By: Anna Maria Pellizzari
Ever feel like something is “off” in your life, but you’re not sure exactly why, or what to do about it? Maybe you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t resonate with your values. Maybe you feel like you’re living a façade, or not connecting authentically in a relationship. Or perhaps you’re unhappy living in your current location, but don’t know where to go.
If any part of your life is out of alignment with your core self, the good news is, you possess an inner resource that is always available to guide you: your intuition. Your intuition (also called your “sixth sense” or “gut”) is an invaluable resource that, when accessed, can provide you powerful insight, clarity and guidance on living more authentically. But how do you tap into it? It’s easier than you might think. Here are 5 simple steps:
1. Get present.
Our intuition sends us messages all the time. But more often than not, those messages are very subtle, and therefore easily overlooked. To access your intuition, you need to pay attention, and to pay attention, you need to be present. To be present, first slow down. Breathe deeply. Tune into your senses. Notice your surroundings – what do you see, hear, feel, smell? Name the objects around you out loud, in detail. Arrive where you are.
2. Tune inward.
Once you’re attuned to the present, tune into yourself. The intuition expresses itself in various ways: a voice in your head, an image in your mind’s eye, a “random” thought, a queasy feeling in your stomach, a mysterious yet definite knowingness, a "bad vibe". An easy way to tune inward is to first close your eyes. If there is a topic or issue you want guidance around, call it to mind. Next, say aloud to yourself, “My head says _____, “ and fill in the blank. Then, take a deep breath, place your hand over your heart and say aloud, “My heart says _______.” Say what immediately comes to mind, without editing or censoring. What came up? Notice what resonates.
3. Write it down.
Jot down today’s date along with the intuitive flashes you received. You may want to buy a pocket-sized notebook where you log your intuitive insights to refer to later, or use the notes app on your phone. Recording these messages clarifies their meaning, sharpens your awareness, solidifies your new habit and makes your intuition more accessible overall.
4. Trust it.
Equally important to noticing and articulating intuitive messages is trusting the inner guidance you receive. Too often we write off a thought or feeling as “random,” “irrelevant,” or “illogical,” preferring to rely only on empirical evidence and analysis, or “left-brained” thinking. But what would happen if you embraced intuitive guidance as an equally valuable source of information? What is possible when you connect to the innate wisdom that lies deep within you?
[Related: 5 Steps To Achieve Fulfillment]
5. Act on it.
Courageously put the guidance into practice. Apply it to your situation. If you’re unclear how your intuitive insights relate to your topic, or what they mean in general, write them down anyway and set them aside. More than likely, within the next day or so their meaning will become clear.
Try these steps each day for a week, and see what impact accessing the wisdom and power of your intuition has on your life. I’d love to hear about what you learn!
Anna Maria Pellizzari is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach specializing in career and personal fulfillment. Her coaching focuses on stimulating clients' creativity as a means to promote individualized leadership.
Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.
This article previously appeared on LinkedIn.