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How to Hear Your Intuition When You Don’t Know What to Do

Confused Man

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs

Sitting in my office I stared at the email in front of me.

My heart sank.

All energy and joy left me, to be replaced with confusion, anxiety, and a deep sense of frustration.

As adrenalin rushed through my veins, one question engulfed my mind leaving little room for the answer.

What should I do? What should I do? What should I do?

I just don’t know.

The email was from a client. Someone who I had worked with for a long time. Someone who wasn’t listening to me. Someone who was causing me unhappiness.

And as I re-read the email, I knew I had to make a decision.

Could I deal with this any longer? The demands, the lack of control, the sharp tone that always seemed so unnecessary.

Or did I have to stick it out? Put up with those feelings, just get on with the work and do the best I could? I needed the money after all. Cash was tight—could I survive without this client?

What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? 

And then, in that one moment in time, it became clear exactly what I needed to do. I needed to step away from the computer. I needed to get outside. And I needed to breathe.

So that’s exactly what I did.

Twenty-four hours later I was on the phone explaining to my client that I didn’t feel we were right for each other anymore. That we needed to bring things to a close. That it was time for me to move on.

And move on I certainly did.

That day when I stepped outside and went for a walk, I found peace and quiet, a sense of calm understanding, and most importantly, a moment of absolute pure clarity.

My intuition spoke. And I listened to her.

I realized that I had to remove myself from the situation that was causing me so much distress. Forcing myself to continue was no longer an option; it was not what my body and soul needed. Instead, I needed to follow my heart.

And so, I let go of that client and all those negative feelings. And I created space.

Space for new people. New places. And new experiences.

And do you know what? Once I made that decision, it was like an enormous weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

My energy and joy returned to me in abundance, and I knew with absolute certainty that I had made the right decision.

Once again, my intuition had guided me. And she hadn’t let me down.

Tuning into your intuition during troubled times can be difficult. With so much noise, information, and clutter within the world, our thoughts can often be clouded with distractions.

However, there are lots of ways that you can help your intuitive voice find its way to you. Just follow the tips below.

Step away from the situation.

I’ve found that during these times the best thing you can do is allow yourself some breathing space.

Stand up and go for a long walk, head out into the wilderness, browse some antique shops, meditate, sit with a coffee and watch the world go by. Whatever you love doing, whatever calms you, now is the time to do it.

Find some quiet space to let your mind wander, and your intuitive voice will have a far greater chance of being heard.

Be honest with yourself.

It can sometimes be very easy to ignore your feelings and push them away.

The fear of failure, of changing direction, and of saying “no” can all result in those gut feelings being pushed aside in favor of what may be perceived to be the ‘easier’ option.

However, ultimately this is about your happiness. And if something doesn’t feel right, then maybe it’s time for a change.

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge those unsettled feelings; they are there to guide and support you. Listen to them.

Turn to your journal.

I have found writing in a journal to be an incredible method for tuning into my intuition.

Acting as a safe space to release emotions, work through problems, and process my thoughts, it can allow for greater self-discovery and understanding.

Next time you are having difficulty making a decision, pick up a pen and some paper and let the words flow out of you. Reflect on the situation, explore those feelings, and consider the bigger picture.

This free-flowing use of personal writing can be a wonderful catalyst for removing blocks and letting your intuitive voice lead the way. Just let the words pour out of you.

 

The intuitive voice is a powerful one, but it often needs a quiet, calm, reflective environment to find its way.

Learn where you can find some peace, go there when times are hard, and listen with all your might to what your heart and soul are telling you.

Your intuition wants to guide and support you. So give it the space to be heard.

Confused man image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of Kathryn Hall

About Kathryn Hall

Kathryn Hall is founder of The Business of Introverts, an avid writer and mentor to individuals who want more freedom, solitude, and creativity in their careers. She’s big on helping people to embrace their introversion in all its glory, while creating a life they love. Sign up to connect with Kathryn and receive her free audio series "How to create a soulful business the stress-free way."

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Announcement: Tired of feeling stuck? Learn to let go of the past and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Hey Kathryn! Really liked it. I’m a firm believer that we’ve lost our connection to our body’s intelligence, and that it is in fact a truly reliable source of information. Intuition, instinct, it’s all real, and it all comes from the body.

    This covered that concept well – that we need to trust what our body tells us because it’s going to give us a more accurate sense of how to proceed than our logical minds or anything anyone else could tell us.

  • The same thing happened to me a week ago…I
    have been holding on to a Job that was a mistake, last week there was this
    major shift and I knew it was time to go. I knew within the first week of
    starting that the Job was not the right fit for me but I was desperate. I
    resigned on Monday and immediately felt a huge sense of relief. I’m serving a months’
    notice period at the moment and I look forward to coming to work, to wrap
    things up before I leave. Before I resigned I would tense up every morning when
    I woke up. Sunday afternoons were the worst…Your Intuition knows what your
    mind doesn’t, listen to it.

