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9 Ways to Deepen Trust in Your Intuition — Bright Space Coaching | Leadership Development for Women in STEM

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2021)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Admin



Have you ever had a hunch that came true?

Do you have an uncanny knack for guessing what will happen next in a movie?

 Are you “always right” when it comes to sensing bad intentions in others?

If you said yes to any of the above, then you have a strong intuition!

The real question is: how often do you trust or follow your intuition?

I’ve always been an intuitive person, but in grad school, I didn’t trust my hunches or nudges.

When the professor asked the class a question, I almost always knew the answer, but I never raised my hand. Then, when someone else raised their hand and got the answer right, I always kicked myself for not trusting in myself.

I also got really close to a woman who ended up becoming my worst enemy. I always thought to myself, “I should have listened to my gut!”

Have you had any experiences like that?

Deepening trust in your intuition is an important way to build sustainable confidence in yourself. It can also help you make better decisions, avoid disappointing relationships, and gain the clarity you need to take the next steps in your path.

It might seem like magic (and those moments when you do trust your intuition often are!), but there are real and tangible ways you can deepen trust in your intuition so you can make better decisions for your life.

 

Here are 9 ways to deepen trust in your intuition: 

What is your intuition?

You know the feeling. It’s a ‘knowing’ or a gentle nudge that something is off, or awesome, or needs our attention. It’s typically subtle, which is why we often miss it or discount it.

Researchers at Leeds University concluded that intuition is a very real psychological process where the brain uses past experiences and cues from the self and the environment to make a decision. The decision happens so quickly that it doesn’t register on a conscious level.

Intuition is the way the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind. The information in our brains that give us that feeling or inner knowing is real. But the way the information comes together happens outside our conscious awareness. Which is why it can be hard to trust or listen to.

We all have intuition, and each of us has the capacity to tap into our intuition to help us reach our truest potential. It’s up to us whether or not we choose to listen.

You can use the following methods to begin deepening trust in your intuition:

1. Meditate

Meditation involves sitting (or lying down) quietly, allowing your thoughts to come and go naturally. It’s not about trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings; it’s learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand your thoughts, nudges and intuition as well.

Meditation helps train your awareness and build a healthy sense of perspective. Learning to meditate is like any other skill; it takes time and patience to get comfortable with it and see results. It’s one of those things where the journey is more important than the destination. Sometimes, your focus will wander to one of the thoughts floating through your mind, and that’s okay. Listening to a guided meditation on apps like Calm or Headspace can help you bring your focus back to a single point, like your breath.

If you’ve been having trouble meditating, or you know it’s just not for you (and that’s okay too!), sitting in silence is another great option. Instead of focusing on your breath, you could spend time paying attention to a single thought that’s bothering you. You could pray or ask the Universe for guidance. You could just sit and stare off into space. Find something that works for you to quiet the stressful thoughts and allow yourself time and space for peace.

 

2. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing in a given moment. It’s about observing the moment without judgment and not being overly reactive to or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

We all have this ability to be present, and by strengthening it with daily practice, we’re more able to tap into its powers when we need it – like during times of uncertainty or emotional turmoil.

Each time you bring your awareness (or pay attention) to your environment or what you’re doing by using your five senses, you’re being mindful. You’re also practicing mindfulness when you bring your awareness to your inner world – what you’re thinking or feeling at a given moment.

It’s a simple practice, yet it’s not always easy. By committing to yourself and to a daily mindfulness practice, you’ll build on your natural ability to be mindful. And in turn, you’ll deepen trust in your intuition.

 

3. Check in with your body

We sometimes feel sensations in our body before our brain recognizes the emotions associated with those sensations.

For that reason, it’s important to notice how different parts of your body are feeling throughout the day. And from there, you can begin to recognize your intuition when it’s trying to get your attention!

Do you carry tension in your head? Your neck or shoulders? Your lower back? When you feel anxious, do you feel it in your chest or your stomach?

