What does intuition feel like

14 Signs Your Intuition Is Talking To You & How To Listen

Sometimes you get a strong feeling that now the right time to pursue something, but you still wonder if it’s worth the risk. And whenever you ask your friends, they sagely encourage you to “trust your gut.” That’s all well and good, but when you don’t know how to follow your intuition in the first place, it’s not necessarily the most helpful advice. Figuring out how to know when your intuition is talking to you can be difficult for some. And spoiler: That gut feeling can actually be pretty helpful.

"Intuition is that sneaking suspicion that you feel when something is not right, but you can't put your finger on why,” licensed clinical psychologist Sarah Schewitz, Psy.D., tells Bustle. “Intuition can be a powerful guiding force and is more developed for some than others. Some people feel a strong urge or sense in their core when something is wrong, while others with a less developed intuition might feel a small inkling that they aren't really sure how to interpret.

It’s OK if you’re not sure whether those butterflies in your stomach mean “take the leap!” or “run away” — intuition could potentially be telling you either of these things. You also might get your intuition confused with your scared ego and maybe even an inferiority complex, as Julie Holmes, a New York city-based life coach, explains.

"When you're taking risks in life that feel bigger than maybe what you think you can handle, there will always be some sort of resistance,” Holmes tells Bustle. “The scared ego usually shows up when you're about to do something new and different in your life, but in the end [it will] be beneficial. It could be a job promotion, being more social, or doing something outside of your comfort zone. Scared ego is usually scared of either failure or rejection.” If you’re doing something out of fear that you’re not good enough, Holmes says, you might want to go in the other direction.

Learning to listen to your gut feeling has a lot to do with trust — which can be hard when fear is involved. “To follow your intuition means that you do not have to put conscious thought into making a decision,” says Brooklyn-based therapist Bernie Crowl, MHC-LP. “It simply comes naturally and with no judgment.”

Of course, as Crowl explains, not judging yourself is easier said than done, especially when many people have been taught not to trust their own judgment. In fact, licensed psychotherapist Jaime Mahler says that she sees lack of self-trust as a major phenomenon in her millennial and Gen Z clients. “A cultural narrative that I see weaving through a lot of us — especially millennials and Gen Z — is that we struggle with trusting ourselves,” Mahler tells Bustle. “When there's a struggle with self-trust, there's most likely going to be a struggle with intuition, too, because that's part of it.”

So, how are you supposed to trust your gut if you’re not sure if you should trust yourself? Whether you want to know how you can follow your gut or learn to be more self-aware, here are 14 ways to know if your intuition is trying to tell you something and how to listen to it.


You Notice A Tight Feeling In Your Chest Or Stomach


Sometimes your gut instinct is so strong that you have physical signs of intuition. While some people might feel a peaceful feeling within their heart, others may notice their gut is trying to communicate by evoking a sinking feeling instead. "Many people describe their intuition as a feeling in their chest or stomach,” Schewitz says. “Often, it comes as a tightness in those areas and the feeling that something is off.” Butterflies and sweaty palms are also common physical effects.


You Feel Confident & Happy Even When The Decision Doesn't Seem Rational

Ever have those moments where you daydream about quitting your job, but you don't for financial reasons? That moment of clarity is your intuition trying to speak to you. While it might not sound like a logical answer, the thought you're having may actually be the answer you've been looking for. "When your intuition speaks to you, and when you learn to tune into it, you will feel confidence and clarity when it speaks,” Schewitz explains. “When your scared ego is speaking, you will feel fear and uncertainty.”


You Might Feel Hyper-Aware

Intuition can manifest itself in feeling hyper-aware of your environment and your senses getting heightened in some way — be it your sense of smell, sound, sight, and so on. Paying attention to these sorts of clues, as Mahler explains, can help you realize that your intuition is telling you something, particularly protective intuition.

“You might notice the lights get brighter or sounds get almost louder,” says Mahler. “It's almost like your brain has gotten keyed into something. That would be, to me, a sign of something internally trying to speak to you, and your intuition is getting almost more to the forefront of your brain.”


The Same Opportunities Keep Knocking On Your Door

"The way I knew that my intuition was trying to talk to me was in hindsight. Opportunity kept knocking on my shoulder and finally I noticed. Regretfully sometimes it took years," says career coach Jill MacFadyen, MSIR, ACC.

