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Manifestation & Mindset

Intuition: Everything you need to know!

What is Intuition?

Referred to as gut instinct, sixth sense, inner voice, or inner knowing. Even a vibe, energy, subconscious or unconscious response. Intuition is understanding something immediately without needing to grasp or process it at a conscious level.

If you’ve found yourself doing something out of character, but you also knew it is something that you needed to do. Yep, that’s intuition.

It can be a thought that comes out of nowhere. A nagging feeling something must be done, even when you don’t understand why. If you take note of that feeling, you will likely recognize the purpose behind it at a later time.

Maybe you’ve experienced it as knowing, “something isn’t right,” but struggled to explain it to someone else.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about intuition, including examples of how intuition will show up in your life. In the process, we will also answer common questions about intuition.

The only real valuable thing is intuition.

Albert Einstein

Where does intuition come from?

During the day, we are inundated with messages both visual and auditory. Our senses are often overloaded. To help our brain process everything, it mutes certain information. This allows us to stay focused on what matters most.

In other words, much of the information we come across daily goes unnoticed (we can point to the Mandela Effect as proof of this phenomenon. If you’ve ever thought kid friendly cereal was spelt Fruit Loops, you’d be wrong; It’s actually Froot Loops). This happens because our subconscious mind has distilled information and considered some of it to be unnecessary details.

While our brain does a fantastic job in helping us focus on what’s most important at the moment, our subconscious understands pertinent messages can be missed.

The interesting thing about our subconscious is can attempt to remind or alert us of information or details that were initially missed. This happens by receiving information from dreams, flashes of thoughts or memories, or an internal sense of knowing. Think of these things as your intuition trying to communicate essential information with you.

What is Guidance, Intuitive Guidance, or Spiritual Guidance?

What is Guidance?

guidance (noun): advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty, especially as given by someone in authority.

Oxford Languages

As we speak about guidance in this article, an authority figure is considered to be a higher power.

Now, that higher power differs from person to person. I believe in the Universe*; this includes the energy that makes up everything in our existence within this physical plane and beyond.

For others, the concept of a higher power may consist of God or gods, deities (or Deity), Mother Earth, the Divine, ancestors, spirit guides, angels, or any other word used to describe your belief. As you read this article, simply replace the use of Universe, or any different variation used, with your higher power.

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*Universe. You may notice I have capitalized the word Universe in this article and throughout my website. It is generally believed that there are multiple universes and would imply using a lowercase ‘u’ in writings. Meaning that my use of Universe may be considered wrong by some people. However, since I believe it to be my one and only higher power, the capital U is appropriate in this situation.

What is intuitive guidance? What is spiritual guidance? 

In the context of spirituality, some people consider seeking guidance to come from their internal sense of knowing. In other words, intuitive thinking. To others, guidance comes from their higher power; this is gaining knowledge from the Divine such as your angels, higher power, God or gods, and/or ancestors (or any other higher power listed in the section above).

TL;DR Intuitive guidance comes from within, whereas spiritual guidance comes from a higher power.

What’s the difference between intuition and psychic abilities? What about instinct versus intuition?

While they are often used interchangeably+, there are distinct differences. To help explain in greater detail, let’s first review the definitions of each.  

intuition (noun): the ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.

Oxford Languages

Based on this definition, intuition refers to our ability to decipher information without requiring additional understanding from our conscious mind. You may consider the information to be accepted and understood at the subconscious level.

psychic (noun): a person considered or claiming to have psychic powers; a medium.

Oxford Languages

By comparison, psychic means a person possesses psychic ability; they can tap into phenomena unexplainable by human beings’ current understanding of natural laws. An individual who has psychic abilities may be considered a clairvoyant, oracle, or shaman, to name a few. 

instinct (noun): an innate, typically fixed pattern or behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli.

Oxford Languages

Finally, instinct denotes our internal ability to respond quickly to external stimuli without requiring processing the information at a subconscious level first; this reaction is often considered to result from a perceived threat. The concept of instinct can be described as the flight or fight response, which now also includes freeze and fawn. 

