You may come across this question from time to time in your life. It usually pops up during a moment of confusion, stress or doubt creeping up on you when you least expect it.
“Is this what I really want to do in life?”
Let me tell you a secret. So many people don’t know what they want in life so they follow the status quo without giving it a second thought. They do what is expected, they study, work hard, get a good career, travel, buy a house and then start a family. And these people are genuinely happy with that.
But for others who have been caught up in the age of too much choice, too many hobbies, unlimited resources and the possibility that you can actually reach for your dreams… all 10 of them 😂, can leave you feeling very overwhelmed and feeling incredibly lost.
This can lead to the confusion of “what should I do be doing in life if I can do so many things?”. It can tear you apart figuring out which path to take and fill you with anxiety about choosing the right or wrong option. And before you’ve even made any steps you’ve most likely just come to the conclusion to stay right where you are to avoid that distress.
What we want in life is based on how we feel most of the time – the spur of a moment and therefore may change. For those happy in life you have to understand they’re not always happy. Feeling lost or confused is a normal emotion to have that crosses the minds of even the most successful.
Now, more than ever is the best time to focus on yourself and explore your life decisions. The CoronaVirus has meant the loss of many jobs, the fears of our financial security, the entire economy collapsing and most of all a violation to our health. With the entire world coming to a standstill – it’s the best opportunity to dig deep within ourselves to authentically tune into our sources of motivation in life. If you can learn to trust your gut, you can develop your own internal guide that can lend you so much clarity within life-decisions and that’s including in your career, personal relationships and most importantly, how to be yourself in any situation.
So, what is intuition and how do we listen to ours?
1) Intuition is part of your intelligence. It the science of cognitive thinking
Let’s think about it this way: your mind is filled with dusty old files with all your past experiences and knowledge and is archived safely away. When you get that sense of knowing something but you can’t physically see it – that’s your intuition getting activated and attempting to access usually hidden information in those files.
It’s all based on your past learnings, upbringing and childhood and there’s never a right or wrong answer. If you do something based on intuition and lack the logical, critical thinking you can make mistakes but you WILL learn from that. Your intuition remains the same but your facts can change when you change and learn new information; that is how you grow.
2) Nurture an intuitive environment.
Your brain can see connections that we cant. It’s working hard – all the time – in the background and we don’t give it enough credit. We continuously store new bits of information without taking time to process and breatheeee. Research shows when you give your brain that space to work naturally without external distractions it can pick up subtle signals from the dusty files and unites them with the facts.
Think about that time you came up with an amazing idea in the shower, walking through nature or even JUST as you wake up. In order to hear your intuition, you must minimise the noise.
Rest, sleep, meditate and listen to what your body wants and give it what it needs. Taking a moment to get away from the pollution of the media, tech and others will help you stabilise your own needs. Just remember it’s when you re-enter the world again it’s up to you to keep staying true to yourself. You can do so by remembering to take care of your physiological needs first once you do this often it becomes habitual. You can develop a habit in 5 minutes (Duhigg and Chamberlain, 2012) depending on what subject but for most, it takes on average 21 days.
3) Trust your gut feeling
Gut feeling is your immediate understanding of something and a natural physical reaction to the world around us and the result of our intuition working is based on drawing conclusions from those dusty files and facts your brain has accumulated.
The sad thing is our gut instincts are often polluted by fears, prejudice, and external judgements which can be emotionally driven. That feeling is a way to protect you and it’s very important you sweep away the grit of the world off your path.
When you make a decision and look internally rather externally the benefits you reap in are priceless and the outcomes are esteem-boosting. You are more likely to learn from mistakes as you hold yourself accountable – not your mum, not your best friend, not your mentor or your coach – YOU.
Start making fulfilling decisions filled with clarity and live authentically ✨
Jennifer Willemsen, the Founder of Wandertale and previously a Psychologist, was where you are now and has walked the same path before discovering how to get clarity. She’s now dedicated her life to helping others reach their potential by giving the tools to use for life. She has created the Twenty Something Academy for those who just need that supportive boost to understand themselves better. The world we live in is amazing but technology has provided us an overload of information and connectivity which is corrupting our thoughts. Get the clarity to guide you through your own path, on your own terms. It’s in your power to make that change starting from today.
Duhigg, C. and Chamberlain, M., 2012. The Power Of Habit. New York, N.Y.: Random House.