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Listening to Your Intuition

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Have you ever had a “gut” feeling about an answer on an exam, then secondguessed yourself only to select the wrong answer? We are trained to ignore our immediate responses to situations, applying reason and logic to our cognitions, and in doing so we may lose the important unarticulated connections we have to our subconscious awareness of matters at hand. We tend to devalue our initial reactions and intuitions in favor of situations we can substantiate with rational reasoning. Intuition, however, can act as a subconscious guide to making the right important decisions.

Intuition serves as our uncensored inner voice that creates an immediate impression. It takes the form of an instinctual message we feel directly that circumvents our brain and is understood directly from the heart. This author once ignored her intuition that there was something untenable in her relationship with her fiancé. After a minor fender bender on Superbowl Sunday, she dismissed her intuition that was trying to tell her that there was something wrong with her relationship with her fiancé since she preferred to call her father rather than the man to whom she was engaged to be married. The intuition, experienced as the discomfort she felt at having to tell her fiancé about the car accident, should have served as a legitimate warning sign that her future husband could not be trusted to provide a supportive response. Indeed this was confirmed when the fiancé responded unsympathetically to her reports of the incident. Yet this author ignored her intuition, marrying the austere fiancé against her better judgment. A bad marriage ensued, and one year later they were divorced.

How do we learn to recognize and listen to our intuition? Becoming experts on listening to our comfort levels with certain situations is just one part of the answer. Sometimes we are drawn to a decision because it immediately feels co-sympathetic with our value system, creating a comfortable, positive reaction. Equally important, an uncomfortable reaction points to decisions that clash with what we might hold true, a counterintuitive decision. Add to these basic instincts a careful introspective honesty coupled with a sprinkling of self-analysis and you have the recipe for putting your intuition to good use.


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