When you pay attention to the sensations in your body, you’ll notice stress and anxiety before it manifests as an emotion. You’ll also notice the nudges, feelings or “knowings” before you really know how to make sense of them.

To practice paying attention to your body, try this body scan exercise:

  • Sit comfortably in a chair, or lie on the floor with your head supported. Close your eyes, or let your gaze fall gently.

  • Take a few deep breaths and start to release any tension you feel. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

  • Bring your attention to your feet. Start to wiggle your toes or feel the sensation of your feet in your socks or shoes. Notice how your feet are feeling, if there is any tension or pain. Don’t judge anything you feel, just notice it. 

  • Next, move your attention to your ankles, calves, knees, and thighs. Notice any sensations, tension, or pain in your legs. Notice how your legs feel in your clothing. Notice without judgment.

  • When you’re ready, bring your attention to your pelvis and lower back. Notice any sensations here. Slowly move your attention to your mid-back, then upper back. Notice any contact with the floor or furniture.

  • Bring your attention to your stomach. You might notice digestive movement or the gentle rising and falling of your abdomen as you breathe. Now, slowly move your attention to your chest, and notice your heartbeat.

  • Gently shift your attention to your hands. Wiggle your fingers, feel the connection to the floor, your body, or the chair. Move your attention through your wrists, forearms, and upper arms. Notice any sensation here. Your right arm might feel different from your left arm – no need to judge this.

  • When you’re ready, move your attention to your shoulders, neck and throat. This is an area where you may feel some tension. Let go of any rigidity or tightness you’re feeling here. As you exhale, you may notice the tension releasing.

  • On your next breath, bring your attention to your head, scalp, and face. Notice any sensation here. Notice the air moving in and out of your nose as you breathe. Notice any eye movement. 

  • Now, bring your attention to your body as a whole. Scan your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Continue breathing and notice the gentle rhythm of your breath moving down your body.

  • As you come to the end of this practice, start to take a few deeper breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, bringing your awareness back to your environment. When you’re ready, open your eyes, and bring your attention back to the present moment.

 

4. Allow yourself to feel

This is one of my favorite exercises, and I’m so grateful for my therapist who taught me this several years ago.

No matter what feelings come up for you throughout the week, take some time each day to really FEEL those feelings. Feel into the pain, anger, sadness, elation, joy, anxiety, or excitement. You can also begin to name the feelings – what do they feel like for you? How would you describe them?

Your intuition often presents itself as a feeling, so just like paying attention to your body allows you to connect with your physical self, feeling your feelings allows you to connect with your emotional self.

Journaling is one of the best ways to connect to your intuition and emotions. I journal daily as part of my Morning Ritual. Sometimes, I pull my tarot cards and use those as inspiration for my journal prompt, and other days, especially when I’m feeling a strong emotional pull, I start with free writing and getting all my feelings out on the page. 

Journaling is an important tool to protect and improve your mental health, and free writing can help you make sense of what you’re feeling, especially when you aren’t sure how to describe it. It can lead to a sense of calm once you’ve worked through your feelings, because it often allows us to address what we need to and find solutions to the things we’re struggling with and gain perspective on how we react to different situations.

 

5. Let yourself daydream

One of my favorite things to do is daydream. My top two strengths are Futuristic and Strategic, and I’m an ENFP, so it’s definitely in my nature. I like dreaming up all of the possibilities in my life and business, imagining the future, seeing myself achieving my goals and dreams.

Like visualization, daydreaming helps you connect to your subconscious mind. Remember: your intuition is the way the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind, so building upon that will help you strengthen your intuition.

So go ahead and give yourself permission to dream! If you like, you can journal about your experience afterward and capture specific goals or next steps. What often happens during daydreaming is that intuitive hits or messages become clearer because we’re being still and silent and focusing on what might be.

 

6. Try things on

Once you have an intuitive hit or a nudge about what to do next, try it on for size! Just like you would try on a new outfit to see if it fits or if you like the way it looks, it’s important to try on different tasks, activities, hobbies or futures to see if they fit.

