How to recognize intuition

  • 8
  • April 17, 2014
Recognizing what is, and isn’t, intuition can sometimes be tricky. How do you know if it’s really intuition and not just your imagination or wishful thinking?

Since intuition can be very subtle, it’s not always easy to tell the difference. What often happens is that we dismiss our intuition as nothing more than the chattering of the mind or passing whimsy.

Or we may believe something is our intuition when it’s actually just a byproduct of underlying fear, desire, or subconscious beliefs.

So, how can you tell the difference? How can you recognize when it’s really your intuition?

Here are some tips that can help.

Start paying closer attention to the different ways your intuition may be communicating with you. Some examples are: feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, hunches, déjà vu, coincidences/synchronicities, images, and dreams. Everyone is different. So start paying attention to the unique ways in which your intuition communicates with you.

Notice how it makes you feel. To discern if what you are picking up on is coming from your intuition versus something else, notice how it makes you FEEL. Intuition will have a sense of neutrality and calmness to it. Instead of being emotionally charged, it will be subtle, neutral, non-forceful, and often lack any logical explanation.

Logic or intuition? Instead of using logical analysis or rationalization, intuition is a form of knowing that lacks any logical explanation. It tends to be fast and fleeting, versus a long, drawn out analytical process. You sense something, then it quickly fades away. You have a sense of knowing, without any rationalization of how you know. You just know.

Remember keywords. A quick and easy way to recognize intuition is by checking whether or not it fits with the keywords that distinguish intuition.

  • Intuition is: neutral, detached, calm, objective, peaceful, and subtle.
  • Intuition is NOT: critical, judgmental, blaming, punishing, angry, or fearful.

Write things down. In order to learn more about how your intuition communicates with you and how to recognize it, it helps to write down things down.

For example: What happened when you listened to your intuition? What happened when you didn’t? How did the “intuitive impulse” or insight come to you? What else were you feeling at the time? Was there any logical explanation for it?

Don’t get too caught up in needing to know the answer. It’s important that you don’t let yourself get too worked up about distinguishing “real intuition” from all that other stuff. Why? Because it’s easiest to tap into your inner knowing when your mind is peaceful and calm.

Overanalyzing, worrying, or obsessing about things causes agitation. So, when in doubt, the best thing to do is to quiet your mind. You can find some tips on how to do that here.

Learning to recognize your intuition is an ongoing process that requires some trial and error, but it gets easier with practice.

So, don’t give up! Over time, you will start to gain a better understanding of how your intuition communicates with you and be better able to quickly recognize and act on it.

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