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+ Using intuition and psychic (or instinct) interchangeably is inaccurate. I’m raising my hand for being guilty of this. Here’s the thing: I do this most often because using a variety of words makes reading my content more engaging. Hopefully, you can forgive me for this. XO

When to Listen to Your Intuition?

The most appropriate answer – All the time

Seriously though, it takes time to learn how to tap into your intuition, especially after a lifetime of being taught to ignore your gut feelings. An unfortunate truth is our society teaches us to ignore intuitive feelings. This is done by stressing the importance of making only logical, rational, or analytical decisions.

While developing intuition is an essential skill, you need to learn to limit the logical mind from swaying you. If your intuition is screaming at you to do something that doesn’t make sense to your analytical mind, it’s probably a good idea to listen to your gut. (Scroll down to read the BINGO story. If I had listened to my logical mind, I wouldn’t have gone. And I wouldn’t have won money!) 

You want to incorporate listening to your intuition into your life as much as possible. However, if you are new to the process, you may wish to reserve listening to your intuition for the little things. As you refine your craft, you can expand your intuitive operations to include the more significant life decisions.

Stating the obvious here: You probably don’t want to start trialing your intuitive abilities with a big or life-altering decision. 

Questions about Intuition, including “What are Some Examples of Intuition?”

What are some ways to start trusting your inner voice when everyone else has a different opinion?

This is a good one. If you’ve lived a life of trusting other people’s opinions over your own, you may have difficulty listening to your intuition.

Truth bomb: if you’ve been unable to trust yourself, it will take time to unlearn this behavior. 

I recommend reaching out to a therapist to help you learn how to self-validate.** In the meantime, you could seek input from others. However, try to keep the feedback to a minimum. At the same time, make sure to only discuss with people who have your best interest in mind (think neutral party or someone who won’t benefit or be hurt by your decision). Remember, not everyone is worthy of giving you feedback. 

When it comes down to it, though, you need to make the final decision. Consider sitting in a quiet room without interruptions; you might want to meditate. As you think through your decision, pay attention to your body. If you notice your body tensing up, it’s a sign to move on without that thing. On the flip side, if you feel at peace within yourself, you can consider it a sign to move forward.

On a personal note: If you’ve fallen victim to allowing others to influence you… well, you’re not alone. Been there and done that for waaaayyyy too long. Sending hugs your way! You are capable of learning to trust yourself.

a person handing a stone to a woman
Crystals for Intuition, include the Chakras. In this article you will also learn hwo to pay attention to your body when learning to listen to your intuition
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Read more about getting in touch with your body when learning to listen to your intuition. Click the image to the left to view the linked article.

Trying to figure out if you’re ignoring your intuition? Check out the linked article below by clicking on the image.

anonymous woman having dispute with crop person
Read more about the Signs you’re ignoring your intuition — It cost me $500!
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

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**Yes, you’re being told to learn to start trusting your inner voice and to stop letting others influence you. I get the irony in telling you to listen your inner knowing and then telling you to reach out to a therapist. The difference: When you work with the therapist, they guide you in the process of learning how to self-validate and grow. Whereas someone telling you what to do, it doesn’t teach you how to do that thing on your own. It’s like teaching someone to fish instead of giving him a fish. When you seek wisdom from others, you are basically getting only one meal. When you work with the therapist, they’ll teach you to fish.

How can I increase my intuition? 

When we tap into our intuition, we listen to the little voice attempting to tell us what to do (either that innate knowledge without ourselves or from a higher power).

We can guide ourselves when we learn to listen and trust our intuition. This ensures you behave and act in a way that is in accordance with your core beliefs. Which is the result of living an authentic life.

On the flip side, when we seek guidance outside of ourselves, we are not acting in a way that aligns with our true wishes or desires. In other words, we ignore our core beliefs and desires.

We often drown out that voice and do what we believe “needs” or what “should” be done. In other words, we ignore our intuition and allow logical thinking to take over decision-making. You can also describe the difference as listening to your heart rather than your head (or brain).

It’s important to note that this practice takes time to master or become proficient. However, if you persevere, you’ll see results. The more you act in alignment with your core beliefs and allow yourself to be guided by your intuition, the better you’ll feel. 

