You’d think making a choice would be easy.
Which option feels the most aligned with your intentions for your future.
Okay… maybe it’s not that simple.
You make a choice.
‘Yes, that’s what I’m going to do’.
And then it starts…
Is that the really the right choice for me?
What will xyz think of that choice?
Can I really do that?
Isn’t that a bit out of reach for me?
Am I qualified enough, intelligent enough, rich enough, old enough, young enough, thin enough, funny enough, serious enough…
When I tried that in the past it didn’t work, am I stupid for thinking it will work this time?
Am I just setting myself up to fail?
Perhaps I’ll just ask a few people and see what they think.
Then after you have all the (hopefully) well-intentioned thoughts and let’s face it, emotional baggage that’s been triggered by the decision you’re making, piled on top of your already overworking mind, you still have no idea what choice to make.
You’ve gone from having an idea about what you wanted to do, to talking yourself out of it, to now drowning under the weight of information, expectations, and should’s – most of which aren’t even your beliefs in the first place.
No wonder you’re confused!
But let’s not stop there…
Next, we can add the pressure of getting something ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, as if we think there is only one way to achieve what we want.
We can put so much pressure on ourselves to make the perfect decision, that we immobilise ourselves and make no decision at all.
Yet in our quest for perfection, we rarely stop to ask who’s set of rules for perfection we are trying to measure up to; family, societal, cultural? It’s rarely our own.
The problem is, as humans we’re emotional creatures, we’re full of feelings, we’re sensory beings, yet we pretend we’re not.
Instead of embracing the messiness and unpredictability of humanness and life, we try to sanitise and control it.
We generally already know what we want to do, but we try to justify our decision to ourselves, and to others.
Then we just get in a tangled mess of what we want, what we think we should want, and what other’s want for us.
No wonder you’re now overwhelmed!
Instead try this.
Next time you have to make a decision, write it down for clarity, then notice how you feel.
Stop what you’re doing and pay attention to how your physical body feels.
What’s the quality of your energy and thoughts?
There will be two types of feelings in your body’s response to the choice you need to make.
One response will be fear that shows up as overwhelm.
The other will be your intuition guiding you to the choice that’s best for you.
Here’s how to sense the difference.
- Negatively charged emotionally
- Anxious, frustrated
- Like you’restuck in a loop
- Neutral; it just is
- Clear and calm
- Full of opportunity and hope
- It feels ‘right’, but not in a way that makes sense logically, but you just ‘know’
By stopping to notice how you feel, you’ll be able to cut through the noise of overwhelm, expectations, and should’s.
You can step out of the energy of ‘what if it all goes wrong’, and into the energy of ‘what if it all goes better than I imagined’.
One thing’s for sure you can’t think your way out of overwhelm. You don’t need more thoughts you need more clarity.
You create clarity by creating space. That means removing some of the thoughts that aren’t helpful (and that aren’t yours).
Imagine you were moving into a new house.
You turn up with your removal van and start to unload your furniture.
When you open the door to your new home, the previous people have left all of their furniture behind. But instead of clearing out the house first, you just continue to unpack your belongings and add it to the previous occupants.
When you’ve finished unpacking it’s going to be squashed, messy, and you’ll have very little space to do all the things you’d dreamed of doing in your new home.
And yet that’s what we do when we try and think our way out of overwhelm.
What we need to do is the same as moving house. You need to start by removing the previous occupants stuff, clean the house, and then you can start to move your furniture in, creating the home that you desire; one where you feel safe, protected, nourished and nurtured.
Just like when you need to make a decision, you need to remove the previous occupant’s stuff; consider this identifying and removing the fears, expectations and should’s.
Then you clean the house; this is you getting clear on what you want from life.
And finally, you bring in your own furniture; you get to create the life that you want, and choose the decisions that move you in that direction.
So, when you next feel overwhelmed, take a moment to stop and give yourself the chance to notice the nudges and messages, from your intuition.
Then take action.
Actions create movement.
Movement and the direction of travel can always be amended.
Being stuck in the loop of overwhelm just gets you thinking in circles and going nowhere.
Choose to be a perfectly imperfect, messy and complicated human, it’s much more fulfilling, fun, and full of adventures.
The other option is, well… I’ll let you fill in the blank ____________
Let’s face it, it can be hard to know what we really want.
