How to Trust Your Intuition When It's Hard
Learning to trust your intuition is all fine and dandy when things are going good and there’s not much to lose.
But what happens when things are unfolding smoothly in your life when you’re all of a sudden hit with a download from your Higher Self that you’d rather not hear?
You realize that something you used to LIVE for is no longer lighting you up? When there’s no longer any excitement left.
This is something I experienced recently when I faced the fact that my “dream business” was no longer calling to me. A career I had spent six years aspiring towards, four years building up, and one year fully owning running it as a high level boss (yep… if you did the math that’s eleven years to get there!).
When I started planning the next’s years big event, I received a heartbreaking call from my soul that this was no longer in service of my growth. That it was time to release myself from this work so that I could open the channels in my life to focus on a new path, even if I don’t know what that fully looks like yet. During a meditation I was told to focus my energy and resources towards developing new skills and exploring new interests.
And trust me… I fought myself on this one.
I know what it feels like to resist my intuition. To hear it scream at me so loudly and let tears streak down my cheeks. To ask my Soul “Why? Why are you telling me this. Why do I need to end this?”
Only to hear the answer that it’s for my highest good, which somehow sounds both soothing and pisses me off at the same time.
I went through denial and anger. Deep sadness. I threw a tantrum and tried negotiating different options to appease my ego.
I didn’t want to be forced to look at this. I didn’t want to make a decision.
I wanted to feel the same as I used to. How could something that brought me so much love and passion for eleven years simply feel cut off? How could something that shaped who I was no longer give me sparks.
I grieved the loss of a part of me.
I felt the growing pains deeply.
My ego had created so much of my identity around this work that I was scared to enter the unknown of who I would become if I were to let this go.
But the truth is, I would never find out unless I did.
We hold onto things because we fear change. Attachment to the past keeps us small and afraid to move forward with our life. We have to release the old to make room for the new.
I came to the realization that I didn’t want to live in that fear. I feared letting down my team, and clients. I feared burning bridges, and losing an entire community in my industry. I feared how others would judge me for my decision and think I was abandoning them. I feared I’d no longer feel important or special.
My ego was throwing every fear it had at me.
But if I stayed for those reasons alone I would have been abandoning myself. This was an ultimate act of self-love.
Trusting in that doesn’t make it any easier. The resistance we create within ourselves to our higher calling can be so painful. It’s not easy to walk the talk.
We fight against our intuition thinking we can outsmart it, but slowly we are filled with anxiety and turmoil.
We have a deep knowing that if we don’t let this part of us go then we are betraying our soul. Once this has entered our awareness it’s impossible to ignore.
Our hearts tell us our deepest truths that we may not intellectually understand yet.
This is why people say it takes courage and faith to follow your heart… especially in business.
We are led away from things we used to love down an unknown and fearful path, and only hope that it will all make sense one day. That we will one day be led back to exactly what we were searching for all along, only now filled with the lessons and experience to fully appreciate our treasure.
But if we continue fighting and forcing things to go the way we think things “should go”, then we are entering a losing battle. We will continue to encounter walls to our bliss and happiness until we surrender and start paying attention to the call in our hearts.
Life will continue to construct walls and lesson that gently (or forcefully) realign us with the path we are meant to travel.
I’ll be the first one to admit that this has been a challenging experience for me. I would feel so far out of alignment with my values had I chosen to just “do the job anyways and make the most of it”. Because a part of me believes that ya… I could have gone and done the big event and probably had an amazing adventure and so much fun. I know that my talents and skills are valuable and a perfect fit. I would have gotten to see old friends and be my most creative and expressive self. But a deeper part of me knows that time is precious, and that I’d rather not spend my life pursuing goals that don’t fulfill me on the deepest level anymore.
I’m craving change and growth. I know there is more for me to discover by choosing to explore the unknown.
Maybe my story has awakened a part of you that may be in resistance to a deeper truth you already know?
If you’re really having a hard time trusting your intuition when your mind tries to rationalize it, I have some practices that may help you solidify your decision. When the stakes seem high there will be a lot of back and forth which can be confusing and paralyzing.
So how can we start trusting that intuitive voice when it speaks especially when we aren’t happy with what it has to say?
These intuitive nudges may show up in big scary life decisions in our work, relationships, or moving to a new city.
Here are some tools that I find help me feel more clear.
(For the purpose of explaining I’ll use my example above which is quitting my go-go dancing business.)
1. TALK IT OUT
Reach out to a close trusted friend (or five like I did!) and ask them to listen to you vent. Ask them for feedback on your body language and energy when you talk about your options. Be mindful if you are trying to find excuses as to why you “should” or “can’t”. These are just your limiting beliefs coming up. Listen to yourself speak and try and see if you can pick up on the decision you “wish” you could make (hint: you have permission to make the decision you wish you could… not that you need it.)
Still feeling confused after speaking with your friends? Reach out to a professional. There are plenty of counselors, therapists, healers, and coaches that have the experience and unbiased view to guide you through big transitions.
2. LOOK AT YOUR FEARS
Ask yourself if you weren’t afraid what would you do? Are you committed to honouring that truth and being in integrity with yourself? Or are you choosing to live from fear and play safe?
3. WRITE IT OUT
Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and just free write a stream of consciousness.
I’m not talking about a pros and cons lists here. Pros and cons lists are too logical. I’m talking about the internal dialogue that is going on in your brain and heart surrounding the decision.
We want to completely uncensor the subconscious mind and let your deepest truths, worries, fears, excitements, and feelings spill onto the page.
Afterwards you can go back and uncover how you truly feel about the situation by re-reading what you’ve written.
*Don’t censor yourself or stop and read your writing during this process.
4. MUSCLE TESTING
Our muscles can get answer from our subconscious mind by using applied kinesiology testing. Our muscles will either strengthen when our body supports our decision, or weaken when it’s a clear NO.
To test this create an “O” by pressing the tip of your left thumb to your left pinky finger. Make the “okay” sign with your right thumb and index finger and interlock the two “O’s”
Ask yourself the question but rephrase is as a yes or no, for example, “Yes, it’s time I leave my job”, or “No, I’m not ready to leave my job”.
Pull on the two “O’s” and if they stay strong and secure then your body support that decision, and if they break apart easily then your body is weakened by that decision.
5. BODY TESTING
Stand up with your feet hip distance apart. Place your hands on your heart and take a few deep breathes to center yourself. Close your eyes. Ask yourself your question, for example, “Should I leave my job?”.
If the answer is yes then your body will be pulled forward. If the answer is no then you will sway backwards.
6. FLIP A COIN
Not sure you fully buy into body/muscle testing (try it out on things you already now the answer to— it’s freakishly accurate!)? Then flip a coin.
This isn’t leaving your decision making up to chance. In fact it doesn’t matter what side the coin lands on. What matters is your instant reaction to it.
Immediately ask yourself how you feel once the coin has been flipped.
If it lands on heads (or “leave your job”), are you filled with relief, excitement, a deep knowing? Or do you want best out of three and wish is secretly landed on the reverse? A lot can be said about how you truly feel when you pretend like the decision has already been made.
Don’t be afraid to quit what isn’t working for you. You have no idea what your journey has in store for you if you are too afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
If there’s anything that you are going through right now that has you feeling torn between logic and intuition then sometimes sharing it is the first step to shed light on it.
You are strong, courageous, and worthy of the life you dream of. Don’t allow your doubt to hold you back. Trust in your innate inner wisdom. Your heart knows what’s best for you better than anyone else.
Rise & shine,