When your intuition tries to communicate with you, it may try to get your attention by forcing you to notice little patterns throughout your life. Been wanting to find a new job, but afraid to take the plunge? Your intuition may subtly let you notice certain career articles or job postings to help get your attention.


You Start Noticing Patterns

One of the telltale signs that you should be listening to and following your intuition is when you start detecting patterns. The fallout of ignoring the patterns we are attuned to pick up on can put us in vulnerable situations, be it intense scenarios or smaller situations. “It's that we're failing to recognize a pattern that our brain was already establishing for us,” Mahler says. “Our brain was actually connecting some of those dots.”


You May Notice Your Thoughts Are Being Pulled In A Certain Direction


Your intuition is usually there to guide you in the right direction, but figuring out how to know if your intuition is right can be difficult. After all, sometimes you miss the signs altogether or choose to ignore them. However, if you continue to notice that your brain wanders back to a particular thought, you might want to slow down and investigate why you're feeling this way.

"Often, I teach my students that if you are getting intuitive hints about things, and you don't listen to them, they will keep showing up in different ways,” John explains. “Looks for patterns, repeating thoughts, and repeating pulls in certain directions. Pay attention to when you feel pulled by something that seems out of the ordinary or surprising. Pay attention to those thoughts that seem to 'pop' in out of nowhere. Remember, intuition does not come from the logical brain.” Of course, if you feel these thoughts are not serving you in a positive way, they might be a result of anxiety or another mental health concern — and it’s worth pausing to consider whether you should listen to them.


You May Notice Your Instinct & Intuition Are Not In Sync

Sometimes your rational instinct (aka your ego) will try to protect you from failure or making a mistake, as evidenced by a 2008 study published in the Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin. While your instinct is there to help you survive, your intuition will sometimes try to fight against your fears of failure so you can go after your dreams. "Instinct and intuition are different,” John says. “Instinct is an automatic response that has to do with survival. Intuition is more evolved and focused on your highest good. For example, your instinct may be to stay at your job because it is safe and secure, while your intuition may guide you to leave your job and start your own business.”

Psychotherapist Lillyana Morales, LMHC, says these instincts may take the form of ingrained coping mechanisms that no longer serve you. Maybe shoving down your feelings all the time helped make you safer as a kid, but you might notice that this instinct is hurting your relationships now.

To help distinguish when your intuition is serving you well and it’s not, Morales advises practicing some visualization — perhaps with the help of your therapist. “Envision a bunch of shelves and ask yourself what you have done to survive thus far,” she suggests. “Imagine placing those preferable and non-preferable coping tools on the shelves, and explore what has been easily accessible and what has been out of reach. As we develop new, preferable tools in therapy, we can start re-organizing those shelves. The more options people have on their coping shelves that are accessible, the less they find themselves using old tools that they may no longer need anymore.”


You Feel Uneasy About A Certain Situation

When you listen to your intuition, you’ll likely feel happy, but if you choose to ignore it, a wave of uneasiness may come over you. For instance, you may choose to listen to your ego to make a safe but wrong decision, instead of listening to what your heart is trying to tell you. If you’re being mistreated, but people around you are trying to pass it off as “no big deal,” it can become a lot harder to trust your gut feeling. Your intuition might be glaring red flags at you through stomachaches or chest pains, but if the people around you say they’re not seeing what you see, it can impact your relationship with your instincts.

Morales says you can help yourself out by paying attention to what your body is saying. “When we go inward, we can notice where the body is experiencing any sensations or tension and explore what emotions are connected to them,” Morales explains. “Getting attuned to the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations will give you information to make choices of what feels right for you in any given situation.”


You May Feel Sick

When you don't listen to your intuition, you may actually cause more stress in your life. Physical signs like anxiety symptoms or being sick may slowly creep into your life because your intuition is trying to tell you you need a change.

"Physical signs in the early stages might feel like something's not quite right or something feels off,” Holmes explains. “As many of us tend to ignore our intuition, the feeling will naturally grow to something more severe like anxiety — even depression can be a physical sign that you are not living life the way you know you want to be. If these more obvious feelings are ignored, ultimately our body can manifest illness as an extreme way of letting us know we need to make some kind of change in our life.”