I’ve had way too many women burst into tears when I’ve asked them that exact question.
“What do you want?”
Whether it’s life purpose questions, what they want to do at the weekend, or even what movie they want to watch.
They’re so used to prioritising the needs of others; children, partners, parents, co-workers, friends…. they’ve become disconnected from what they really want.
Their desires silenced under the noise of judgements, ‘should’s’, and expectations.
Not wanting to let other people down, wanting to be seen as a ‘good’ person, not wanting to be seen as selfish, the list goes on and on as to why people get disconnected from hearing their inner wisdom and desires.
The noise, overwhelm, and mixed messages that women receive can create inner turmoil and confusion. Be confident, but not too confident, be clever, but not too clever, be powerful, but not too powerful, be sexual, but not too sexual…
Playing small to keep other people comfortable. Not speaking up in case it upsets or offends someone. Not asking for what you need in case it inconveniences others.
So instead of trusting her inner desires, or hearing her inner wisdom, she can barely hear their messages. She gets busy contorting herself to meet other people’s expectations and desires.
As she gets busier, her inner voice gets quieter, until it’s a distant memory, a slight twinge of knowing that’s easy to ignore.
In quiet moments, she knows something doesn’t feel right, but rather than ask herself what she really needs, she doesn’t have time, and certainly doesn’t want to explore how much she’s betrayed herself and turned her back on her needs, instead, she takes on more responsibility and numbs the pain with her crutch of choice; scrolling through social media, gossip, shopping, food or ‘wine o’clock’.
Under this weight of expectations and judgements it can be hard to choose what you want, over what you feel you should do to fit in or please others.
There’s no doubt that sometimes it can feel easier to ignore that intuitive nudge, and that quiet inner knowing, rather than speak up or ‘rock the boat’.
It’s easy for the mind to become overwhelmed with information.
But it’s time to try something new.
A way that prioritises you and your needs.
Because from experience, we know the other way leads to frustration, resentment, overwhelm and burnout, and that’s no fun for anyone!
Instead, it’s time to start to reconnect with awe and wonder.
With opportunities and possibility.
Instead of trying to think your way through a situation, start to feel it.
Let the openness of curiosity lead you to where you want to be.
Place your hand over your heart and ask yourself:
“What do I want?”
Not what you think you should want, or what other people want for you, but what do you want?
Then ask yourself:
“What do I need to do today to be fulfilled?”
Ask yourself these questions everyday.
You may not have the answer immediately but keep asking.
Get quiet, ask the question, and become curious to the quiet whisper you hear.
Create the space for that whisper or quiet nudge to get louder, and louder, until you’re clear what voice is yours, and what voices are the external expectations and desires of other people.
This process is important as of course you’re asking a question to get an answer.
But it’s also important because you’re giving yourself a moment of sacred pause, a moment to turn inwards and actually ask yourself what you want and need.
You’re taking a moment to cut through the noise and listen to yourself.
A moment to connect with yourself to hear your inner wisdom.
A moment to help you make better choices, that are aligned with what you actually want and desire.
And if that fails, toss a coin.
Years ago, I was on a training and the teacher said that when she can’t decide what to do, she tosses a coin.
I was surprised, I didn’t have her down as someone who would leave decisions up to chance in such a way.
She then went on to explain…
She doesn’t ‘do’ what she assigned to the coin’s ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, but she uses it to watch her immediate response, her intuitive wisdom.
She might not initially know what she wants, but as soon as the coin ‘tells’ her what to do, she immediately feels relief at a ‘yes’ because that’s what she wants to do.
Or a resistance to the coin’s answer, in that case she knows that she wants the other option.
She used the coin to help her bypass her mind and get clear on what she really wanted.
If you want to cut out the noise and reconnect to your inner wisdom, so that you can make better choices in life click here to learn how>>
Years ago, I was listening to a radio interview with Ray Mears, an outdoor survival expert, and someone had asked him how to get the most out of their up-coming trip to the jungle.
His response has always stayed with me.
Not because I’m off to the jungle, but because they’re words to live by, especially when developing your relationship with your intuition.
He said, and I’m paraphrasing:
“Walk into the jungle and stop. Let the jungle come to you.”
I just love that for soooo many reasons.
Stop, and let the jungle come to you.
