to it.’
The voice was insistent and I finally decided to listen.
This thought in my head, this thing I desire to have in my life, needed a commitment.
So I committed. I acknowledged that I am committed to that thing happening in my life. I acknowledged that I cannot understand the ‘how’ and that much of it is out of my control. But I committed to it anyway.
It was time for me to step up and out of my doubt. It was time to believe and commit. So I have. And I feel so much better for it.
If you desire something with your whole heart, it’s not enough to think about it as something that’s in the distance; something that’s never going to be real. You have to commit to it happening.
You may have no idea how your dream could ever become a reality. But if you don’t commit to it, it will never be a reality.
Commitment to your dream is one of the first steps towards manifesting that beautiful thing in your life. So commit to it. And then wait for the Universe to show you the next step. Because there will be other steps. And they will involve believing it’s possible, knowing that you deserve that thing you desire and a whole lot of other things. But the first step, is definitely committing to it.
Have you ever looked at a friend in trouble and thought, ‘If only they’d do X and Y, they’d be okay’ or watched someone you care about go down a self-destructive path repeatedly, no matter how many people advise them to go another way?
I think every one of us has had that experience and it’s difficult to be that person on the sidelines, watching someone play the game of life in what we believe is the ‘wrong way’. It’s hard to watch them create situations that will hurt themselves, often over and over again.
Sometimes you might try to save them from their ‘mistake’. You’ll throw on your armour, mount your white horse and ride to the rescue, sweeping them up and away from danger only to find they create the same situation for themselves within days or weeks.
Other times your frustration will take over; you’ll feel angry and watch incredulously as, despite warnings, clear directions and sound advice, they will continue down the same self-destructive path regardless.
Why do they keep doing this, you’ll ask time and time again. You’ll feel powerless and will struggle with that feeling. I’ve often struggled with it because, like most people, my first instinct is to help and protect the people I care about.
But often you’re not supposed to fix the situation or ride in to save the day. And, as your self-awareness increases, so too will your understanding that everyone has their journey and their own lessons to learn. You cannot save others from themselves and frequently, they will need to learn their lessons the hard way – just as you have.
It will be difficult to stand back and let them get on with it. However, sometimes it will be your role to simply witness their journey and be there when they come out the other side having learned the lessons they needed to learn.
Because in the end we must all choose to save and rescue ourselves. No one else can do it for us.
I have a good friend who often says, “When it gets too much and I don’t know what to do, I just hand it up and let the Universe take care of it.”
Man, I have such wise friends.
Sometimes we spend so much time worrying and thinking about what we should do, think or achieve that we completely lose sight of life and the path we should be treading. And we make things so much more stressful and complicated than they need to be.
Example number one: Me. A while ago I had worked myself up into quite a state about something. I didn’t know what to do and was worrying myself silly.
“What should I do? What should I do?” I kept asking myself as I paced around the house.
The more I paced, the more stressed out I became (did I mention I’m a bit of an over-thinker?) and it wasn’t getting me anywhere.
After 10-15 minutes of this craziness I stopped, looked up and simply said, “Tell me what to do.” In that moment I just handed it up to the Universe because I realised my current approach was getting me absolutely nowhere.
I let all the worry go while I waited for an answer. I stopped trying to figure it all out on my own. The answer wasn’t in me. I needed to make room to allow it to arrive.
So I handed it up.
A few minutes later, the solution to my problem popped into my head. Suddenly I knew exactly what to do and it was so simple. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it months ago.
I’m constantly surprised at how much simpler things are when I just let go and trust that the way will be made clear. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a slow learner in that department.
Anyway, I implemented the solution and things were soon back on track again. And I feel much calmer and happier.
It was just another reminder that sometimes I need to get out of my own way. Sometimes we just need to let go, hand it all up to the Universe and wait for the answers to arrive.