You Have A Sense This Feeling Won't Go Away

There likely is a reason why that particular thought keeps on popping up in your head: Your intuition is likely trying to speak to you. Be more receptive to these subtle nuances so you can allow your life to flow much easier. "The best way to determine if it is your intuition telling you something is that you will have the sense that it 'won't go away,’” says licensed psychologist Anita Marchesani, Ph.D. “In other words, that sensation of knowing you should or should not do something simply keeps dogging you.”


You May Feel Inspired

When your intuition is speaking to you and you are following it, you may feel more inspired and excited, as explained in a 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology. This could happen after watching a motivating YouTube video or listening to a podcast. Hearing others' words of wisdom can help direct your thoughts and spark your own intuition. "Your intuition might start with a feeling of happiness or excitement [if it's about something good], while stronger intuition might be desire or an impulse to do something creative or beneficial for either yourself or others," Holmes says.


You May Experience More Vivid Dreams


While much of sleep science remains a mystery, dreaming about falling off a building or being chased by a giant spider could actually be your intuition trying to talk to you — that’s according to some research, including a 2017 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

"Intuition can come in many forms,” says celebrity psychic medium Thomas John. “Dreams are a major way that spirit communicates, too. It is important to also document your experience. Because intuition often does not have a specific timestamp, sometimes we can intuitively pick up things about our past, present, and future. I tell my students to make notes and journal about specific feelings, impressions, or senses they have.”


You Find Clarity When You're Not Busy

Have you ever had those "ah-ha!" moments when you’re in the shower or driving your car? That's an example of your intuition trying to talk to you. When you allow your mind to rest (i.e. meditation), your mind opens up and allows your thoughts and emotions to flow through. "Your intuition talks to you when you are less busy, when you sleep, when are you not trying to push for it, when you take your mind off what you are seeking," MacFadyen says.


You Find Yourself Pausing Mentally

For many, this is one of the hardest things to train yourself to do, but it is very beneficial when it comes to following intuition. “When we're developing tools or strategies of trusting ourselves, it literally is practicing pausing in the moment,” says Mahler. “I usually use the phrase ‘practice the pause. ’”

As an example, if you’re packing for a trip and have an overwhelming sense of dread, pause and ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. Is it just a little bit of travel anxiety? Or is your brain telling you something because the group of people you’re going to be spending the next few days with makes you uncomfortable? “You're exercising a skill in that moment by pausing and saying, ‘Hold on. Where is this coming from?’” Mahler says. Doing this is a big step in learning to listen to your own intuition.

Following intuition can be tricky, but there are definitely ways to train yourself to be more aware of when your gut is talking to you and when to trust it. As with most things related to internal reflection, putting in effort and trying to be honest with yourself is the first step. The more you listen to your intuition, the happier and secure you’ll likely feel about the choices you make.

Studies referenced:

de Heer, E. W., Palacios, J. E., Adèr, H. J., van Marwijk, H., Tylee, A., & van der Feltz-Cornelis, C. M. (2020). Chest pain, depression and anxiety in coronary heart disease: Consequence or cause? A prospective clinical study in primary care. Journal of psychosomatic research, 129, 109891. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2019.109891

Berry, A. S., Jagust, W. J., & Hsu, M. (2019). Age-related variability in decision-making: Insights from neurochemistry. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience, 19(3), 415–434. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-018-00678-9

Pronin, E., Olivola, C. Y., & Kennedy, K. A. (2008). Doing unto future selves as you would do unto others: psychological distance and decision making. Personality & social psychology bulletin, 34(2), 224–236. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167207310023

Settineri, S., Frisone, F., Alibrandi, A., & Merlo, E. M. (2019). Emotional Suppression and Oneiric Expression in Psychosomatic Disorders: Early Manifestations in Emerging Adulthood and Young Patients. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1897. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01897

Jaeger, B., Evans, A. M., Stel, M., & van Beest, I. (2019). Explaining the persistent influence of facial cues in social decision-making. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 148(6), 1008–1021. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000591

Paulson, S., Barrett, D., Bulkeley, K., & Naiman, R. (2017). Dreaming: a gateway to the unconscious?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1406(1), 28–45. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13389


Sarah Schewitz, Psy.D., licensed clinical psychologist

Julie Holmes, New York city-based life coach

Bernie Crowl, MHC-LP, Brooklyn-based therapist

Jaime Mahler, licensed psychotherapist

Lillyana Morales, L.M.H.C., psychotherapist

Jill MacFadyen, M. S.I.R., A.C.C., career coach

Anita Marchesani, Ph.D., licensed psychologist

Thomas John, celebrity psychic medium

This article was originally published on

4 Ways to Activate Your Intuition and Make More 'This Feels Right' Decisions

Something just doesn’t feel…right.

