When I teach self defense, I often refer to intuition as one of the main things that can help us avoid danger. In reality, intuition is much more than just a subtle warning sign. When we learn to listen to it and understand it better, it becomes a part of everything we do. It’s there like an invisible guide or inner compass that most often leads us in the right direction.
I can remember one night while on police patrol, we received a burglar alarm at a warehouse. We were very close when the call came out, and arrived within a couple of minutes. When we approached the front of the business, we saw that the door was forced open. This necessitated us to go in and search the warehouse. While searching, I distinctly remember scanning the dark environment with my flashlight, and seeing numerous pallets on the open floor. Something inside told me that someone was armed and hiding behind a particular stack. It was a strong gut feeling, that resonated physically. I paused the other officer with a gesture, and motioned to the pallet. We quietly encircled it from an indirect angle, and sure enough saw a crouching figure. After us giving loud commands with weapons drawn, the man dropped something on the concrete and lay prone with his hands outstretched. When we handcuffed him, we saw that the object that he dropped was a gun. Had I not felt this, I’m not sure what would have happened.
Intuition has been with us since the beginning of recorded history. I believe that older generations generally had a better grasp of its use on a daily basis, especially when it came to being outdoors in nature. Back then, it was thought of more as a metaphysical skill, which isn’t entirely incorrect in my opinion, but it isn’t some super power either. Ask your great grandma about it if she’s still alive. I’m sure she has a story or two about having a bad feeling about someone or something.
In today’s world, leveraging the power of intuition properly can help us to recognize and steer clear of bad situations far in advance of them being able to affect us.
So, what, exactly, is intuition?
Intuition is often seen as a mysterious, almost magical power that guides us to make the right decisions. However, as elusive as it may seem, intuition is actually a crucial cognitive process that has developed over time as a survival mechanism. I’ll explore here what intuition is, how science believes it developed, and how trusting our gut feelings can help us avoid trouble in our daily lives.
How does it work?
Intuition is generally the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. It is often referred to as a gut feeling or an inner voice that guides us in making decisions. This cognitive process occurs just beneath the surface of our conscious awareness and enables us to make quick judgments and assessments about our environment.
It is important to note that intuition is not a mystical or paranormal phenomenon. It is a real cognitive function based on our past experiences, knowledge, and subconscious pattern recognition. When faced with a situation, our mind automatically processes the information and compares it to the patterns we have encountered before. This allows us to form an instant response, which is experienced as an intuitive feeling.
The Evolutionary Development of Intuition
The science behind the development of intuition is closely linked to the theory of evolution. In the early days of human development, our ancestors relied on their senses and instinctive reactions to make split-second decisions that often meant the difference between life and death. Intuition served as an essential survival tool, enabling early humans to make quick judgments about potential threats and opportunities.
As humans evolved, so did our cognitive abilities. Our capacity to process information and think critically grew more sophisticated, allowing us to develop more complex problem-solving skills. However, our intuitive abilities remained intact, serving as a fast and efficient decision-making process in times of uncertainty or danger.
This evolutionary perspective suggests that intuition is a natural, ingrained aspect of human cognition. It is a valuable asset that has been honed over countless generations to help us navigate the world and protect ourselves from harm.
A Body-Mind Connection
From my own personal experience with intuition, I believe that it is also connected to the physical body. In all of my teaching, I stress the fact that the body affects the mind, and the mind affects the body. When I recognize intuition, it is often accompanied by physical sensations, similar to an emotional reaction. We’ve all felt this when experiencing strong emotions. When learning to listen to intuition, this is helpful to identify it as a subtle physical sensation, most often “in the gut” or solar plexus area.
How Trusting Intuition Can Help Us Avoid Trouble
Trusting our intuition can provide us with a valuable tool for navigating the challenges and potential dangers we face in our daily lives. By tapping into our inner voice, we can recognize the warning signs and red flags that our conscious mind might overlook or rationalize away. Here are several ways trusting our intuition can help us avoid trouble:
1. Enhancing Personal Safety
Our intuition is often the first line of defense when it comes to personal safety. It can alert us to potential threats in our environment, such as an unsafe situation or the presence of someone with malicious intent. By trusting these gut feelings, we can take appropriate action to protect ourselves and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
2. Making Better Decisions
When faced with a difficult decision, our intuition can provide us with valuable insights that might not be immediately apparent through logical analysis. By listening to our gut feelings, we can often choose a course of action that leads to a more favorable outcome. This does not mean disregarding reason or logic, but rather considering the information our intuition provides as an additional, valuable perspective.
3. Navigating Relationships
In our personal and professional relationships, our intuition can act as a powerful guide. It can help us identify if someone is being genuine or if they have ulterior motives, allowing us to avoid potential heartache or bad intentions. Our intuition can also help us recognize when a relationship has run its course, empowering us to move on and find healthier connections.
4. Identifying Opportunities
Our intuition is not only useful for detecting potential dangers but also for identifying opportunities. By trusting our gut feelings, we can recognize when a situation presents a unique chance for growth or success. This enables us to seize these opportunities and avoid missing out on valuable experiences that could enrich our lives.
5. Enhancing Creativity and Problem-Solving
Intuition can also be a valuable tool in fostering creativity and innovative problem-solving. By tapping into our subconscious mind, we can access new perspectives and ideas that may not be readily available through conscious thought. Trusting our intuition can help us think outside the box, enabling us to find unique solutions and overcome obstacles in ways we might not have considered otherwise.
6. Strengthening Self-Trust
Learning to trust our intuition can foster a sense of self-trust and confidence in our ability to make decisions. By valuing our gut feelings and recognizing their worth, we can develop a stronger sense of self-reliance, which can be invaluable in navigating the challenges and uncertainties of life.
Trusting our intuition can be a powerful tool in avoiding trouble and fostering personal growth. By tapping into this inner wisdom, we can navigate the world with greater ease, protect ourselves from potential harm, and make better decisions in our personal and professional lives.
While intuition should not be used as the sole basis for decision-making, it should be considered as an important and valuable resource. Cultivating our intuitive abilities and learning to trust our gut feelings can lead to more fulfilling and successful experiences in our daily lives. As we develop this trust, we can unlock the potential of this ancient and powerful cognitive process, harnessing it to live more enriched and purposeful lives.