Have you ever made a snap decision without having the time to analyze all of the details, and yet it just felt right?
Or, how about a time when you felt as though something was not quite right? Maybe someone said something to you, and you sensed that they were not being honest, or maybe you felt uncomfortable around someone without knowing why.
Many of us dismiss these kinds of experiences as nonsense because we have no logical reason to think or feel the way we do. We’ve generally been trained to make rational decisions by analyzing data so that we can come to accurate conclusions. We fail to tune in to the one invisible gift that we all have: our own intuition.
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
Why do many of us disregard our intuition? Perhaps because those hunches are often perceived to be devoid of reason and something that cannot be trusted.
However, science is beginning to demystify our “hunch power”. In fact, it is commonly acknowledged that intuitive perception plays an important role in business decisions, medical diagnoses, and so on. For example, studies conducted by the Institute of HeartMath found that 80% of successful repeat entrepreneurs relied on their intuition when making important business decisions.
What exactly is intuition?
Some call this unseen force a gut feeling or a strong sense of “inner knowing”. It’s the ability to know something without knowing how you know it. And, that ability is always there, whether you are conscious of it or not. The question is, are you paying attention?
There are three types of intuition:
1. Implicit Knowledge: Refers to the subconscious knowledge that we have gained from experience. Here’s a simple explanation of how this happens: your brain works as a pattern-matching machine, where you automatically match the patterns of new problems or challenges with implicit memories from your past experiences. The more experience or expertise that you have, the sharper your implicit knowledge.
One of my favorite examples of this type of intuition is the recorded case of a Formula One driver who braked sharply when approaching a sharp bend without knowing why – and as a result avoided hitting a pile-up of cars on the track ahead. The driver did not make that decision consciously; he simply followed a strong hunch to stop. While watching a video of the event, he realized what made him stop was the fact that the crowd, which would have normally been cheering him on, was looking the other way. He intuitively knew that something was wrong and made a decision to stop.
2. Energetic Sensitivity: Refers to our ability to sense environmental signals such as magnetic fields. For example, some people appear to be able to sense that an earthquake is about to happen in advance of the event. This type of intuition is also at play in those situations when you feel like someone is staring at you.
3. Nonlocal Intuition: Refers to the knowledge or sense of something that simply cannot be explained. There is compelling evidence from the HeartMath Institute that suggests the human heart receives and processes information about a future event before the event actually occurs. Accessing nonlocal intuition is transformational because it contains wisdom that streams from multiple energetic fields around the body. The HeartMath Institute refers to this type of intuition as “heart intelligence.”
According to the Institute of HeartMath, all of us have the ability to pay attention to our Nonlocal Intuition. The thing that distinguishes people who are intuitive from everyone else is that they listen to that guidance rather than ignore it. We can all cultivate the ability to listen to our intuition through practice.
How can you develop your hunch power?
Researchers have found a significant relationship between increased heart rhythm coherence and becoming more sensitive to our intuitive signals. As we slow down our minds and tune in to our heart feelings, our natural intuitive connection begins to flow.
Here is one proven way to refine your intuition. It is a simple 5-step HeartMath technique called Freeze Frame® that you can use to make decisions or access creative solutions to a problem, as follows:
Step 1: Acknowledge the problem or issue and any attitudes or feelings about it.
Step 2: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. You can inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds, or choose whatever rhythm is comfortable for you.
Step 3: Make a sincere attempt to experience a positive regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
Step 4: From this more objective place, ask yourself what would be a more efficient or effective attitude, action or solution.
Step 5: Quietly observe any subtle changes in perceptions, attitudes or feelings. Commit to sustaining beneficial attitude shifts and acting on new insights.
This simple, yet powerful technique can help you find clearer and more effective choices. Each time you do so, be sure to write down what you observed when you asked your heart for guidance. If you decide to follow your heart, make a note of how things turn out.
Ultimately, we benefit the most from a balance of intuition and rational analysis when making business decisions. In some cases, accessing our intuition can help us narrow down possibilities, which can then be assessed in a logical and rational way. In other cases, we can conduct an initial analysis to identify a few possibilities that seem equally feasible, and then use the Freeze Frame® technique to access our heart’s intuitive intelligence to decide on the right option.
Your intuition is like an internal compass. It is a “superpower” than can guide you in the right direction. The question is, are you listening?
To learn more about the research conducted by the HeartMath Institute, feel free to visit www.heartmath.org. If you or your organization would like to receive training or coaching on how to access intuition and become even more resilient, please visit veredkogan.com or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.