LISTENING TO YOUR INTUITION
after watching Autumn Briannes video on ‘Anxiety VS Intuition’ I knew I needed to write something on the topic.
Firstly, if you haven’t watched the video - do. It sums up everything i’m going to talk about perfectly; and in a much shorter and more coherent way!
She also gives advice on how to recognize whether you are living and acting from a place of anxiety or intuition, and how to become more in tune with both.
I’ve realised that many of my life decisions until now have been made from a place of anxiety, not intuition. From small, less significant things to quite important milestones; many actions and choices I have made have come from a place of deep rooted fear. An intense fear of failure and not being successful, a fear of not being liked and accepted by others, a fear of not being good enough, and a feeling like I constantly needed to better and improve myself. Those decisions have come as a response to those fears, to those questions and worries bubbling inside of me; they have come as distractions from the present and have resulted in deviations from my true passions; from the things that bring me true joy and fulfillment in life - rather than ‘happiness’ from staying within those boundaries or achieving the goals that my fears set.
These decisions; although having brought me great knowledge, experience and ‘challenge’ (more on that later), they have also brought me great unhappiness, and have continued to feed this anxiety monster deep inside of me. With every decision I made that succumbed to those fears, the anxiety has grown and evolved.
In regards to challenge - although it may have seemed to the outside person, and even to myself, that I was ‘challenging’ myself; and I guess, in a technical way I was - constantly stretching my current capabilities and aspiring for more - a lot of things I have done in my life so far have not actually been challenging or stepping outside of my comfort zone, but in reality, staying right within it.
In writing, choosing ‘hard’ subjects at school and engaging in a competitive year group that was very academics and science-based driven, or doing a billion extra curriculars and work experience plamenets and volunteer projects and committees and clubs in school, or choosing to apply to Oxbridge and apply to Medicine at university were not really challenging to me. They were almost like second nature, just things I ‘had’ to do - and although I did definitely feel the pressures from external environments, most of the pressure I admittingly put on myself. My self-esteem was based off responding to these anxieties - at first to those regarding academia, but over time this has progressed to affecting other areas of my life, which has seriously deteriorated my mental and physical health.
Although I may have felt like I was in control of my life and my actions - I was far from that. The anxiety was controlling me, and everything I was doing.
People talk about your intuition, your ‘gut feeling’ - which makes sense, our gut has recently been spoken about scientifically as our ‘second brain.’
It’s ironic, considering my relationship with it now, because from a young age this is always something I’ve been encouraged to tap into. My mum, from a point of safety mainly, always warned me that if I had a ‘bad feeling’ about a person, about a situation I might find myself in; to not do it - no matter if I felt any pressures from external influences around me. I truly believe that our body has something in it that just knows. You might call it your ‘gut feeling’, your ‘inner voice’, your heart, your intuition. This thing wants protect you; to lead you to your happiest and healthiest life. If you are in tune with it, and haven’t ignored or messed up those signals, it should tells you what your body needs. It knows when you needs to rest. It knows when it’s hungry. It knows when something doesn’t feel right. It knows when you don’t feel truly happy or fulfilled.
Looking back, whenever I’ve felt a ‘gut feeling’ and responded to it, whatever it is has always had a positive outcome. Yes, it might have not allowed me to win the lottery (yet.) But I honestly believe that what you need in life, the universe and your inner self will guide you towards it. Some people might call it coincidence, some people might call it luck. Maybe it is simply that. But from my own personal experience, the times that i’ve been most in touch with my intuition and made choices stemming from that, my life has been the happiest it has ever been. For example - last summer, I came across an application to work at a festival cafe, and I had this feeling I just had to apply. Even when I was accepted, when I was traveling down to a random place i’d never heard of in England on a horrifically long megabus journey, completely alone, knowing no one there or what it was going to be like. Maybe it was naive of me, maybe it was reckless. But I had such a strong feeling, whatever happened, it was going to be okay. Little did I know it would be one of my best life experiences so far, and that I would have met so many incredible people, and would have grown so much as a person. Looking back, that experience was the start of a real internal shift and change within me… but that topic is for another post or video. This, along with countless other small things that I’ve decided to do from a place of intuition - whether it be finding strangely cheap flights somewhere, or sending a surprise gift or message to someone who turned out to be needing it more than ever - have always turned out to be the greatest decisions - which is a lot for me to say, coming from someone so indecisive that it can honestly take me an hour to decide what to make for breakfast in the morning. Try choosing an outfit for a night out, or a photo for instagram. Ordering at restaurants are even worse. (“But everything looks soooooo goooooooood!!!!!!” - apologies to all of my friends that have to put up with me agonizing over menus.)
Even at this time in my life, even when I have days I am so consumed by worries and ‘what if’s’ and questions about whether i’ve made the right decision, in anything I do, especially recently with taking time out of university, I know deep down that doing that was the right thing; for both my physical and mental wellbeing. I guess it helps too, that there is logic behind this decision, that helps calm my anxious mind.
But some decisions in life don’t succumb to logic. Some things that you have this urge to do won’t make sense. They’ll freak you out. Many of them, you probably won’t even end up doing, like my past self.
No one should be making decisions out of fear or security. To grow as people we need to step outside of our comfort zones, and sometimes, ,that means listening to your gut feeling; even if at times it seems crazy or illogical. (although at other times, it may actually be supported by logic and reason too - which is always nice.)
I encourage you, just as I am trying to encourage myself, to get more in touch with your intuition; not only with your intuitive body, in regards to the signals it gives you, with hunger, tiredness, cravings, energy… but with your intuitive mind. In today’s society it is so easy to get caught up with the external, with the physical, especially with image driven messages and media. But your mind is the most powerful thing you have - take care of it, and it’ll take care of you.