It’s not always possible to sense if something will work out just by thinking about it. We have to try it out (hint: this is how confidence is built, too!). By trying something on, you can really feel what it’s like to live in that future state. Is it comfortable or aligned with your path? Do you enjoy it? Do you feel like you’re in flow? What’s coming up for you?

When you can answer those questions, you gain clarity in your path. You can quickly decide if that action or step is right for you, or if you need to try something else.

 

7. Pay attention to serendipity

Serendipity is the occurrence of unexpected events by chance, often for our own benefit. You might have experienced this when thinking of a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile, and that friend sends you a text message.

You might also experience this when you’ve been planning for one course of action, or you’re focused on one specific goal, yet another opportunity presents itself that’s even better than what you could have imagined for yourself.

The power of serendipity lies in the unexpected. The proverb, “we plan, God laughs,” sums it up pretty well. Although we have free will and can plan ahead and set goals for ourselves, we can’t always see the future ahead of us.

Serendipity also involves paying attention to patterns you notice in your daily life. Many times, you might see numbers in sequence, like 11:11 or 4:44. In those moments, it’s important to stop what you’re doing and listen inward. Do you have a nudge or knowing? Is your intuition trying to tell you something?

You can also ask for a sign to know if the serendipitous event you just experienced is something you should pursue, or if it’s better to continue with your original plan.

To start, choose a sign. It can be anything – an animal, a flower, a lucky number or sequence of numbers, a certain symbol or object. Choose something that you’re not likely to see every day, something that’s a bit rare.

 

Related: Using the Power of Serendipity to Achieve Your Goals

 

8. Notice others’ energy

Have you ever met someone and immediately know you’ll be fast friends – or sworn enemies? That’s your intuition at work! Especially for those of us who identify as Empaths, feeling or noticing someone else’s energy can be a powerful way to deepen trust in your intuition.

Try it out the next time you meet someone for the first time. They say you form a first impression of someone in less than 27 seconds, so use that time to listen inward and pay attention to any feelings or nudges you get. 

Then over time, as you interact with that person, you can revisit your initial intuitive hit and see if you were right about them! (If you’re really honing in on your intuition, you probably will be!)

 

9. Pull a card

You can deepen trust in your intuition by pulling a Tarot, Oracle, Affirmation, or other kind of card. Choose a card deck that speaks to you – one that reflects your values or personality. Then, when you feel stuck or aren’t sure what to do next, you can pull a card.

Some cards might be more symbolic or mysterious than others, and some card decks have a single word or phrase written on them. Whatever the card says (or doesn’t say), reflect on the words and images, and see if you can make sense of how it might relate to your situation.

My favorite way to connect to my inner wisdom is turning to Tarot. Since 2015, I’ve used Tarot as a tool for introspection and self-coaching, to help me work through difficult moments in my life. 

I’ve found it especially helpful in times when I’ve felt lost, confused, or disconnected.

The cards don’t report on what’s happening in your life or predict your future. Rather, each card offers a different invitation or opportunity to tune into your inner wisdom.

You can pull a single card and ask, “what card is showing up to support me in this moment?” Or, you can pull a simple 3-card spread and ask:

  • Card 1: What’s happening in the present moment?

  • Card 2: What am I being invited to pay attention to? (or What am I being invited to release?)

  • Card 3: How can I support myself? (Self-care, resources, solutions)

You have all the answers within you. Sometimes, you just need help pulling them out!

 

Related: How to Use Tarot for Personal Growth

 

The Takeaway

We all have intuition, and each of us has the capacity to tap into our intuition to help us reach our truest potential. It’s up to us whether or not we choose to listen. You can use the methods in this article to begin deepening trust in your intuition.

Take action now: Choose one method and start practicing it for a week. Keep note in your journal of any hunches, nudges or feelings you experience throughout the week. Then, at the end of the week, read over your experiences and see if anything came true for you. What happened when you followed a nudge? What happened when you ignored a knowing? Write about all of your experiences to build self-awareness and deepen trust in your intuition.

 …

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