I mean of course… it’s so obvious. If you go stomping through the jungle, all the creatures will run away from you, you won’t get to notice all of the incredible diversity that surrounds you, as you’re moving too fast and ‘on a mission’ to see the jungle, rather than experience it.
How many times do you set an intention, want to hear your intuition, or weave some magic, but you’re being too ‘noisy’ and scaring off, and not noticing, the signs and synchronicities around you?
It’s like the time I was staying in a hotel in London and overheard a tourist announcing that they had ‘done Europe’, as they had been to London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Even though the Tourist was no doubt having a fabulous time and seeing the sights that many people would associate with Europe, people who live in Europe would know that they had anything but ‘done’ Europe, all they’d actually done was tick of a few tourist destination.
Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it’s also important to recognise it for what it is.
Just like when you’re connecting to your intuition.
If you’re trying to force it, or be a ‘spiritual tourist’ doing the things that have worked for others, rather than exploring what actually works for you, you’ll only connect with your intuition at the same depth the tourist really connected with Europe.
There will be some benefit and fun adventures, but you miss the real beauty.
You need to stop, and let your intuition come to you.
However, stopping is easier said than done in today’s world.
Life is getting busier, and faster, and noisier.
Technology is amazing, it’s made so much more of life easier and accessible, it’s also added a different level of stress; a constant ability to be ‘on’.
With many people now working from home, the working and not working time and space has become increasingly blurred.
I saw a meme the other day that I think summed it up, it said: We’re not working from home, we’re sleeping at work.
It’s now more important than ever to disconnect from the noise around us and reconnect to ourselves so that we can get in touch with our intuition and trust ourselves.
A Sacred Pause
Years ago, I head the term ‘Sacred Pause’ from Molly Remer, who learnt it from Joanna Powell Colbert.
As soon as I heard the term my body recognised it and sighed ‘yes’.
Stop and let life, your intuition, magic and synchronicities come to you.
The stopping, the Sacred Pause is at the heart of life.
Yes, there are times when we need to do, and achieve, and push forwards.
But the pause, the rest, and the stopping are equally important.
I like to think of it as walking the labyrinth.
When you walk a labyrinth, you enter with intention, often to seek the answer to a question you hold in your heart.
As you spiral in, you let go and release all of the things that are preventing you from finding the answer you seek.
Then when you get to the centre you pause.
The Sacred Pause where you allow yourself to assimilate. To allow the answer a chance to come to you.
This is where the transformation and deep connection occurs.
Then when you’re ready, you spiral back out of the labyrinth, transformed, a new person, never to be the same again.
The Sacred Pause being quite literally the heart and the centre of all transformation and deep connection.
- Choose to consciously pause.
- Choose to notice your energy.
- Choose to let life come to you.
When you stop, you become aware of the nuances of life, the diversity of the energy around you.
You begin to become aware of what’s your energy and what belongs to other people.
When you get that kind of clarity you begin to trust yourself as you can sense your intuition and hear its wisdom as it cuts through the noise of judgements, expectations, and shoulds.
Everyone is intuitive, it’s not reserved for people that are ‘special’.
EVERYONE is intuitive and can access their intuitive wisdom.
If you don’t trust your intuition, feel like you can’t hear it, or find yourself doubting it, you just need to take a Sacred Pause so you can learn to cut out the noise and hear yourself again.
I’ve created super simple practice based on the Sacred Pause, it takes about 5-10 minutes to do. It will cut out the noise and reconnect you to your intuition simply CLICK HERE to access it.
“I knew this would happen. I just had a feeling when I meet him, but he seemed okay so I just ignored it”.
These were the words I’d heard too many times before.
When Rachel* met Simon* she felt something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put her finger on it.
Everyone else seemed to think he was lovely; so charming and funny, that she squashed her own intuition, assuming not everyone else could be wrong.
It must be her.
Perhaps she was tired or being too quick to judge, he was being very attentive and charming…
Yet here they were, a month later, and her best friend in tears at the way Simon had treated her.
Rachel now kicking herself because somehow, she knew he was trouble, but she didn’t believe in herself enough to say anything. Of course, her friend would still make her own decisions, but still… she regretted not saying anything at the time.
How many times have you found yourself in similar situations?
After the event, the heartache, the disappointment, wishing you had trusted those first impressions, that initial feeling, knowing you’d already intuitively known this was the likely outcome.
