Following Your Intuition as You Navigate Through Life

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Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Hiking, Running, Spiritual Teachings, Spirituality, Thought | Posted on 08-13-2014

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[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]

Plugged Into Intuition!

Plugged Into Intuition!

We’ve all had “gut feelings” about people or things at some point in our lives. I’m sure you can think of times where you had positive experiences when you listened to your gut, and negative ones when you didn’t.

How many times have you thought something like “I knew shouldn’t have had that extra cookie!” or “If only I had taken my umbrella like I had been thinking of doing!” or “There was just something that wasn’t quite right about him,” etc.?

Yet most days we go through life without paying much attention to that little voice inside us even though it’s always accessible.

When I think back, many instances of following my intuition come to mind.

The most obvious (and recent) extreme example for me, of course, was when out of the blue I decided it was time for me to leave the SEO world last October. It was definitely not something I had been thinking about. If you asked me only a few weeks prior whether it would be something I would consider, I would have told you no. And yet, one day I woke up and absolutely knew with 100% certainty that it was the exact right thing for me to do at that moment. (And it was.)

Then there was the time back in 2003 when I decided to create the High Rankings Forum. I told my online friend, Scottie what I was doing and she offered to help evaluate various forum software, etc. However, she was flabbergasted when I explained that I had already installed a working demo on my server. One day it wasn’t anything I had ever thought about, and the next I had a forum!

You see, intuition comes from inspired thought.

When it happens to me I just know it’s the right thing to do. And because of that, whatever next steps are necessary to carry out the inspiration happen naturally. I simply take action. The beauty of it for me is that when I’m working from inspired thought, it becomes a fun game.

And that’s how our lives should be lived every day.

What if all of our decisions were based on what our inner wisdom was telling us to do?

Can you imagine the potential in that?

To me, this is exactly what the “gurus” mean when they talk about manifesting your destiny. It’s not about conjuring up whatever you desire. Instead, it’s about feeling what inspires you at any given moment–and then acting upon it.

The problem is that too many of us don’t follow through on the action part because it looks too daunting. But all it takes is a few baby steps to break through the inertia. And guess what? When we continue to listen to our intuition, it can and will guide us each baby step of the way if we let it.

If you’re having trouble understanding how this works, here’s an analogy for you:

Running Path With Obstacles

Taken While Running Via My Countour Roam2

When I’m running in the woods there are tons of roots and sticks and rocks and hills in my path. In order to keep running, I have to look a little bit ahead, but not too far ahead. I have to mostly focus on what’s right in front of me. A map of the trail, even some sort of topographic one won’t help me navigate the various obstacles I encounter along the way. The only way I can keep running is to stay mindful and present with every step. One moment of losing focus and I could end up splat on the ground.

It can be the same with everything you do in life.

Whether it’s writing a book, starting a business, creating delicious meals with unique ingredients, or making any major life changes, your intuition and inner wisdom are there to guide you. While you can and should set big goals for yourself, they can only be completed one step at a time.

Knowing that you’re going to run all the way around the lake doesn’t stop you from tripping on the rocks right in front of you. You have to stay focused on what needs to be done right now in this moment. And when that’s done, you focus on the next moment, and then the next after that.

Where it gets fun are those times where you get to a straight-away with minimal obstacles. That’s when you can kick things up a notch and start cruising. There will be nothing to trip you up and you can go as fast as you want. But enjoy it while you can, because inevitably your trail will get rocky again soon. When it does, you’ll be upright and alert and ready to take on the next fun challenge that brings you closer to your ultimate inspired goal!

What about you?

How can you start following your intuition more in life? Do you have trouble hearing it in the first place, or is it taking action that trips you up?

Please leave your thoughts below or contact me directly and we can discuss further!

–Jill

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CONTACT JILL WHALEN to learn how she may help you be the best you can be.

Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill’s blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she’s learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many “viral” articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Leave Your Thoughts Below(9)

Thanks Jill.

