What is intuition – and what not?

A lot has been written on intuition lately. Sometimes it is very positive and other times it is very negative. The problem is that every time something else is meant by intuition. This makes it hard for you to decide if intuition is good to use in your (business) life or not.

That’s why I would like to share some insights about intuition with you. What it is and what it is not. And how you can use it in your company (because I think it is very useful).

What is not intuition?

Intuition is not your gut feeling

OnderbuikgevoelOften, intuition is equaled with gut feeling, but that is really something different. Your gut feeling is full of emotions, desires, fears, and pains from the past. If you are going to base your decisions on this, then all the negative articles are right to say that your intuition is not a good guidance. Your gut feeling is NOT your intuition!

Later I will tell you what your intuition is instead, but first a bit more about your gut.

During our lifetime we build up a broad variety of emotional reactions. Often subconsciously, sometimes consciously. As a child we have to deal with all kinds of setbacks and tense situations. We find a way to deal with these that is suitable for that time and that situation. Often, our gut still reacts as if it were so many years ago. That could be a negative reaction, like you get a negative feeling thinking of having to part with a certain customer or business partner. You could say that your intuition is telling you not to do it, but that would be too short-sighted. Maybe your father has left you somewhere by accident, or your mother has forgotten to pick you up and you reacted very strongly to this stressful situation. This reaction is still alive in your body and is triggered by this new, similar situation. Again, that is NOT your intuition.

It could also be a positive reaction by your gut. Maybe it feels very good to say goodbye to that customer or business partner. Again, you could say it is a sign from your intuition that you do need to part from this person. It can also be caused by a situation in the past where it was very comforting when someone left. For example, if this person caused a lot of stress and tension in the family. Parting from this person caused a sense of relief in your system. This can easily be triggered if you are faced with the question if you should part with a customer or business partners. This is NOT your intuition.

Desires are another cause of the mess in your gut. You can get very excited by thinking of an idea. This might indicate that your intuition is telling you to do it. But desires are also not pure. They can find their roots in an unease with the current situation. You might become happy by the idea of co-operating with someone, for example. This might be caused by the underlying insecurity about your ability to do it alone. This unease will cause you to become excited and happy by the idea of doing it together with someone else. This is NOT your intuition.

Intuition is not your instinct

Another misunderstanding is that your intuition is your instinct. Instinct is a physical driver that helps you to survive. It tells you if it is safe or not and it makes sure that you reproduce and are protected. Instincts trigger behavior without you knowing it. They are very basic and tightly connected to your emotions and desires which I wrote about before.

Although your intuition also triggers your behavior without you knowing it, your instinct is not your intuition. Especially since your instincts are so strongly connected to your emotions and desires and because they are focused on a primary human urge to survive, they are not always a good guidance. If you find yourself facing a wild bear, it is very wise to follow your instinct. You probably will not even think about it. Also in other unsafe situations, your instinct can help you to decide if you should flight or not.

But when you face a ‘normal’ situation, your instinct is not helpful. Your intuition is much more refined and extensive than that.

What is intuition?

There are different definitions of intuition. The following are three categories that these definitions fall into. I also describe these categories in my book “The Effortless Entrepreneur”.

Expert intuition

Expert intuition

This is intuition based on experience. All the experiences you gain over the course of your lifetime are stored. Expert intuition draws on these stored experiences. This is the intuition that a physician uses when he decides to not follow the protocol, because he feels that something else is needed. Or the investigator who decides to have just another look in that one room to find the missing evidence. Or the entrepreneur who knows that this type of customers will always cause problems. This is a very useful intuition that you develop while become more experienced in a certain field.

Creative intuition

Creative intuition

This form of intuition manifests in meaningful inspiration. It needs time. To sleep over it. She helps you especially in creative processes. It is the spark that gives you the great idea for this marketing campaign while staring out of the window. This intuition is useful for solving problems or finding creative ideas.

Essence intuition

Essence intuition

This form of intuition builds a bridge between the essence of who you are and the world around you. It lets you connect to a timeless and non-local field of information in which we are all one. This intuition helps you to tap into the undercurrent and the collective subconsciousness. This is the intuition that is a bit more mystical, and some find it wishy washy. I found this intuition to be very powerful and it has give me a lot of benefits for my business.

