THE BLOG

From Roadblock to Intuition

06/01/2015 04:27 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2016

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The dictionary defines roadblock as a barrier or barricade on a road, especially one set up by the authorities to stop and examine traffic. While that may be accurate in the true sense of the word, it is also something imaginary that we set up ourselves.

How many times have you told yourself, "No, that's probably not a good idea." Or, "No, people might talk about that." Or, even, "No, I don't think we're allowed to do that."

That type of thinking is the kind of thing Thomas Edison could have said to himself before inventing the light bulb, Jonas Salk before he came up with the polio vaccine, or Benjamin Franklin before devising the lightening rod. If everyone imagined boundaries where there were none, our world would be a very different place, indeed.

While these examples of famous people and their creations are not new to us, the idea of trusting our own inner voice is, I think, quite a new concept for many of us. I know I can list the times I've heard my little inner voice warn me from a course of action, yet I cast off that voice and promptly went the other direction. And I have paid dearly.

What we need to realize is that the little voice is our intuition. And our intuition is really the voice of our true being. Is this proven? I'm sure it's not, yet I believe it with all my heart.

These days I practice listening to my intuition. And when I hear that little inner voice, I try to follow its direction, even when I don't understand where it might lead. Not to the point of doing something dangerous, but certainly to the point that I hesitate. I ask myself if a decision must be made immediately and, if not, I just give it time.

  • I wait before responding to a request.
  • I take extra time before returning a phone call.
  • I think of alternatives, and follow, in my mind, the path from action to possible reaction.

And what about those times when I have already responded or reacted, and then realize my intuition has been speaking to me without my listening? When possible, I go back and rehash the decision with the others involved. I explain what additional questions I have, and any concerns. I discuss my view of potential consequences or outcomes. And, depending on the responses, a new decision might be reached. Or not. Maybe we'll decide to agree to disagree.

I think part of this new process might have to do with being more intentional with my decisions, rather than flying by the seat of my "more emotional "pants. I realize when the more "spontaneous" attitude of old had been working for me, and when actions have led to very unhappy outcomes. I can identify the "type" of situation that have led to the negatives, and that's where I try to make more deliberate, careful choices.

While I won't say I have this worked out to perfection, I am happy to report that I am making progress. Progress in the right direction. The right direction for me.

My name is Susie, and I am a work in progress.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Photo credit Shlomit Wolf