How many times have you said (or thought to yourself) those awful words: “I knew this was going to happen, I just had a feeling”?
Your intuition had given you the information you needed, and you’d ignored it.
You know that listening to your intuition can save you much pain and heartache, and yet why is it so tricky to trust it?
Listening to your intuition can help you avoid unhealthy relationships and opportunities that don’t support you.
People will always have opinions and ideas about what’s best for you, some of these will be well-intended, and some will, unfortunately, come from a place of wanting to deceive and/or control you.
It’s true, you can often tell instantly if someone’s idea is good for you or not, no matter how well-intentioned, and you intuitively know if someone does have your best interests at heart.
It’s equally true, that you can often override your intuition. In fact, for most of your life, you may have dismissed your intuition, maybe you’ve even been encouraged by others to override this inner wisdom.
Ways you can dismiss your intuition:
- You can doubt yourself by overthinking the situation and listening to the (many) opinions of others.
- Unconscious bias, assumptions, and judgements can drown out the wisdom of your intuition.
- Shoulds and expectations can have you thinking that you have to override your initial insights into a situation, so that you don’t ‘make a fuss’, disappoint others, or let them down.
- You don’t want to listen to your intuition because your desire for the opportunity/person/status is bigger than your intuitive voice.
- Previous trauma can leave you disconnected to your own experiences, leaving you not trusting yourself or your intuition.
There are many reasons why your initial thoughts or judgements about a person may be wrong.
You may take an instant dislike to someone because of your own unconscious bias, your judgements, or previous experiences that you subconsciously project on to them.
These are not helpful or trustworthy.
But there is a way to bypass these unhelpful ‘first impressions’ and reconnect to your intuition and your inner wisdom.
A way that helps you to learn to interpret your inner wisdom and untangle it from the unhelpful judgements.
How to trust your intuition when you first meet someone:
Most importantly notice what your energy does when you meet someone.
Your energy is quite different from your emotions and feelings, ask yourself;
- Does your energy expand or contract around this person?
- Does your heart intuition pull you forward towards them, or does your gut intuition back you away from them?
- Do you feel empowered or drained in their company?
- Do you feel neutral or uplifted, or drained and disempowered, after spending time with them?
- Would you feel the same if you were your best self; nourished, rested and confident, and all of your needs were taken care of?
- Do you feel seen, heard, and respected in the interaction you had with them?
- Do you feel valued in the interaction?
- Are you trying to control the situation involving them?
- Is fear or opportunity leading any potential future relationship with them (platonic or otherwise)?
- How much is your desire for the idea of them, or what they can offer, leading your thoughts?
Intuition is like any muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
Knowing if you should you trust someone when you take an instant dislike to them becomes easier the more you start to listen to and trust your intuition, in all areas of your life.
To start with you’ll need to untangle feelings, emotions, and judgements from your intuition. When you notice a feeling, emotion, or judgement, observe it.
How does it feel?
Where do you feel it?
Judgements evoke feelings and emotions.
Feelings and emotions move through you. They’re designed to bring your attention to something; often to let you know if your own behaviour, or that of others, is aligned with you, your values and your boundaries.
Feelings and emotions that you label ‘good’ mean you’re likely aligned with and on your path, leaving you with a sense of empowerment.
Feelings and emotions that you label ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘bad’ indicate you or others are dishonouring your values and boundaries, moving you away from your path and leaving you dis-empowered.
Once they’ve given you the information, they can then move on (if you let them).
Your intuition is much more grounded.
It’s a deep, inner-knowing, a quiet inner-presence, coming from within.
It doesn’t just pass through your body, it’s part of you. Your intuition becomes louder or quieter but doesn’t leave.
Your intuition doesn’t pass judgement.
It focuses purely on you.
Next time you meet someone, and you instantly dislike them, check-in with yourself, and your energy, to see if the information you’ve received is an intuitive insight.
If it is, give yourself permission to leave.
*Names have been changed for privacy
Do you want to improve your connection to your intuition click here to learn how>>
Have you ever walked into a room and just known that something wasn’t right?
No-one said anything, nothing looked obviously out of place… but you just knew?
Maybe you left the room, made your excuses to leave or kept your guard up?
Either way, you trusted that little voice or feeling.