Six intuitive channels

The essential intuition has six flavors:

  1. Clear seeing
    In this case your intuition uses images to communicate. This could be a single image or a whole movie. It also focuses your eyes on something, or you ‘see’ something in the room.
  2. Clear knowing
    This is an intuitive language which causes a flash of insight. You might think of a person, or suddenly know what the next step is. The tricky thing here is that it’s possible to mix it up with your thinking. Intuitive knowing always comes in a flash and is fast and light. Thinking is often heavier and blurrier.
  3. Clear feeling
    Your intuition communicates through your feeling. This is where the confusion with your gut feeling starts. Intuitive feeling is much lighter and director, while your gut feelings and emotions are more like a heavy mess. Clear feeling senses beyond the fears and desires and beyond the emotions and the pain. You can also get goose bumps or other bodily sensations if this intuitive channel is used.
  4. Clear hearing
    This channel communicates through sounds and words that you hear in your mind’s ear. You might hear a voice, a word, or music. This is not a psychological disorder, but just the voice of your intuition
  5. Clear smelling
    In this case you smell scents that are not physically present, like to scent of coffee. This is a way of communicating of your intuition.
  6. Clear tasting
    This channel is literally giving you a flavor while there is nothing in your mouth.

How to develop your intuition

How can you tell what your pure intuition is and what your gut feeling or instinct? The most import difference is that your pure intuition is always clear and still. It is a peaceful and direct energy. So, no doubt, turbulence or chatter, but serene, quick, and clear.

The next aspects might help you to connect more to your pure intuition and to follow it.

Freeing yourself

Jezelf vrij maken

As a child you were born as a very intuitive being. While growing up, we tend to conceal or silence our intuition due to bad experiences and negative feedback from the people around us. You are punished for telling what your intuition senses, your dad denies that he is mad, although you intuitively feel it, or you are laughed at because of your invisible friend with who you have an intuitive connection.

You might also have developed your intuition to sense the danger at home. You could feel when your dad had one of those moods in which he would become violent, or you saw intuitively that your mom would manipulate you again. This way you developed your intuition more as a defense mechanism than a pure instrument.

This requires personal development. Letting go, transforming and releasing your intuition of the ballast. There are many ways. I did a yearlong training “Self Healing” in which I worked energetically and physically to release a lot of tensions and old pains. Family constellations can be helpfu, or the Sedona Method, EFT, trauma release techniques, NLP, body work and many more. Find your way and take the necessary steps.

Learning your intuition’s language

We learn our native language in school, and sometimes a second, third, or maybe even a fourth foreign language, but no one taught us the language of our intuition. Although it is so important to understand the signals of your intuition. Because they come from another realm, you will find the messages hard to rationally understand. You see a pink elephant in a tutu on a unicycle, you smell the scent of bread, or you get goose bumps. What does it mean?

The internet and books will tell you a lot about the meaning of symbols, animals, colors, scents and so on. This will give you a general idea. I have found that everyone’s intuition has his or her own language. Goose bumps may tell you something else than that they tell me and when I see a wolve, it will mean something else than when you do. That is why I like to experiment and to look back. I often advise to keep an intuition journal in which you write down the situation or question and all the intuitive information that you received and maybe also how you have translated it. Then you explore what unfolds. It is always easier to make something of it looking back. It is also easier to see if a certain decision turned out good or bad.

It is good to mention here that good and bad are not always the same to your intuition as they are to you. Your intuition may lead you to a situation that you would label as bad, but that turns out to be good after all. In my book, The Effortless Entrepreneur, I describe an example where my boss told me I couldn’t keep my company car. To me it was a very bad situation, but two years later it made it possible for me to move to the East of the Netherlands, while still being able to work in Amsterdam. It was a present in disguise. This shows that you might need a little longer time to look back to find out the effect of your intuitive decisions.

