Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!
I’ve got a few mini-series in mind, and one that’s in progress (Counselling Autistic People), to which I’ll get to in due course.
Today I want to talk about intuition – or what’s also known as our “gut feeling”.
Depending on how we were raised, and the events that we’ve experienced in life, we will be more able to trust our own gut without even thinking twice about it.
Others of us might have more difficulty and need to re-train our minds and bodies to listen to our gut.
As a counsellor/psychotherapist, I’ve been trained to trust my intuition in the therapy room, which generally helps my clients, as what I’m feeling might be a reflection of what’s going on for them.
Call it counter-transference, projective identification, empathy, it all leads back to our gut communication something useful to us.
Trusting our intuition isn’t reserved only for therapists.
It is a tool available for all of us, at one level or another.
So, how do we develop that trust that what is coming up for us, a gut reaction, a “walk away” thought, a “be careful” thought, or goosebumps all over our body, is something we need to listen to, for our own good?
Here are some ways I believe we can develop this important skill:
1 – Start small
Changing our mindsets and the way we do or think or react to things will take time and effort.
Tackling the big things might not be the best idea to start with, as we are not yet able to use our intuition in the best way possible.
Start small…for example: someone asks you for a cup of tea, and your first instinct is “I’m busy, I can’t possibly be making you a cup of tea, this is not the right time for this”.
It might be easier to trust your gut telling you “just say no right now” with something as small as making a cuppa for someone, than it would be something bigger.
The results of saying “No, sorry, I can’t make you that cuppa right now, can you get it yourself please?” will be massive!
You won’t resent your friend/colleague/relative for making you do something you didn’t have time for right now, and you won’t resent yourself for saying no.
Your intuition might have been telling you “if you do this, you’ll resent yourself and them! avoid that resentment and say no.”
I know this sounds trivial but building on this will help you with the bigger things in life.
Maybe you’ll need to trust your gut when driving – Do I go left or right, where is there usually less traffic? which road is safer for me?
Maybe it’s about accepting or rejecting a dinner invitation with someone you know deep inside will make you feel something you don’t want to feel (uncomfortable, judged, belittled, etc).
Why put yourself through things that you clearly don’t want to do and that your instincts are telling you “don’t do it?”
2 – Work it through in Therapy
In therapy, I believe is where we can really put this into practice.
Talking through situations with my clients is something I do on a regular basis.
Going through what happened and seeing things from a different perspective, as well as thinking about what we could’ve done differently in order to get the results we actually wanted…
Sometimes what we could’ve done differently is just listen to our gut…
Developing that keen ear for what we instinctively know is best for us is part of the therapeutic process.
At least when you come see me! Other therapists might work differently.
Listening to our gut is one way where we can learn to meet our own needs, prevent resentment of ourselves or those we love, as well as learning to set clear boundaries that will keep us safe from the things we really don’t want in our lives.
If you want to find out more about this, you can find my book and my facebook group via this link.
Until next week…