Perhaps when you’re talking to a friend or member of your family, you get a feeling that something’s not right? Maybe the story they’re sharing or the situation feels ‘off’ to you?
But instead of trusting this (same) feeling, you override this inner-knowing with logic or justifications, or just plain ignore it.
Then there’s that voice that tells you that you’ve done something wrong (again), that you’re (still) not good enough or that you don’t deserve what you desire (and never will).
Why do you choose to listen to some types of information and not others?
And more importantly, how do you know which information you should listen to?
The first two examples are your intuition communicating with you.
The third example is your inner critic.
So, what is intuition?
Your intuition is your immediate, often unexplained, understanding of something.
It usually comes as a moment of clarity or a deep knowing about something that you couldn’t logically know or explain.
What is your inner critic?
Your inner critic is your fears disguised as good intentions or your ‘truth’. However, these messages are based in fear and want to prevent you from moving forward and making change.
The difference between intuition and your inner critic
We’re going to look at intuition today, but the key thing to remember is that your intuition will NEVER say anything negative about you or someone else. It will also never encourage you to harm yourself or others in any way (physically, emotionally or mentally).
If you hear anything negative or that sounds like you’re being ‘told off’, that’s your inner critic trying to stop your growth. And you don’t have to listen to it.
A few years ago, I interviewed Becky Walsh and I loved what she had to say about intuition.
She said that we have two types of intuition: heart intuition, and gut intuition.
Heart intuition pulls us forward.
It shows us what’s aligned for us to be doing. Perhaps you feel it when you know it’s time to change jobs, start a new career or leave a relationship.
Gut intuition moves us ‘back’
It moves us away from dancger.
You meet someone who just feels ‘off’, or you get a sensation not to walkdown a certain road. That’s your gut intuition keeping you safe.
Often, if we’re not overly invested in the situation, we can recognise our intuitive message quickly and act accordingly. We remove ourselves from a situation, choose a different route or choose not to becomes friends with certain people we’ve just met.
It becomes trickier to interpret these messages when we’re more heavily invested in the outcome. For example, it might involve people we care about or the life choices we have to make for ourselves.
It’s easy for us to talk ourselves out of our intuitive insight.
Our intuitive insight -that moment of clarity – comes in fast, and may only last for a second or two.
And yet in that moment, we’re certain in our choice or experience.
Then, almost as quickly, the noise returns.
We’re so used to thinking things through and looking at something from all angles that we don’t trust the speed and clarity of our intuition.
Intelligence, logic, and reason are essential to our experience of life, and so is our intuition
It’s not about prioritising one over the other but being able to recognise both.
However, instead of valuing both, we try and reason with our intuition. We may ask for another sign, searching for ‘proof’ and validation of its message. We may pull the intuitive message apart so much that there’s nothing left of it.
Then we feel confused, overwhelmed and unsure if we can trust ourselves.
The thoughts and reasoning we usually rely on are based on the conditioning of our past.
The stories we believe are the judgements and expectations of our families, cultures, and society at large.
Those beliefs may not be true for you, yet you try and contort yourself to conform to their shape and expectations. It’s what you’ve been taught to do.
Getting caught up in trying to please other people, trying to fit in or living in accordance with other people’s values, disconnects from our own inner-knowing.
These judgements and expectations become louder than our own inner guidance.
We end up not listening to our intuition. Instead we override it and make poor decisions. We stay in jobs and relationships that we’ve outgrown. We turn a blind eye to behaviours that go against our own standards. We make excuses for people.
Your intuition is that quiet voice that speaks to you and you just know it to be true. Maybe it’s a whisper, a feeling pulling you forward or the quiet voice encouraging you to make the changes you desire or telling you to try again.
When you’re not sure what to do next, or feeling lost, confused or overwhelmed, take a moment to get quiet. Place your hand over your heart and just feel into and listen to that quiet voice inside – not the external noise telling you what to do, but the quiet, calm voice of inner-knowing.
Tune in and then follow what feels best for you. Don’t seek external validation or want other people to understand your choices.
Listen for your intuition and learn to trust yourself again
Do you need some help shutting out the noise so that you can hear your intuition?
If so, I’ve created a quick and easy practice that you can incorporate into your day to help you reconnect to your intuition and make the choices that are right for you.
Click here to learn more >>