Learn how to develop your intuitive abilities. Click here for 7 Exercises!

Examples of how to listen to your intuition

1. Listen for messages, especially if it comes to you at the time right before falling asleep or just as you wake up.

Hearing this type of message differs from the typical chatter you probably have. The talk in your head is your logical mind; it is heavily influenced by external cues and the opinions of others (as well as past traumas). Hearing a message from your higher power (or innate sense of knowing) may seem to be someone talking to you. Or, it may feel like you’re receiving a message from someone telepathically.

If the message differs from the usual chatter in your head and/or challenges your typical thought process, it’s likely a Divine message or your higher self.


2. That nagging feeling

When others attempt to convince you to go against that nagging feeling, “stick to your guns.” You might not be able to explain why in the moment, but when you have a nagging feeling – Listen! It’s important to be adamant in following that nagging feeling. The reasoning behind it may not be apparent initially, but you will eventually understand as time passes. 


3. Your gut reminds you to listen

Your gut literally tells you what you need to do. If you aren’t sure how to tap into this sense of knowing, consider this: Some people eat a meal while thinking through a tough decision they must make. More specifically, they consume a meal that is generally eaten without causing digestive issues.

If you try this practice, ruminate over the decision you have to make while eating. Then, leave it to your gut to make the decision for you. The following day, if you feel indigestion, an upset stomach, or an unsettling feeling in your gut, it’s a sign to avoid that thing. In other words, it is not the right decision for you. If, the next day, your digestive tract is totally fine – you’ve also got an answer. You are clear to move forward with that thing


anonymous woman having dispute with crop person
Stop Ignoring that nagging feeling!!
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

Then there was that time that ignoring that nagging feeling cost me $500. Read more in the linked article below..

How do know you are not listening to your intuition?

Navigating Intuition Over Fear

This is an important lesson to learn in the world of learning to listen to your intuition. Starting with this fact…

We fear what we don’t know or understand.

Now, you also need to recognize if you are not familiar with your intuition, it will take time to establish trust with yourself.

As you practice trusting your intuition, it is vital to learn more about the fears holding you back. Here are some questions for you to consider: 

  • When someone suggests and idea of something for you to do, but you are scared to do it. What excuses do you give? You’ll find your fears in your response.
  • Have you taken the time to acknowledge your fears? If you pretend your fears aren’t there or they impact you in anyway, that’s a lie.

The only way to control your fears is to identify them — Otherwise, your fears own you!

  • What happens when you listen to your intuition? You feel safe, your needs are met, and you can (finally) do the things that make you happy.
  • When listening to your intuition, you’ll likely hear your rational mind try to drown out that internal sense of knowing. The rational mind sounds like, “that’s risky?” “Are you sure that’s what you should do?” “What will {so-and-so} think if you do that?” “You can’t even back up this decision with any logic? Is it really the right decision?”

When you tap into your subconscious mind or intuition, you often make decisions based on a feeling. It is a feeling that decision is in alignment with the life you desire to create. The rational mind drives fear and instills doubts, so you second guess yourself. 

Sometimes it can be hard to communicate your reasons or purpose behind that decision to others, which can cause your rational mind to step in to try and convince you to avoid following your gut feeling.

In other situations, your rational mind tries to convince you to choose the safe option. This is just another form of fear.

I’d highly encourage you to practice listening to your intuition and taking healthy risks without letting fear get in your way.

Begin to recognize what fear feels like in your body

To help you learn how to recognize a fear-based decision, it may be helpful to recognize or identify how fear feels in your body. 

This is most often talked about as learning to trust your gut. Or paying attention to your digestive tract. When you are fearful or stressed about something, you’ve likely experienced an upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, or other digestive upset symptoms.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because you are worried or scared about something, it does not mean you should not pursue it. Being scared to take a leap of faith is different than fear. You can be scared AND follow your intuition at the same time.

How Do You Listen to Your Intuition? How Do You Connect to Your Intuition?

Intuition is about learning to let go. You need to release your analytical way of thinking. It requires giving in and accepting you do not always know the correct answers. Or you may not always know the best possible outcome.