Intuition often knocks on my door. Sometimes, it’s so fleeting, it gets ignored and most often comes the realization later with: “I KNEW better!!” Over the years I have tried hard not to let these flashes of intuition slip away. They always guide me well. Attention. Grasp. Utilize.

I might be trying too hard to understand the 3P philosophies because I struggle with being aware of them, get caught up in life’s issues and concerns and forcefully guide my thinking to re-approach for a comfortable feeling. It’s a struggle.

Sheryl! My favorite (and perhaps only) commenter! 😉

I think you’re on the right track. It sounds like you are already able to hear your intuition, which is more than many people. Rather than trying to hear them more, I suggest just doing things that can give your thinking mind a rest. Long walks or other exercise, long showers, or any sort of repetitive, mindless activity such as vacuuming or doing the dishes.

Just making time for yourself will often open some space for more intuitive thoughts to come in. If not, don’t worry about it. Trying harder won’t help. Letting go, however, just may!

I know you are looking at this on the personal side but just to add a few thoughts to it from the business side….there tends to be two different types of “gut feelings.” One is the flashes of insight when all of a sudden you get what feels like the greatest idea in the world or the perfect answer to a challenge on which you’ve been working. These insights are clear and usually come with a nice little bundle of energy to help implement whatever the idea or answer might be.

The other is the gut feeling when making work decisions. These ones should be listened to, but in my opinion, they should also be double checked. For example when you are interviewing applicants for a position, your “gut” might tell you to pass on a certain person. You are not sure why but your gut is telling you so you think you should go with that. Your gut might be right and it senses something not right. Your gut might also be wrong and reacting to an unconscious bias based on gender or race or looks or something else. (This is the problem with Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”). I always like to suggest that when your gut gives you an answer, you use that to explore the situation and facts a little further and find out WHY the gut is telling you what it is telling you.

An interesting book on insights that you might like:

Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein.

Really good point, Beth, thanks! I was definitely talking about your first scenario, but even with that it’s not always clear.

And thanks for the book recommendation!

As a long time follower of High Rankings I must say I’m loving the new Jill as much as I loved High Rankings. I have followed my small inner voice for much of my business and personal life, using it often to get out of or stay out of trouble and messy situations.

I’ve found when I am faced with what seems to be a difficult problem, if I ask my inner self for an answer before I fall asleep I often wake up with that answer staring in me in the face. I think intuition works best in the stillness of the mind that comes with turning off outside influences. On a walk, during a mediation session, in the shower, while we sleep.

Even though I still argue with it occasionally, because intuition can sometimes defy logic, I have learned to trust it. And often the more I fight it, the more apparent it becomes that I need to follow that inspirational burst. When it’s there and dead on, the work flows smoothly and rapidly with little or no error. Similar to the run that avoids the obstacles on the trail. And that is a truly wonderful feeling.

Thanks Karen!

It’s cool how we can follow (or not) that inner voice throughout our lives without ever thinking much about it. But it’s even cooler when we consciously do it!

OK I find the thing that trips me up the most is 2nd guessing . So get the inner prompt… act….something comes up that throws a loop and .. teedahh ..2nd guessing, that undermining stinky negative thing.
So yup for that I find its truly check back on what motivated me and then focus on where is this foot that breath this moment and keep focussed on the immediate.
Hahaaa trying to implement that today !!

Sue, I would say that if something throws you for a loop, it doesn’t mean that your original instincts were wrong. Just that things may not go exactly the way you thought they would. Continue to listen to your intuition, and keep adjusting along the way.

Just because a tree may have fallen down in the running path, doesn’t mean you can’t keep going!

Thanks for your reply Jill
I probably wasnt clear in that what I was meaning is that in those circumstances its Even More Important to be aware of and focussing on this moment.. this breath.. this which is directly in front of me/you .
Thats what I find helps me to keep going and stop wobbling !
though I like your way of putting it that ‘doesnt mean you cant keep going’ : )