You can’t quite put your finger on it, but if life were a literal cartoon, little red flags would be popping up everywhere.

Maybe it’s the hmm you thought after the weird way a first date ended or the feeling you get when you go into work on a Monday, questioning whether you should do this task or that task first. Or, maybe it’s as simple as that thought bubble that arises when you reach a street corner, and part of you says to go left when you always go right.

All those little signs are your intuition. And boy, does it want you to pay attention.

Intuition is that sense of knowing what the right answer or decision is before you make it. It's a deep, internal, visceral feeling. You know your intuition is around when you say things like, “I can’t really explain it, but…” or “It just felt right” or, more likely, “It just felt wrong.”

Intuition can feel like this “woo woo” thing, but experts back it up as valuable. It’s our past experiences and learnings feeding us information in the present. Strong decision making is all about having a mix of intuition and logic.

“To act on the basis of intuition would mean that you open your mind to your own thoughts and feelings and balance those against the data gained by your senses,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., writes in Psychology Today.

Our intuition is always there. It's that feeling that we should speak up in a meeting or say hi to that person at the party—our intuition knows. But sometimes our fear holds us back from acting on it. Fear that we’ll fail. Fear that we’ll look silly. Fear that we won’t get a second chance.

I’ve been in many situations that felt like the wrong fit. My intuitive brain would say, Back away! But my rational brain would say, But don’t you really need to do this? And it’s not so bad, right? I’ve learned over the years how to trust myself a tiny bit more—it’s not a perfect system, mind you, but more like an essential redirecting and refocusing back into what fires you up.

Here’s how to activate your own intuition muscle.

1. Think: 'Is This Right For Me?'

Usually, intuition arises when you’re debating between two options. Should I stay, or should I go? Yes or no? Cheese fries or onion rings? But the real question should be: Is this right for me, or for somebody else?

This question has saved me a lot of time and energy over the years. Because if I’m waffling over an opportunity and ask myself “Is this right for me or for somebody else?” that shuts down an endless pro-con list and lets a deeper feeling of intuition take over. If you can imagine giving this opportunity to someone else—literally, imagine yourself handing it over—and feeling OK about it, then it’s probably not for you.

2. ‘YES! or no?’

This idea was popularized by Derek Sivers, who found himself incapable of making a decision about an upcoming trip. Finally, he set down a strict divide. If the answer to a question isn’t “heck yes, I want to do this!” then it should be an instant “no.”

This is like taking your intuition for a test drive. Think about something you can’t decide on right now. Maybe it’s attending a bachelorette party or taking on a new hobby. If you didn’t respond to the opportunity with an enthusiastic “YES!” the minute you heard about it, perhaps it’s not the best fit for you right now. Because you know how you feel when something is a “heck yes”—you can’t wait to reply and say “I’M IN!!!!,” and probably reach for your phone to text your friend. You’re that excited. That’s because, intuitively, you know it’s right.

3. Remember Your 'Intuition For the Win' Moments

Even if you think you’ve been avoiding your intuition, there are likely so many examples when it worked in your favor. Your gut told you to say yes to that concert (where the surprise opening act turned out to be your favorite singer) or that random coffee meeting with someone who ended up getting a big promotion the next year—making it your best networking move ever.

Anytime you’re debating something and you hear that “do it/don’t do it” voice in your head, write it down. Consider this your intuition log, and a few hours or days or weeks later, you can read through it and see your intuition track record.

4. Check In With Yourself Post-Decision

One of my friends told me this week that she quit her job after 10 years. cue confetti and streamers

“How did you know it was right?” I asked her. She said the timing was never going to feel exactly right, but once she made the decision, she felt instantly happy and couldn’t stop smiling. She felt settled with her decision. Her intuition was leading the way.