  • Talya Price

    This reminds me of a time when I was asked to be in a short film, and I declined the offer because, I did not want to work with one of the actors and the pay was very little, and I felt that the role and the work was a bit demeaning. This director did not even contact my agent. And on top of that he hired an actor that I do not like nor feel comfortable around. So after listening to my intuition, I decided to resign from the project and I have to say it was the best decision.

  • SAK

    I have been struggling to come to a decision regarding my marriage for the last few months and just yesterday i was telling my friend that my intuition had abandoned me when i needed it most. Receiving this in my mailbox today therefore was very creepy (!) but after i finished reading it i realised that this has to be a sign for me- to make that difficult decision n know that i’m doing the right thing. Thank you for reminding me where all the answers lie.

  • Thank you, I enjoyed reading this. I can really relate to this all too well. I have been struggling with a job that has me in a negative and disrespectful environment. I have worked for this company for a long time and have always had difficulty with change. It is definitely time to step back and listen to the silence for a while. I saw a quote once that said when you need to make a decision, flip a coin because while the coin is in the air you will now the outcome you are hoping for.

  • lv2terp

    Beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing your experience, and insight! GREAT tips!!! 🙂

  • Maria

    I came to read this because I have serious, hard decisions I need to make and have zero idea of what to do. Instead I end up reading something where the smart thing to do is rather obvious. Of course you had to let this client go. As for me I already do all these things for my well-being on a regular basis. Still have no idea what to do. So for me the title of your article was misleading and not helpful. A very basic read.

  • Hi Minki, I have been there so many times with jobs – it’s only really in the last few years that i’ve got really honest with myself and worked out what I want to do. It’s amazing when you have that moment of clarity isn’t it?! Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • I’m sorry to hear that this article didn’t resonate with you Maria. It’s great to hear that you are already doing all these things – sometimes it takes time for the answers to come. I would also say that although these activities seem obvious to you, for other people the ‘smart’ answer isn’t so obvious. We are all at different stages in our journeys of self-awareness and sometimes the answers don’t come so easily at the beginning. Wishing you lots of best wishes and I hope that the answers find you soon.

  • Thank you!

  • Great to hear that you enjoyed this article Eric. It can be very difficult when you are feeling stuck, taking some quiet time out sounds like the perfect next step for you. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Hi Sak, thank you for your comments and I’m sorry to hear you are in the process of making such a difficult decision. I’m glad that this has served as a reminder to look inward for the answers and I hope everything works out for you.

  • That’s great to hear Talya, i think finding the strength to turn something down that doesn’t feel right can be incredibly empowering – it’s a great feeling! Thanks for your comments.

  • Thanks Chad, glad you enjoyed! Trusting in your body is the key point here I reckon. Not always easy, but I personally believe it’s crucial. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Jo Harrison

    I have been successfully listening to my intuition for 4 years now since being conned out of a lot of money by a partner. If only I had listened to it then, but it was a huge lesson learnt. I now listen to it a lot more, in my personal and work life. It’s still difficult to stop listening to the thoughts of ‘I need the money…’, ‘it would be easier if…’ but intuition wins hands down.

  • Definitely resonate with this Kathryn! I think I go through a process with stuff like this. First recognising the cause of stress/tension etc (often it’s bubbling away under the surface), then working through to the point of acknowledgement that I have some semblance of control over it, then I over-think everything and stress myself out further, but then eventually find the freedom in letting it go. I really like your suggestions to help with that over-thinking/stress stage!! 🙂

  • Thanks Andy! 🙂

  • It can sometimes be difficult to follow and trust those gut feelings, but I’ve found that I’ve never been let down by them! Thanks for your comments Jo!

  • Excellent post, Kathryn! I had no idea you wrote it until I saw the bio at the bottom 🙂

    I had the exact same situation a few months ago. At the time, this was my only regular client, and I was so terrified of walking away from my only regular source of income. I had no idea what to do. No savings to keep me afloat in case the clients don’t come. But I just couldn’t bear working with them anymore. I *knew* what I had to do.

    I walked away. It was quiet for a week or so, but then the clients started coming in. I’m now charging 4x the rate I did to my ex client, and my current ones are amazing to work with!

    I’ve learned a big lesson about trust and self-respect.

  • I have been in SO many situations where I just can’t figure out where to go! But this article speaks my heart. And I shall do exactly the things you listed to listen to my heart and follow where it takes me because sometimes your inner self knows much better 🙂 Thank you xx

  • Kathryn, I really enjoy your work. I feel like it’s so important as service-based business owners to work with clients who make us come alive. It can be particularly draining for us introverts who already lose energy with each outside interaction.

