Updated: Oct 10, 2019
"Intuition literally means learning from within. Most of us were not taught how to use this sense, but all of us know well that 'gut feeling'. Learn to trust your inner feeling and it will become stronger. Avoid going against your better judgement or getting talked into things that just don't feel right." ~ Doe Zantamata, Author & Artist
I still have vivid memories as far back as four years old of situations where I was trying to hear my intuition. You know, that "gut feeling" that tells you what decision to make or if something is right for you or if it's not. And I also remember how the adults in my life thought they knew more than a child and so they would discount my input, which would then make me doubt myself.
This is a natural response. Adults do have more "life experience" than a four year old, right? Hmmmm, but "life experience" is colored by knowledge gained specifically by that individual, whether good or bad. So, maybe that wouldn't turn out to be so reliable because they may only see their own personal viewpoint, which could be pretty limiting if they are a very opinionated person.
In all those situations where I had a gut feeling, the thing I said would happen, then did happen and this showed me that actually, I was right. Was it a little freaky? Sure. But that was my confirmation that logic isn't always the answer and those who think they know everything through their own "reasoning" and experience aren't always right. This is why you should be careful of what advice you take from other people. Just because they mean well or want the best for you, doesn't mean their opinion on how you should proceed is accurate.
Lucky for me, I had a very intuitive older sister who constantly encouraged me to follow my gut instincts, no matter if my logical mind couldn't understand it. Even if SHE did not agree with my gut feeling, she would still encourage me to follow it.
"No matter how much I care about you, I can't tell you what's right for you," she would say. "Just follow your gut! You know the answer already." I thank God she was the person guiding me through my life. Most people are trying to get you to follow THEIR agendas. She is one of the very few people who said I should follow myself.
This blog post is my attempt to help you to hear your own inner voice. Your own intuition. Everybody has dreams and goals, and everyone deserves the right to pursue them. The only way to find that happiness is through listening to your intuition.
In my opinion, every single person on this planet has intuition. Each person has their own unique life path to follow, individual talents and an inner compass that guides them along their journey. I believe this comes from our connection to the spirit world.
I was recently talking to a friend about when I left the 9-5 world about 8 years ago. I started explaining that I decided to just leave with no plan and instead of trying to control everything, for the first time, I let life lead me.
This decision came after four years of saving money and researching every possible job I thought I might be interested in. But when nothing sounded like it was going to make me happier than the current job I was in, that told me, I just had to jump and let my "new life" find me. So I did.
I let situations and opportunities come to me and then I would decide whether or not it was the right direction to follow at that time. I had various things float my way: graphic design projects, resume writing, bar tending jobs, pet sitting jobs, substitute teaching jobs, you name it, I probably did it.
My friend asked me, "How did you know if what came your way was the right thing or not?" Her question made me think about how most people don't make decisions based on their gut feelings. My response was, "I just had to take a step back and see if the opportunity felt right or if it felt wrong." It was the simplest answer I could come up with. But there's much more to it than that.
As I mentioned above, from a very young age, we are taught by the adults in our lives that we must be "good" people and we must be "productive" people who make these wonderful life achievements and logical decisions. This is the kind of thinking we need to let go of and "unlearn" to find our own true voice.
Maybe your parents had dreams about the type of person you would be and hoped you would become a "success." Well, what does that even mean? It means, don't give up! Overcome every obstacle in your path and then you are a success! Make tons of money and you are considered a success. You work your butt off to the point of sacrificing your health / well-being and then you get rewarded with that degree, or that promotion or that house.
But did you enjoy the journey of getting there? Or did you just focus on overcoming obstacles and just achieving your end goal so you could get all that money and accolades from friends / family?
Somewhere in there, actual happiness gets lost. The American culture is so achievement and material based, almost to a fault. People sometimes get SO FOCUSED on the goal and impressing other people that they dismiss all the signs and messages that "obstacles" might be trying to tell them along their journey.
If you hit a roadblock or obstacle, stop for a second and think about it. Is it saying, this is not the right thing for your life? Is it saying now is not the right time? Is it saying maybe you need to go in a different direction and try something else? Is it testing your commitment to this goal and asking if you really want it? Maybe you simply need to take a break or a step back and get some rest before proceeding. These are all intuitive based. And it can be complicated to know which one of these is correct. This is where you have to take the time to learn how YOUR personal intuition works.
How do you start the process of hearing your own intuition? Question your reasons on why you're doing something. And be brave enough to be honest in your answer.
This answer is the beginning point of following your inner compass.
By the time I was ready to leave 9-5, I asked myself, why am I working in this job? My answer was, to pay my bills. That wasn't a good enough reason for me to stay. I know - I don't have kids and at the time I was single. BUT I did have a mortgage to pay. I also had to figure out health insurance and I had to afford groceries. At the very least, I didn't want to be homeless or a burden for my family to take care of, right? But still money was not a good enough reason for me to stay. Why? because I wasn't happy.
So here we are leading to more answers: why am I still at this job? Money. Does Money replace the lack of happiness in this situation? No. And in fact, if I am only here for the money, well, there are LOTS of other ways to make money to pay bills that might possibly make me happier. So, how about I try some of those options instead, get paid for doing other things that I might enjoy and see where they lead. So that's where I started from. That was my intuition telling me there was a better life out there for me. And I just had to listen to it step by step to get there.
I'm not saying it's easy. I've had ups and downs and doubts just like we all do. Those NEVER go away no matter how happy you are with your life. But the point is to create a life that makes you happy on a high level where those ups, downs, and doubts are just minor bumps in the road. Everybody has struggles, but finding the "right" path for you helps to lessen those struggles because you're satisfied with your life.
For me, I wanted to just live each day and enjoy it as much as possible. I wasn't interested in more money, a big house or a high-powered job title. I wanted to be my authentic self and contribute on a daily basis, however I felt like without having a job tell me what to do.
There are many simple ways to contribute in life. Like taking my nephew to his driver's test. Or taking care of someone's dog while they are away on vacation. Or filling in as a substitute teacher. Or making a piece of art that really uplifts somebody's day. Or picking up a family member from surgery. Some of these we may get paid for, some we might not. But for me, enjoying HOW I contribute is a key piece of my happiness. Living each moment and utilizing my own skills and talents how I choose and in a way that means something to me is the core of how I operate.
But that's MY intuition. YOUR intuition might tell you to make more money because it will make you feel valued at work. Or buy a big house because deep down you want 5 kids. Or you do want a high-powered job because that's how you personally achieve fulfillment.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" answer. Which is the very reason why it's best to really truly follow your own gut feelings. Sometimes this means making choices others don't understand. There were many people who didn't understand the choices I was making. And it was totally worth ignoring them because I'm living a life that makes me feel fulfilled.
There is a path for everyone. And if we are brave enough to stop and listen to our gut feelings, we will be led to better jobs, better relationships, better health, and an overall better and happier life.