To try this out: Make the decision—either for real, or just tell yourself you have—and check in on your reaction. How does your body feel? Your brain? Are you excited in an “OMG-what’s-next?” way or an “OMG-what-did-I-just-do” way? See what your gut is telling you.

Your intuition is a future compass—and it’s showing you the way.

Read next: A Gentle Reminder: Your Happiness Counts)

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How intuition works and should it be trusted

9 August 2022 Likbez Life

No mysticism: there is a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation for this.

What is intuition

It is the ability to quickly understand or know something through the senses without having to think or apply logic. Intuition works when you are tormented by a bad feeling or you, faced with a difficult choice, accidentally make the right decision. Usually intuition is subjective, spontaneous and seemingly independent of your opinion. nine0003

However, it is more common than one might think. For example, a survey of 36 executives showed that 85% of them rely on it when making decisions. There is also a study that dentists use their sense of touch even more often than they should.

How intuition works and why the brain needs it

Today, science considers intuition to be a complex tool of consciousness, which is born from the interaction of the senses, mind and experience and plays a significant role in cognition and decision making. nine0003

Throughout our life, the brain notices patterns, connects facts and phenomena with each other, and creates patterns based on them. Most often this happens unintentionally and unconsciously.

Intuition works on such associations. It releases subconscious emotional information before we make a conscious decision and helps us avoid wasting resources on thinking. So we learn to predict a variety of things, up to the consequences of our actions and the behavior of other people. nine0003

In essence, this is a different method of knowing and thinking, which is similar to instinct. Although intuition is not always accurate, it works very quickly and does not require much concentration.

At the same time, we tend to both give intuitive convictions more attention than we should, and underestimate them. For example, we often trust the first impression, which gives rise to prejudices. Or we refuse the initial correct decision, considering it spontaneous, in favor of the wrong one.

Is it worth trusting intuition

Scientists say that intuition can help you make decisions that you won't doubt later.

For example, Dutch psychologists concluded in 2006 that intuition works well when there are many factors to consider. They found that those who used their instincts to buy a car or a home were 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with the purchase than those who took a long time to compare the pros and cons. Experts have called intuition "thinking without attention."

But this does not mean at all that rational thinking should be abandoned. nine0003

Intuition can fail because it creates only preliminary hypotheses that need to be tested. The Sixth Sense relies heavily on emotions, and its predictions are often subjective. For example, our intuition can be clouded by negative childhood experiences, complexes, fears, and mental trauma. In addition, intuition is unlikely to be useful in areas in which a person does not understand. Or in poorly predictable areas, such as the global economy.

The accuracy of intuition depends on many things, and everyone must decide for himself whether to rely on it. It is believed that instinct gives the most accurate clues when we allow it to work freely: we do not argue and act “on autopilot”. nine0003

Is it true that some people have better developed intuition

All people are different and have different abilities, which can affect the development of intuition. For example, the ability to perceive and assimilate information is important, as well as the style of thinking of a person and how much he is ready to rely on intuition. If you do not trust your “sixth sense”, then it will most likely not be developed.

How to develop your intuition

Scientists' knowledge of intuition is still at the level of theory and hypotheses, but there are a few tips that can help. nine0003


Take time to think: when you don't have to do anything and you can think about what is happening or could happen. This will help to establish more relationships, including non-obvious ones, between people, events, facts, one's own feelings and thoughts. This is where journaling, walking, meditation and mindfulness practices come in handy.

Listen to physical sensations

Intuition may not be obvious. For example, in a feeling of heaviness or butterflies in the stomach. This is because there are about 100 million neurons in the gut. It is even called the "second brain". nine0003

Of course, this does not mean that the digestive system can think. But it affects the mood. For example, it can reflect negative feelings through physical discomfort. Such signals may indicate intuitive anxiety. So sometimes it is worth listening to such sensations.

Specialists from the UK are also sure that a person's intuition largely depends on how well he monitors his heartbeat. For example, an increase in heart rate means emotional arousal, which can also be considered a signal. nine0003

Develop yourself

Everything you do improves your senses. Reading, sports, communication, entertainment, work - everything becomes part of the "sixth sense". And the more experience you have in a certain area, the better your intuition will work in this area. Therefore, if you, for example, want to "read" other people, communicate more and study psychology.

