The visionary tech guru Steve Jobs famously is quoted saying “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Intuition is a trait that is all too frequently ignored in the quest for career fulfillment. But consider how your friend was able to quick rise through the ranks in their company due to an innate knowledge of when to start projects and when to delegate tasks. Likewise, remember the times you felt something about a potential role felt right and you put in an application despite it being a reach for you, and somehow you gain the job and exceled.
People commonly focus on their intuition during minor events like picking a meal, but seldom for the important decision like how to further their occupational aspirations. Every human has intuition, but was given freewill by the Divine on if and how they use it. Consider how the times you ignore or mistrust your intuition you are failing to use all the tools at your disposal.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein.
Using intuition to succeed in business
We are beginning to emerge from the misconnection that intuition is “woo-woo” and seeing scientifically that intuition is more than just a sensation. Research shows intuition is the result of brains synthesizing data and experiences to form more abstract ideas.
In his book Intelligent Memory, Barry Gordon highlights the link between decision-making and intuition. “From birth, our brains compartmentalize experiences and information into an elaborate filing system. When new data is received, the brain searches the files for similar information. Upon finding a match the new information is combined with the existing information to create a new idea or thought.”
You can translate this into your life by viewing your mind as a conveyor belts of thoughts consistently flowing through your head in any given moment. During a coffee break you may be reading about contemporary marketing and thinking about you may use this material in an upcoming pitch. Your mind is busy with thoughts and strategies, but nothing stands out. Then suddenly you pick up on a conversation a few tables over. Something sparks your interest and your brain immediately begins to search for matches subconsciously. This happenstance combines with existing data in your brain to form a new pattern. This creates an “Aha moment” of intuition and suddenly you know how to best pitch marketing this new product.
Neuroscientists have discovered that intuition is a ‘whole’ brain function, whereas skills and abilities are typically regulated by either the ‘left’ or ‘right’ brain. Therefore, it makes sense that you produce a more effective action when you harness the power of your whole brain rather than half of it. Your intuition is accessible every minute of every day. You simply need to trust it.
Connecting with your forgotten tool
To use intuition wisely, you must first develop trust. This will ensure you use it as much as possible. Plus, like any part of the body, intuition can be regarded as a muscle that requires strengthening it for it to work optimally. Below we have listed six ways you can begin trusting in your intuition.
- Identify how your intuition communicates with you
Intuition speaks to each person in a unique way. Some will experience gut feelings, while other may receive a strong mental image, repetitive thought, an idea, or vivid dreams. Notice how you experience your intuition. Begin by observing your past and identifying missed opportunities where you could have capitalized on a persistent thought, but didn’t. Recall where you were and how you experienced those knowing sensations. Work to be open to those same triggers in the present.
- Let logic rest and focus on living in the moment
Remember a time you noticed a significant issue with something your owned. You most likely felt anxious to get it fixed, but the more tried to repair it, the more damage it sustained. As the item became more broken, the great your frustration, anger, and stress grew. Did you wish you merely stepped away to better assess the situation before you took action? When you separate yourself from emotions the clearer your judgment can become. Watch and listen without judgment or analysis. Be still, mindful and observant. In this space your whole brain and activate and facets of a situation can coalesce and provide a new way of looking at the issue to create a more meaningful solution.
- Shift your focus and see things from a new lens
People get stuck in a situation because they can’t “see the forest for the trees.” Take a step back from the problem so you can shift your focus. This action helps relax your mind and you can create space for active rest. What next appears can be vital new insights, thoughts, or ideas to help you solve your challenge. These are intuitive gifts you have been seeking.
- Have clear intentions
No matter if you are working on a new or different direction, make sure your intention is clear as it is the filter you create your destiny. Having a firm concept of what your company does and its impact on the world ensure every decision is reflected in that clarity. No matter the choice or obstacle, your intuition helps ground your vision and ensure the best possible outcome for you.
- You are guided by your values
Whether conscious or unconscious any choice is governed by your value system. Similar to intention, have strong values guides you through the journey of decision-making in any sphere. Having a firm grasp of your values will be reflected in your intuition, and ensure you always receive data based on this firm foundation. Consider needing to decide between two courses of action and both feel slightly off, this is mostly because neither option aligns with your values and intentions. Go with your gut and try to identify a third option.
- Take decisive action
Anyone can identify a spark of intuition, but it takes far more work to put it into action. This final step requires both trust and commitment. Listen to what this spark of intuition is telling you, and you may even choose to ask it questions on how to best act. Action begins with momentum forward and taking a leap of trust. Remember, you have freewill to chart your path.
Converting Intuition into Action
Once you have honed the six steps listed above, you will have created a stable foundation of crystal-clear values and intention. The next, and much easier step, is to nurture your trust in your intuitive skills. Every time you communicate with your intuition and take action steps leading to success your trust will blossom. Explore with how you use intuition in your careers and watch as the opportunities and abundance flow your way.