The Universe has a great plan for you. To welcome those gifts into your life, you must learn to let go of Ego’s need to control things*. 

As you learn to let go, keep in mind you are often tested by the Universe. Your higher power wants to be sure you have what it takes to welcome gifts into your life. Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Are you making decisions that are in alignment with what you want?
  • Or are you doing anything and everything, even if it doesn’t match your true desires?

It will likely take time for you to learn to distinguish between decisions that align with what you truly want out of life versus jumping on every opportunity that comes your way. When you jump at every opportunity without taking time to think if it is in alignment with what you want in life, it likely means you are not operating in alignment with your intuition.

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*As a recovering perfectionist, I understand it can be challenging to let go of controlling everything. If you can relate to being a perfectionist, it will take time to let your guard down and relinquish control. Consider starting the process of letting go by releasing the need for a specific outcome to result from your actions. When you can finally do so, incredible gifts will come your way. The Universe will provide far greater things than you could have imagined for yourself. 

How to Tap into Your Intuition

There are many things you can do to tap into your intuition. Here are a few quick examples:

  • Meditation or practice sitting in silence
  • Journal to process your thoughts and emotions
  • Get out into nature to help rejuvenate and be more in touch with yourself
  • Pay attention to your dreams — like, literal dreams while sleeping.

Looking for ways to develop your intuition? Read this article — 7 Exercises to Enhance Your Intuition and Increase Your Intuitive Powers.

Intuition Stories: My Gut Feeling Turned Out to Be Right

A Divine Message: That time I won money at BINGO

I was invited to BINGO for a friend’s birthday party last October. Initially, I was excited to attend. But, as the event neared, I began to second-guess my decision. It had been a busy week, and I wasn’t feeling super social (introvert/ambivert problems!). Instead of going to BINGO, I was thinking about spending the day rejuvenating my energy by spending time alone (my daughter and I call this “kitty-ing”).

On the morning of BINGO, I woke up weighing my options. It was still that fuzzy time between being asleep and fully awake. After going over my choices, I allowed my mind to be silent. At that time, I heard a message in the back of my mind. Here’s what it said, “Go to BINGO today. You are going to win.

My initial response was, “That’s weird.” But I also knew it wasn’t the type of thing to brush off.

In the past, I’ve tried to force the idea of winning bingo by reciting various mantras or trying to psych myself into thinking it would happen. This time was different; it was a sense of knowing. The whole thing was unexplainable, but I knew I needed to listen because it wasn’t like any other time before.

As a result, I no longer questioned my desire to go. I got ready and headed out the door. As the rounds of BINGO progressed, I continued to think about the message from earlier in the day. By the time we finished the third round, I was shouting, “BINGO!!”

Yep, I won $75!! It wasn’t a massive jackpot, but I won more than the money that day…

The whole experience reminded me that my innate sense of knowing is right; I must listen more carefully to those Divine messages.

That Nagging Feeling: You need to keep all your belongings together

When I was in high school, my cheer squad went up the mountain for a bonding retreat. We all piled into three cars for the trip out and back. As we were leaving, I felt that everything I brought needed to be in the same car as me. I even grabbed my bag out of another vehicle. It took a little effort, but I shoved it into the trunk of the car I was riding in. I couldn’t explain why. I just felt that I needed to be in the same vehicle as all my belongings.

As we returned to the meet-up location where our parents were waiting, one car was missing. It wasn’t until I returned home that I learned what had happened.

The cheer coach had to pull over on the way down the mountain because her brakes were smoking. They had to wait for a tow truck which resulted in them being delayed three hours.

I had pulled my bag out of the cheer coach’s car that morning. This experience reminded me to pay attention to that nagging feeling. It’s there for a reason.

Finishing it Up…

Hopefully you have a better understanding of intuition, as well as intuitive and spiritual guidance. Additionally, you can now recognize examples of intuition and how your inner knowing reaches out to communicate with you.

So, are you going to start trusting your gut? If so, what’s going to be your first step? Drop a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

XOXO Kristi

Want to learn more about intuition? Check out these blog posts:

If you’d like to learn to harness the power of intention setting…

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Kristi Coughlin

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