  • Banu Sekendur

    @lv2terp:disqus, You are always so supportive of the writers here on TB. What a beautiful person you are… Mwah!

  • lv2terp

    That is so kind of you to say, thank you! ((hugs)) 🙂

  • Eddie

    Nice

  • Three Circles ∞

    As crazy as it may sound, intuition gives a determined feeling without any explanation or facts with reassurance to back up on what to do at all or on what to hope for, only to follow it no matter what. Through many experiences, at the end it prooved to be always right. Facing now a new situation that seems beyond impossible but the intuition kicked in & it seems that it won’t leave any sooner until something happens. It leaves me quite confused.

  • Qi Huna

    It’s EXTREMELY EASY TO LISTEN TO YOUR “INTUITION”, but the real and truthful question you should be asking yourself is; “DO YOU WANT TO???”

    When you take heed of your SELF and of your EGO….WHO’S WINNING???
    Cause its biting you directly on your ASS and its funny as hell!!!

    LOOK at the deeper definition of ALL the answers you don’t want to follow thru, its usually FEAR & UNCERTAINTY.
    AND WHAT IS THE UNIVERSAL LAW THAT PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR OR ACCEPT?? AND 100% OF THE TIME ITS THE CORRECT ROUTE??
    BUT IT’S VERY DO’ABLE BY JACKIN UP YOUR STATE-OF-MIND…AND REALLY FEEEEEL IT IN YOUR BODY!!

    Universal Law #101: What thou fear and feel lack of….BUILDS & MULTIPLYS endlessly and infinitely forever!! (ENUFF WITH YOUR SELF PITTY!!)
    Universal Law #102: When you’re too caught up in the past-regrets OR future-fears, mental stress manifest THRU your physical body!
    Universal Law #103: Meditate, meditate, meditate, this shuts down your Ego and allow you to calm your inner-bitching and hear yourself!!

    Change your mind(decide), you change your body(posture), you change your posture, you change your mind(this time its a mental rapport of unstoppable connections that scientist CAN’T figure out……….BUT MAGICIANS CAN!!)
    ARE YOU TRULY AWARE….THAT THE BEST-SCIENTIST & ENGINEERS ARE MAGICIANS, “IF NOT”…….THAT’S WHY YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE ……YOU ARE!!

    Your goal: GET OUTTA THE PAST & FUTURE….IT DON’T EXIST, IT NEVER DID!!
    AND FEEL GOOD FOR NO BLOODY REASON!!
    (Some people use EFT, and tap in the emotions that they need to jack them up!)

    Listen to music that jacks you up, Sing, chant or scream some karaoke music that you enjoy, bounce on a trampoline till you crack a smile, hug a tree; your dog; your wife, go streaking thru a church, look into your own eyes via a mirror and repeatedly tell yourself; “I FEEL GOOD, I FEEL AWESOME” until you get chicken-skin and brave enough to run FOR PRESIDENT!!

  • Pennylalalarios

    What are the signals? I always get feelings before making a decision, a pulling feeling. But I don’t know if I’m listening to my intuition or just my wants

  • Yikes. Sounds like a drug high or manic episode. Watch out where you wake up when the dust settles.

  • Lauren Marie

    This was a great article to read! Struggling with making a hard choice and I know I’m not happy here, but it always comes down to people telling me I’m just homesick and to stick it out for the experience. It’s so hard to turn off peoples’ opinions and not have it phase you! Loved this.

  • Jules

    Lauren, I hope that you’re feeling better especially with your big decision, thanks for your comment because this really hit a chord with me! I’m 5 mths into a new job where the management are shocking, my new boss who started with me is also unhappy (so I know its not just me going potty or being overly anxious) peers and friends have said the same to me – stick it out, it’s the experience, you need to be in a job to find a job, it’s all new. But the unsettled feeling pops up throughout the week every week. I think I’ve decided to quit next week and even though it’s really really scary! I feel this sense of happiness that I’ll be free xx

  • Jules

    Ps – good luck with your decision too, listen to you intuition …big loves xxx

  • Lauren Marie

    I ended up leaving the place where I wasn’t happy (I was doing a semester exchange) and came home and no regrets. It was definitely the right choice for me!
    Good luck with your decision, I know it’ll all work out and I hope if you leave you get the same relief that I did! <3

  • Jules

    That’s brilliant to hear, as your intuition was guiding you 🙂 I can imagine that was a difficult choice for you also with friends etc telling you to stick it out!! I received an email this morning that like the author of this article said filled her with dread, so as much as it wasn’t nice it made me realise I’m making the right decision. Which I’ve debated on and off for a month….so it is the heart I will follow and that makes me smile inside, like I’m sure you felt this too! Good luck with everything Lauren and thanks for your inspiration x x