Trusting Your Intuition

photoPeople often advise young people to “Listen to the little voice in your head” as if it’s some sort of pre-programed moral compass, designed to steer us in the right direction.

It is as though the only reason we feel overwhelmed by the tangled webs we weave is because we are ignoring the direction this voice is quietly giving us.

While I know that this advice often comes from a good place, I disagree with the idea that knowing which way to go is as simple as waiting for a  clear “do this” or “don’t do that” from within.

There is a voice in my head but for me, the voice is more closely related to anxiety: “Remember to do this. What happens if I go there?? No don’t do that. You really messed that up. Why hasn’t he called? Maybe you walk funny?! Remember to Google how to walk better when you get home. No not now! Watch where you’re going! Yeah, she thinks your stupid. Is there some way you could show her you’re not stupid? Everyone thinks yours stupid. Turn left. The other left. No wonder people think you’re stupid. You shouldn’t have moved to New York. LA was great….usually. Move to Morocco! Don’t make rash decisions. Wear this sweater. Stop eating Twislers. You should start using eye cream. Smile more. Don’t smile like that. You have to go here. Email this person. Check on this. Forget about that. Am I confusing you? Keep up!

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The voice in my head is heavily influenced by the amount coffee I’ve had that day, how comfortable I am with the balance in my bank account, whether or not I feel fat, and if I happen to be feeling loved and appreciated by everyone that I love and appreciate. It’s susceptible to so many variables that my inner voice is  not at all fit to be a guide.

Instead I aim to trust my intuition: a subtle but steadfast knowing that is felt rather than heard. Your intuition does not pester you, it doesn’t question you, and it never doubts. It’s the feeling you get when you know something is right and I believe it is a God given, built-in, barometer that gauges how close we are to our purpose.

It’s easy to forget that we are animals. Like animals, we have an intuition that is to be relied on for survival. Look at the way lionesses instinctually know how to care to for their young–eagles build  nests, salmon migrate upstream–they are following their instincts, trusting they are being led down a path that is in their best interest.

Your intuition knows what you’re capable of. Trusting it will give you the power to fulfill your potential.

**If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking “That’s awesome Treehugger, but how do I trust a feeling?”  The simple answer is to try.

Stop waiting for answers to come to you and start feeling. The next time you are presented with a choice between two options–even if it’s as simple as should you get the red shirt or the green shirt–go with your gut. For me, this is usually the first thing that comes to mind.

Sometimes a project comes up–or a trip, or an opportunity to move across the country–and something inside of you will click. My mom calls it a “ping” but it’s the same thing. It’s an instant knowing that comes over you.

This is not to be mistaken with careless, thoughtless, rash decision making. This is about developing an unwavering trust in yourself. Relying on intuition, rather than bandying anxiety-ridden pros and cons about, will require that you give merit to your talents and decide that you are worthy of the good that will come your way when you do.

It’s about connecting to yourself. The more you trust your intuition, the more confident you become in all areas of your life, but this does not happen overnight. It requires constant effort because a deep sense of trust in yourself can be hard to maintain.

Over the last few weeks, I have been doubting everything. I’ve been full of regrets, remorse, and self loathing. I’ve questioned whether or not “following my instincts” was a good idea. Maybe I made a mistake, or worse, many mistakes.

Because of this, I’ve thought a lot about how and why I trust my instincts and when I’m honest with myself, I know that I’ve made the right decisions. It’s hard to see sometimes because right doesn’t always equal easy, but I’m beginning to regain faith in myself.

Learning to trust your intuition is an on-going practice, so don’t become discouraged if you falter. Just walk in the direction that feels the most “right” and allow the feeling to anchor you in peace despite whatever nervousness, sadness, or excitement you experience in the process.

“When considering whether to say yes or no, you must choose the response that feels like freedom.” – Martha Beck

In an attempt to regain confidence and motivation, I’m going to try to rely on my intuition as much as possible this week. I’m hoping it will help me get out of my head and back to a place where I feel inspired, guided, and strong.

If you’ve been having a hard time figuring out which way to go, try letting go and trusting your intuition with me this week.

I’d love to know how it goes, what kinds of things you experienced along the way, and what–if anything–changed, so comment below or Tweet me @missvranhalen.

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3 thoughts on “Trusting Your Intuition

  1. This was very, very nice. I have to agree with your assessment of how to go about the so many crossroads we come to in life. I am a little older, but not too old (the mother of two teenage sons), and one of my core beliefs is living a life without regrets. That’s not to say we don’t wish we had made other decisions from time-to-time, but we’ve made decisions based on our deepest “gut” feelings as best as we could given whatever our situation was at the time. I have always told my sons, when you aren’t sure what to do, go with your instinct, as you have so eloquently said in your blog post. This idea holds us so much more accountable to live a life that is right, kind, generous, caring, and loving to those around us and to ourselves. I, also, enjoyed reading your “inner thoughts”.. lol, I must admit, I can definitely relate to some of them! Thank you for your post, it was very encouraging.

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  2. 🙂 I do watch most of your youtube videos and became subscriber a while ago 🙂 I just don’t usually comment on anything because I don’t want to set up a google+.. lol, I’m a bit old fashioned. I enjoy your videos because they are very down-to-earth and you seem like a very sincere gal, which I appreciate. lol, my boys love your snack ones! They always comment on how yummy they look! Keep up the good work and I wish you the best of luck in life! ~Sincerely, CJ

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