It’s all well and good for someone to say you should follow your intuition, but what does that actually look like? What does it mean to follow your intuition in the real world?
Receive Intuitive Guidance
The first step is receiving some sort of intuitive ping, nudge, hit, download, or guidance. This might show up as an actual voice or words, a random idea popping into your head, a feeling, or a sense of knowing.
Our minds often dismiss pings before we even realize we had them. For example, the idea to walk over to the cafe for a latte might pop into your head. Then you start looking at an email and, before you know it, two hours have flown by and the idea of going to the cafe is long forgotten.
You don’t really have to do anything other than pay attention to what you’re receiving, even if you’re not sure if it’s your intuition. It’s sometimes helpful to jot down pings you receive throughout the day. This helps train your brain to become more aware of the internal guidance you’re receiving.
Is it impulse or intuition?
You might be unsure if what you’re receiving is actual intuition or not. Hell, I still have moments where I’m unsure after consciously following my intuition over the past five years! This is totally normal.
When you get a ping, take a moment to check in with yourself. How does it feel?
An impulse usually has frantic energy, like a swarm of bees buzzing around your head. Sometimes it’s accompanied by anxiety or a feeling that you absolutely need this thing in order to feel a certain way or get a certain result.
Intuition has a calm, peaceful energy, like someone hugging you from the inside. Even if there’s uncertainty or fear on the surface, there’s usually a sense of calm and knowing beneath it. It’s not something you need, it’s something that feels right regardless of the outcome.
Do the Thing
So you got a ping, checked in, and think it’s your intuition. What are you waiting for?
Okay, I know it’s not always that easy. Your mind may get a little antsy if it’s something you wouldn’t normally do or if you’re not sure why your intuition is guiding you to do it.
Maybe you feel awkward for two minutes when you say hello to that stranger in the cafe. You’ve survived feeling awkward for way longer than that before, and they might just turn out to be your new BFF. Maybe you’re scared of looking stupid by taking that dance class. You’ve survived worse embarrassments, and you might just have the time of your life and be asked to participate in their next showcase.
Be kind to your mind, acknowledge whatever’s coming up, and do the damn thing anyway. What’s the worst that could happen?
What were the results?
What happened after you followed your intuition and did the thing?
Maybe saying hello to that stranger in the cafe resulted in a nice conversation, and that was it. Lovely! Maybe saying hello to that stranger in the cafe led to them mentioning a mutual friend, which led to a dinner party invitation, which led to someone at dinner mentioning their job at a place you’ve always wanted to work, which led to you getting your dream job. Also lovely!
I like to think of those pings as breadcrumbs leading you down your path. Sometimes it’s a small, seemingly meaningless result in the moment that turns into something else down the line. Sometimes it’s a big result right away. Sometimes it seems like a horrible result at first, only to turn into something that helps you grow in ways you’ve been wanting to for years. The possibilities are endless.
If you’re already jotting down pings, go ahead and write down the results of following them too. I love doing this because when something happens a few days or weeks later, I can look back and say “OMG that’s why my intuition nudged me to do this random thing”.
Being able to look back at all the amazing results helps build trust in your intuition (and yourself!). The more you do this, the easier it becomes to follow your intuition.
TLDR: What does it mean to follow your intuition?
- Receive intuitive guidance
- Check in with yourself: Is it impulse or intuition?
- Do the thing
- Pay attention to the results