Read also 🤔💡☝️

  • “Eureka!”: how insights happen and what to do to make them happen more often
  • How intuition will help you make effective decisions
  • 4 situations when you should listen to your intuition

Intuition: knowledge as a premonition | PSYCHOLOGIES


Know yourself

Knowing exactly what the other person will say a second before they open their mouth. An alarming feeling that something happened to a loved one on the other side of the world at that moment. An inexplicable certainty that a meeting or a trip, important and long planned, must be canceled, although there is no reason for this...

Intuition has many faces, and people who have never encountered its manifestations probably do not exist. Just as there are no those who could completely “tame” their intuition, master its hidden mechanisms and use it accurately in any situation. Although modern science is sure that this is exactly what should be striven for. nine0003

Left and right hemispheres

Numerous definitions of intuition boil down to something like this: “what we cannot know, but we know from somewhere.” And oddly enough, scientists do not see any contradiction in this. They distinguish between two types of thinking depending on the dominant hemisphere of the brain.

Left hemisphere thinking is responsible for analysis, building logical chains, sequencing of conclusions - manages logic and orderliness, which form the basis of today's attitude to life. And the right hemisphere is responsible for associative perception, creative processes and those very intuitive insights, the mechanics of which I would like to understand. nine0003

And when an intuitive insight suddenly dawns on us, it does not come from any mystical realms at all. It is generated by the activity of the right hemisphere of the brain.

“We live in a world of endless dynamic connections between objects, between surrounding people and virtual images,” explains psychophysiologist Vadim Rotenberg. – In order not only to adapt to this world, but also to try to change it in accordance with your needs, it is necessary to perceive these connections in all their diversity. nine0003

In mentally healthy people, the ability to perceive the world as a whole, to capture all these connections is provided by the right hemisphere of the brain. It is here that information from all the senses first of all enters, and it is the right hemisphere that is closely connected with the limbic system responsible for our emotions.

Those who are familiar with the latest scientific achievements insist on the benefits of intuition

The easiest way to illustrate this is with an example from detective or spy films, when the hero, having barely entered home (or even before entering), feels anxiety and understands that someone is here - something visited. This is a completely normal manifestation of intuition. nine0003

Dozens and hundreds of smallest details are immediately fixed by the eye. But it takes minutes and even hours for the left hemisphere to analyze all the details and come to the conclusion that the rug at the door is shifted a couple of millimeters, and the collar on the coat rack in the hallway is turned up differently. The right hemisphere perceives the picture instantly and in its entirety. And, comparing with the image stored in memory, it sends an alarm signal: something is wrong!

In the same way, the right hemisphere is able to detect connections between objects that are not described by formal left hemisphere logic - and yet exist. We have yet to understand the nature of these connections, but Vadim Rotenberg is sure: “thanks to the intuitive “grasping” of connections not included in the logical chains, discoveries in science occur that cannot be reached by a consistent analysis of the available facts.” nine0003

Of course, such insights do not occur in a vacuum. The famous examples of Archimedes' bath and Newton's apple do not in any way indicate that the great scientists made their discoveries by accident. It's just that the right hemisphere is connected to the work of the left hemisphere "in the background" at some point. And he discovers those very extra-logical, but still existing connections. This is followed by the exclamation of "Eureka!".

In a word, the work that requires time from the left hemisphere, and sometimes turns out to be completely impossible, can be done by the right hemisphere in a fraction of a second. Or maybe not - it depends on many factors. nine0003

Steve Jobs, who foresaw the future

Many modern electronic devices have an "intuitive interface". Thank you for this is Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple. In 1984, he came up with a computer controlled by a mouse, whose programs could be seen on the screen. Prior to this, it was required to enter long lines of codes and jump with the cursor over endless tables with program names.

The world of programming felt insanely complex, which he was obviously proud of. And the defiant simplicity of Jobs's decisions was completely out of place: his first project ended in complete failure. But Jobs was a tough and stubborn perfectionist who wasn't afraid to rely on his intuition. And if he saw a computer with icons on the screen, he made just such a computer. nine0003

Then he saw teardrop-shaped computers, and tactile screens, and a worldwide music store in virtual space. It didn't make sense every time. And today we are not able to imagine that all this did not exist. “The hardest thing is doing the simple things,” said Steve Jobs. “It takes a lot of courage to follow your heart, your intuition.

