As an entrepreneur, you probably always get advice to “follow your gut” and listen to your intuition.
But what happens when your gut is kind of… quiet?
I confess, I used to think I didn’t have a “gut.” The truth was that I did have intuitions, but I was so stressed, distracted, and (honestly) worried about money that I just ignored my intuitions in order to push ahead and survive.
It sounds corny, but realizing that I wasn’t just some weirdo who didn’t have a 6th sense -- that it was a matter of practice and good habits -- I felt a sense of relief and motivation to start practicing.
This week, rockstar career coach Marie Forleo gave us 4 ways to practice intuition, especially for those of us who didn’t realize we had it. Her advice was so spot-on for me that I felt I had to share it with you guys.
Here’s a brief summary of Marie’s actionable ways to listen to your gut:
1. Go on a historical dig. Look through your past and find a circumstance when something went wrong and you had a suspicion something was wrong from the beginning. Red flags you ignored because you didn’t have proof.
Last week when I talked about avoiding deadbeat clients, the #1 thing I heard from you all is that you could tell before you even agreed to the gig (or at some point during the work) that they were bad news. Listening to your gut would have saved you time, money, and anguish. Have you had this before?
**2. Meditate. **I speak from personal experience when I say that meditation really helped me get off the “EVERYTHING IS OVERWHELMING AND I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THIS RIGHT NOW” train I was on. Marie meditates for just 10 minutes a day.
3. Ask for guidance. I’ve been practicing this for a while, and didn’t even associate it with intuition. Whenever I have a major decision to make or something important to say, I pause for just a few moments or up to 30 seconds to ask: “Is this right?”
Whether you think you’re asking God or your inner life or the universe -- just the mere task of quieting yourself and waiting rather than always having the answer is like a muscle that gets stronger and stronger -- and before you know it, the answer comes as a whisper.
Even though I didn’t hear anything or feel anything in the beginning, I still did it. And now I instinctually do it.
4. Pay attention to visceral reactions. Marie talks about intuition as a physical thing you feel in your body, like tightness in your chest (that says “don’t do that!”) or openness and fullness. Because intuition lives in your body, not in your mind.
Freelancers, do you feel that your intuition helps you in business? Could you practice to make your intuition stronger?
I highly encourage you all to check out Marie Forleo's site. It's chock full of great stuff like this.