Imagine your intuition as an inner person

Innerlijke ikken

Your intuition is actually a subpersonality inside of you. You can see it as a person who lives inside of you. You have a lot of subpersonalities who all ask your attention and communicate with you, like your rational mind, the go-getter or the silent lake.

By approaching your intuition as a person inside of you and to treat him or her like that, you will build a stronger connection with your intuition, and you will learn how to communicate better. You can, for example, have a conversation with this person, or that you give your intuition a hug. Because you might not have treated your intuition very well in the past, he or she might be shy, hurt, or scared to say what he or she is sensing. By seeing your intuition as a person and treating him or her lovingly, you will get more intuitive information and you can more easily trust it.

It also helps to decide to give your intuition more attention than your other subpersonalities, especially your rational mind. You might need to make a few good agreements with your dominant subpersonalities, so they will not interfere in the process of you getting to know your intuition better.

You can also imagine your intuition in a chair next to you (or somewhere else). This way you can have a conversation with him or her. You can even sit in that chair to tune into your intuition. Make sure you switch to your own chair again, so you can have an overview again.

You can also invite other subpersonalities to the table by adding chairs. This way you can arrange a group meeting in which you can give your intuition a more important seat than before.

By experimenting and playing with the concept of your intuition as an inner person, you will build a stronger relationship which will lead to clearer and purer information from your intuition.

Using intuitive methods

There are various methods that help to collect intuitive information. Personally, I successfully use family- and business constellations, visualizations, release techniques, and body work for myself and my clients. You can also use journaling, aura- or business reading, shamanism, and there are many more. If you have an example, please leave it in the comments.

By using these methods, you will be able to approach a situation from a different angel. Instead of using your rational mind, you invite your intuition to become active. This will lead to different insights, and you will be able to access information that is normally difficult to access or even inaccessible.

Find the silence

Breekt zo lekker de week stilte

Intuition often is a quiet voice or information source. It doesn’t scream. It is often difficult to connect with your intuition if there are too many stimuli. Both external as internal.
So, find a quiet place, turn of your phone, take time to slow down, write down all your thoughts, focus on your breathing, and close your eyes. Take your time to slow down and to quiet down. This way it is much easier to listen to your intuition (or see, feel, taste, smell, know).

How to use your intuition for your business

Don’t think that you will first have to practice for years before you can use your intuition. It is part of your intuitive development. You will notice that you will get better at it.

Intuition is a very good instrument for running your business. Sometimes entrepreneurs ask me if they can use their intuition also for their business. They use it privately, but hesitate to use it for their business. I always have to laugh a bit. For some reason, entrepreneurs think that doing business requires thinking and using your rational mind. But nothing is further from the truth. It is by using your intuition and intuitive methods that it is easier to reach the success you envision. Your intuition will lead you to places, people and pathways that you wouldn’t be able to think of rationally.

The following areas are just a few of the possibilities to use your intuition:

  • Determining the right price
  • In negotiations
  • Preparing a sales meeting
  • Choosing your marketing channels
  • Aligning with a business partner
  • Finding the right time for a product launch
  • Strategy making
  • Writing your marketing texts
  • Preparing a meeting with a client

What areas do you use your intuition? Or do you think you can use your intuition?
Please let me know in the comments.

By finding a quiet place (intuition loves peaceful and quiet circumstances like I described before), connecting with a question or difficult situation and then asking your intuition for an answer, or using an intuitive method, you will find powerful answers to business questions or choices you have to make. When trusting and acting upon this information, you will reach your results with a lot more ease and pleasure. That is why I love using my intuition in my business.

If it is hard to do it yourself

It might sound easy when you read what I have written, but I have found out that when applying all this, it turns out that it might be harder than you thought to develop your pure intuition and use it to run your business.

But don’t worry, I have developed different services that help you with this. First of all, you can download the Three Business Intuition Tools to Boost your Business. You can read my book the Effortless Entrepreneur and do the exercises, follow an online workshop (click on trainings in the menu) (e.g. Intuitive Time Management), or book a coaching session. You can also follow a training to learn an intuitive method like business constellations.

Feel free to contact me to find out what serves you best.

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