Information does not solve everything

Relations between the hemispheres of the brain are not "reciprocal". And if the right is able to come to the aid of the left, then the reverse, alas, is not true. Quite the opposite: once we let the left brain take over, intuition doesn't have a chance. nine0003

In our rational society, which does not want to admit what cannot be explained, the “sixth sense” lives on as a poor relative. Try, for example, to say at a meeting that “you have a feeling” that the new development strategy is unsuccessful ... To force a modern rational sane person to listen to intuition is, in fact, an impossible mission. Meanwhile, scientists and those who are familiar with the latest scientific achievements insist on the benefits of intuition.

“We think it's best if we collect as much information as possible and spend as much time as possible thinking about it. But there are times, especially under stress, when haste is not a bad thing, when our instant judgments and first impressions can offer more effective ways to adapt to this world, writes in her book “Insight. The Power of Instant Decisions by Malcolm Gladwell. “Excessive information is not an advantage, it is enough to know very little to see the main feature of the subject.” nine0003

The best-selling author of The Way We Make Decisions, Jonah Lehrer, shares the same view: “Too much time spent making a decision is no guarantee that it will be successful.” This means that we need to carefully monitor how we make decisions, train this skill in ourselves, fix what movements of thoughts and emotions led us to conclusions that later turned out to be correct. And of course, trust your intuition more.

Experience and fresh ideas

Our intuition is more diverse than it seems: the right decision can be prompted by a sudden insight or years of experience, optimism or caution. Psychologist William Duggan believes that ordinary intuition is just an internal instinctive sensation. But there are other types as well. nine0003

Intuition of experience appears quickly and works exclusively in familiar situations. So a professional tennis player knows where the ball will fly from under the opponent's racket. The more we improve in our specialty, the better we understand standard work situations and the faster we solve the same type of problems.

Strategic intuition works slowly, but in new situations when fresh ideas are needed. Illumination comes suddenly, but thanks to it, a long-tormenting problem is solved. To do this, it is necessary to recognize the novelty of the situation and turn off the intuition of experience. nine0003

Psychologist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman sees a big difference between short-term and long-term forecasts: “A firefighter's premonition that the house is about to collapse is not structured like a Middle East specialist's forecasts about the prospects for the development of the region. Intuitive competence can only be developed if situations are regularly repeated and there is an opportunity to study them for a long time; it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to become a specialist. ” nine0003

But when we, succumbing to the voice of intuition, deceive ourselves, it can be useful, the scientist believes: “We exaggerate our chances of success, and this optimism is one of the driving forces of the economy. It is balanced out by “fear of failure,” so that our lives pass between bold expectations and modest decisions,” Kahneman says in an interview with Philosophie magazine.

Enlightenment order

“Intuitive perception is more like perception by the senses, which is also irrational, since it depends primarily on objective stimuli of a physical rather than mental origin,” Carl Gustav Jung wrote about the emotional nature of intuition. nine0003

“Therefore, intuition “knows” more about emotions than logic. In interpersonal emotional relationships, which are based solely on multi-valued connections, the principles of logic do not work, Vadim Rotenberg notes. “If you can analyze why you love someone, it is doubtful that you really love him.”

However, Jonah Lehrer believes that the close connection between intuition and emotions can also have a downside. He considers the phenomenon of intuition akin to emotional memory. Once in a situation of choice, we weigh the arguments on the scales of logic, and in the meantime, our emotional memory has long found analogies in previous experience. And if the past decision was successful, intuition pushes us to take action. And if not, warn against them. nine0003

Let's say experienced stock market players can invest, relying on intuition. But if you are buying securities for the first time, it is still better to study the financial statements of companies, and not rely on the right hemisphere.

Such a “division of labor” would be optimal, in which the left hemisphere would solve logical problems, and the right hemisphere would take over the emotional side of life. For the vast majority of us, this balance is clearly skewed to the left, Myers insists in Intuition. nine0003

But restoring harmony is not an easy task. After all, we are trying to understand the mechanisms of the right hemisphere and are looking for ways to “turn on” it as needed, guided by . .. all the same left hemisphere logic. Vicious circle or mystery? Rather, the case when the answer can give insight.

