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Published on September 12th, 2018 | by Sarah Weinstock

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The Key to Intuitive Success

by Sarah Weinstock

For some, making decisions can be difficult and even stressful, especially when there is a lack of information on which to base their decision. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if they can tune into a feeling, or intuition, that can direct their judgement before they make a choice.

In one study, researchers asked subjects to play a card game with the objective of winning the most money. Unbeknown to the participants, the game was rigged. Of the two stacks of cards from which to choose, one was set up for big wins followed by big losses, while the other was set up for small wins, but nearly no losses.

After around 50 cards, the players said they had a feeling about which deck was safer; after around 80, they said they knew why. Interestingly, the sweat glands on the subjects’ palms had begun to open just a little bit when they reached for a card in the “bad” deck after only 10 cards. That was also when the subjects began to subconsciously prefer the other deck.

We can speculate about what caused the participants to know which deck to choose: possibly telepathy, psychic powers or just plain intuition, sometimes referred to as a gut feeling or hunch. This occurs when our subconscious assesses a situation and makes a snap judgement faster than our conscience brain can process.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking, he explores the idea that snap judgements can be just as correct as those that are more thought out, if not more so. Another study showed car buyers that took time with their decision were only satisfied with their purchase 25 percent of the time, but those that made faster choices were happy 60 percent of the time.

Many successful businessmen seem to agree with this idea. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Micron CEO Steve Appleton, Carnival CEO Micky Arison and many others chalk up their best decisions to trusting their gut.

The first step to using our intuition is being open to listening to that little voice in our head saying that something just doesn’t feel right—or that it does. The second step is being mindful of what our body is trying to tell us. If signs such as sweaty palms, butterflies and tense muscles always occur around a certain person or in a certain situation, it may be our body’s way of telling us something is not right.

Some people find journaling or writing a stream of consciousness narrative to be helpful in training their intuition. Others find that meditating in a quiet place or practicing mindfulness works for them. We have to be in tune with ourselves and our bodies to use their intuition most effectively; this includes knowing our biases and range of knowledge in the area in which we’re making our decision.

Intuition has been proven to be most effective when the decision-maker has extensive experience in the subject of the decision. Intuition is not guaranteed, and some people are naturally less intuitive than others, but it can be learned and strengthened. When used correctly, intuition can help prevent the stress of overthinking and bring confidence and peace of mind to the indecisive.

Sarah Weinstock is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings magazine.


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