Nine Steps to Effectively Use Your Intuition

Intuition has a rather checkered past. Also referred to as “the sixth sense,” intuition at various times has been considered a rare and valuable gift bestowed on a lucky few; a curse worthy of persecution, or an unconventional form of imagination children needed to learn how to suppress.

Just as some people seem naturally wired for musical or athletic talents, others have naturally strong intuitive abilities. Intuition can take the form of gut feelings, hunches, or an inner sense of just knowing. Some things are known and perceived with incomprehensible certainty and no conscious processing. This inner knowledge often appears out of the blue, as a vivid image or an action you must take suddenly becomes clear.

Intuition extends beyond the five conventional senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Commonly confused with imagination, intuition picks up on subtle energy clues from other people, the environment, and even the future. Often, our first impulse is to dismiss the inner nudges and try to ignore them. But this usually comes at a high price and leads to regrets—“I knew this wouldn’t work, but I chose to do it anyway. Now I have to face the consequences! If I followed my gut, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now.”

If you’re facing a decision but you’re not sure which way you should go, your conscious mind may not be able to fully process the situation with all the uncertainty, self-doubt, and confusion that’s involved. Thankfully, you possess another source of wisdom inside yourself—your intuition. Intuition goes beyond purely mental processing to include the higher functions of your subconsciousness.

Based on your unique perceptions and experiences, your intuition acts as an inner compass to guide you on the route that’s right for you, regardless of what other people may want or what may appear more favorable at the moment.

Here are nine steps to help you access your intuition and use it effectively:

  1. Choose a quiet time and place where you will not be disturbed.
  2. Contemplate an issue, a question, or a decision you’re facing. When you’re just beginning this process, don’t try to foretell the future or seek answers for crucial issues. Before tackling such major affairs, give yourself time and patience to become more competent and confident in accessing and discerning the path of your intuition.
  3. Write down your question or issue. Keep it as brief and simple as possible.
  4. Feel your feet touching the ground. Focus on your heart. Breathe evenly and deeply. Release all tension and allow your body to relax. You should feel comfortable and contained within yourself. Your state of mind should be quiet and receptive as you subtly tune in to your inner wisdom.
  5. Patiently wait as you gently focus your mind on your questions. Don’t attempt to force things to happen. Be open to the feelings, words, ideas, or thoughts that may come to you seemingly out of nowhere. If your impressions remain hazy and unclear, nudge yourself by pondering how you really feel about the situation, what you feel like you need to know, and what seems to be the right thing to do. Don’t push yourself. Just let answers occur to you on their own.
  6. Take thorough notes to help you remember things that come up. At this point, don’t think about things, judge them, or dismiss anything. Just record information as objectively as you can.
  7. Ask any follow-up questions that may occur to you. Be patient and stay open to answers as they come. Again, don’t dwell on them; just record them.
  8. When you feel as though you’ve gathered enough information or received your answer, return to your regular state of consciousness.
  9. Now is the time to analyze what you wrote about. To help do this, ask yourself questions such as: Does this feel true and right? Does this resonate with me? Does this seem like the right answer? Is this the right way to go? Does this support the things I already know about the circumstances?

Keep analyzing to ensure the insights and information you received ring true and are of value. Until you’ve learned to process, understand, and fully trust your intuition, carefully treat it as a guide, rather than as gospel truth to blindly follow.

Finding Your Way

Following these nine steps will help you access and effectively gain guidance from your intuition. But there are many other ways of working with inner guidance. Take the time to find which one works best for you. Don’t get discouraged if it seems you’re not getting any worthwhile information, or that nothing at all is happening. You simply may not be in the proper state of mind, or the time may not be right for the information to flow to you.

You will not always be able to summon your intuition at will and seek its wisdom whenever and wherever you want. You may feel that nothing happened during a session, but an insight may later pop unbidden into your head. Accessing your intuition requires trust and patience that the answers will come to you if you remain open to them.

There’s nothing magical or mysterious about intuition. It’s simply one more sense you can use to access valuable direction and insight in the difficult challenges of life. Intuition can play a major role in your life. All you need to do is accept its subtle whispers. It can be a practical and effective resource in whatever situation you face.