They heard the "hint"

And they took it seriously - even if they refuse a vacation, leave a profitable job or interrupt a trip, it seemed at first glance a very strange act. Our readers shared their stories on the site. nine0003

“I felt that I should stay”

Elena: “A wonderful story happened to me. A few years ago, my husband and I had to go on vacation. On the eve of departure, when the suitcases were already packed, I suddenly realized that I must definitely stay. I felt it, as they say, in my gut, like an order: you need to stay. After long conversations and arguments, my husband left alone. And since I didn’t have much to do, I spent almost all the time with my mother. We dined, chatted, laughed, remembering my childhood, her youth... It was an easy time. And once, when I was about to leave, she did not let me go for a long time. I even thought about whether to stay the night, but I had plans for the evening . .. At night, my mother died. Then I remembered my feeling: that’s why I couldn’t leave.” nine0003

“I have the strength to make an important decision”

Tatiana: “For eight years I worked in an office holding on to a good salary. It was boring, but I could not decide to leave. Once my husband and I flew away for three days to Istanbul - a beautiful city full of life. I don’t know why, but I got on the plane with the confidence that I would be back soon. On the very first day after the vacation, I wrote a letter of resignation ... I did it easily, because I felt that I was doing the right thing. And a month later I found a job in the field of tourism and in four years I traveled all over the world with groups. nine0003

“My diagnosis was not confirmed”

Olga: “After the birth of my second child, I had to take care of my health closely: examinations, tests. And the most important - oncology. I had to wait a long time for the results, I was very worried. And then one day I return home, I go into the room where the TV is on, and I see the following plot: the judge at the court session reads out the verdict and, slamming the hammer on the table, issues a verdict: “Innocent!” I entered the room literally at that moment! And it immediately became clear to me that there was no need to worry, everything would be fine with me. Needless to say, the diagnosis was indeed not confirmed! nine0003

“My grandmother warned me about the danger”

Dmitry: “Several years ago, my friend and I went on a trip to the Amazon. Describing it in a nutshell is not exactly possible! On some fragile boat, in unsanitary conditions, we moved along the river for ten days ... At the end of the trip, half of our expedition was poisoned by local cooking - we ate what we cooked on board. Terrible pains in the abdomen, high fever ... Horror! At night, in delirium, my beloved grandmother came to me in a dream. And she advised me ... to eat a banana. I obeyed - and I really felt a little better. nine0003

At the very least, we arrived at the next point of the trip - Manaus. I was still very weak and just lay there, waiting for the departure. And then I dreamed about my grandmother again. She literally demanded that I no longer board the ship. As a result, he sailed without us, and my friend and I boarded the plane. A couple of days later we learned about the shipwreck and dozens of victims . .. My dream did not deceive me. Although, on the other hand, it was hard not to notice what condition that ship was in!”

The myth of female instinct

Women are more emotional than men, they better understand the experiences of other people and have a sixth sense that allows them to foresee what cannot be predicted on the basis of logic. Statements of this kind have been repeated so often that they now look like irrefutable truth. But is it?

Apparently, the ancient Greek thinker Aristotle was the first to speak on this subject. Male nature, he believed, is perfect and complete, while a woman is subject to emotions, which means she is less stable and less trustworthy. Following him, Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher of the 18th century, argued that women's philosophy is not to reason, but to feel. A century later, the English naturalist Charles Darwin contrasted "male energy and genius" with "female compassion and intuitive abilities." nine0003

These theses are echoed by “historical” arguments: since a woman for a long time could only realize herself at home, in the family, and did not have access to social and professional activities, she developed not abstract thinking, but emotional intelligence, which allows capturing intentions and feelings other people.

The opinion of the great about women's intuition is nothing more than a prejudice

Apparently, it remains only to conclude that men have wide fields of pure reason, and women - the wrong swamp of intuition? However, this "truth" is strongly refuted by a large study conducted by the English psychologist Richard Wiseman. 15,000 men and women looked at pairs of photographs, one with a genuine smile and one with a fake one. nine0003

Prior to the start of the experiment, at the request of the researchers, participants assessed their intuition. It was considered good by 77% of women and 58% of men. Then all participants had to indicate which of the two photographs the person is smiling sincerely. The difference between the sexes turned out to be minimal... and not in favor of women!

Thus, a sincere smile was identified by 71% of women and 72% of men. And one more amazing detail. When the photo was of a woman, men were more accurate in assessing the sincerity of her smile than women were in the case of a man's picture.

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