Also known as your’ inner voice’, ‘gut-feel’, ‘sixth sense’ or ‘hunch’, this feeling impacts our daily lives – whether we’re aware of it or not. But where do they come from, and why does it matter?
Intuition is not logical. It is not the result of considered steps that are easily explained or shared; instead, it is a deep knowing that feels instinctive and natural.
It could be having a ‘feeling’ something terrible is going to happen, or feeling ‘lucky’. You can recognise it as an instinct that you need to walk in a particular direction even though you’ve never been to that place before. You might feel this ‘knowing’ in your body – it could be your stomach, your heart, your throat or even your elbow – everyone is unique.
But what is it?! Well, researchers don’t really know as they can’t see it in the brain!
Recent research suggests that intuition holds key benefits when we make decisions, giving us confidence, efficiency and more accuracy in our choices.
Intuition is like a muscle, the more you use it, the more reliable it gets. It’s important to note that our intuition is not always accurate; for the rational thinkers amongst us, essentially, the subconscious brain is attempting to recognise patterns of thinking and prior experiences to create an educated guess.
Many of the world’s most influential business people admit to making a decision based on intuition rather than deliberate thinking. A study by Midique in 2014, sampled 36 CEO’s, 85% confirmed that intuition was central to their decision making. Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings shared in a Ted Talk Interview that his leadership at Netflix and it’s resulting success has had a lot to do with his strong sense of intuition when it comes to making decisions about shows. Known in the C-Suite at Netflix as “the golden gut”; he states that data science “simply isn’t sophisticated enough to predict whether a new idea will be a hit”.
One way you can strengthen your Inner Voice is to make space to listen. Incorporating quiet time or a meditation practice, even if it’s five or ten minutes per day can make all the difference. Many people, not familiar with meditation, think of it as sitting in lotus cross-legged on the floor, thumb and forefinger pressed together whilst “ohmming” under your breath. Although traditional meditation can take this format, it can merely mean being more mindful and incorporating moments of stillness into your day, such as when washing the dishes. Have you ever wondered why the best ideas come to you when you’re in the shower or, lying on a sun lounger on holiday – that’s because your mind is finally quiet and you can hear your inner voice!
Another way to take note of your inner voice is through your emotions. Let’s say a friend tells you about their recent promotion at work, instead of feeling happy for them you feel a sense of resentment, but you can’t understand why. Rather than ignore this feeling or worse still, feel guilty for feeling this way, turn detective to try and understand what it’s trying to tell you. You can even have a conversation with your Inner Voice to discover more, and I can help facilitate a session for you so that you can do this with yourself in the future.
Journaling your thoughts and insights, as well as your emotions and any tension in the body that you may be experiencing, can help significantly with fine-tuning your Inner Voice.
As an Inner Voice Facilitator, I can hold space for you to listen to your Inner Voice. A two-hour session is often a one-off which will help you listen to your Inner Voice and get used to hearing it and what it has to say. A session is a truly unique experience, and clients leave feeling blissed out and insightful, you can learn more about Inner Voice sessions here.
Sam is the founder of Small and Mighty Co. A transformational coaching business and marketing consultancy specialising in supporting small and mighty creatives grow with confidence and achieve their dreams, in business and beyond.
An accredited NLP Practitioner Sam’s specialities include mindset, motivation, marketing and modern-day consumer behaviour and is well known across the small business industry for her savvy straight-talking advice; with regular speaking appearances at major events across the UK and features on the BBC and Channel 5 News.