People who make excellent decisions under pressure are indispensable, especially in these days of rapid change. We all use intuition daily. That’s because trying to use analysis on the thousands of decisions we have to regularly make…is simply unrealistic.
In this episode, we explore how you can turn everyday intuition into an actual superpower. Discover 3 examples of people who ‘won the day’ by using intuition, even when the facts said they shouldn’t.
03:15 – The difference between gut instinct and intuition
09:35 – 3 examples of people who benefitted from following their intuition
18:45 – Next steps
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This is episode 109 – Your Intuitive Superpowers. Here are 3 examples of People Who Won by Following Their instinct and Intuition (Despite Being Told They Were Crazy). In this episode we’re exploring how intuition and instincts are actual superpowers, and how to take action on those insights even when the facts say you shouldn’t. This ability is one of the virtues of game-changing people who are leading us into this new Golden Age. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast.
Ancient teachings, modern success coaches, wise spiritual teachers, acclaimed psychologists and academics all tell people to base decisions not just on intellect but also on intuition and instinct. It’s like that old saying…”People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Yet for some reason, it’s hard to do especially when you feel like some aspect of your security is at risk like reputation, money, safety, comfort, etc.
Those who do push the boundaries of conventional thinking based on their intuition, are often silenced, invalidated, criticized, or ignored. Here’s another perspective. Being called mad, crazy, unhinged, wacko, ungrounded, a Pollyanna, anything like that…it’s simply because your ideas make others uncomfortable. Yet the truth is, in my experience, its one of the surest predictors of success. When you’re acting based on research, statistics, previous experience and reports alone, you’re basing your choices on consensus–what everybody else has been thinking up until now–and innovation can’t get a look in.
When you act on your gut, on intuitive insights, on inner wisdom, you’re unpredictable. Mercurial. Authentic. You make leaps of logic and see connections others miss. These superpowers lets you see beyond where things are today to what it could be tomorrow. Those are, what I like to call, the Artists of Change, the people who see beyond the horizon to what’s coming, that which others can’t see yet. While that used to be a more rare quality in the population, since the internet, since so much is changing in the world, there’s a huge uptake of people accessing their own intuitive and instinctual superpowers…that which was always there, but was perhaps laying dormant.
Let me make a distinction between instinct and intuition. Although some people think of them is the same thing, intuition is our ability to know something without reasoning. It’s a form of clairvoyance which can take many forms, sensing the future, seeing the future, hearing words that tell you the truth about an unsolved mystery, just knowing something is true even though there’s no evidence to prove it. In my activating epiphanies episode, that’s a form of intuition, an epiphany, having an insight, a deeper understanding about something without having specific facts or logic to necessarily back it up at the time.
When intuition comes into play, we do not analyze the situation. We’re not weighing pros and cons, we just know. It’s what we do when, say, we listen to the first few moments of a song and decide if we want to keep listening to it. We don’t need to know who wrote it, how long the song is, how many beats per minute. It either works for you or it doesn’t. Same when your meeting new people at an event, some people you are drawn to, some people you aren’t– even without knowing much about their background. So, we’re using our intuition all the time– usually when we don’t have sufficient information to rationalize a decision.
But instinct is like a natural reaction, like if you are walking across an intersection and see a car coming towards you at high speeds, you jump out of the way. You’re not running through the logic of whether you should move or not. But what do people mean when they say they went by gut instinct? It’s that notion of there being a second brain in the abdominal region of the body. There are actually brain cells there that operate using a different set of criteria than logic. It’s a physical reaction to the world around you and inside of you. It’s a primal response to subconscious information. The ultimate purpose of your gut instinct is to protect you. It’s an ancient and primal sixth sense you naturally have built into your body mind system. For example you get a gut instinct to not walk down a certain road at night because something feels off. That’s your gut instinct warning you that danger is afoot.
Most of us were schooled out of using our gut instincts and our intuition, and instead to rely on external, logical, rational ideas of others to make our decisions. Yes, sometimes that information can be helpful, but it can be dangerous to rely on that alone for any kind of important decision in your life. Many of us have an upbringing where we were programmed to only go with things that are guaranteed, where there is complete certainty. So you need to unlearn or deprogram yourself from needing constant certainty if you’re going to use these superpowers. As I’ve talked about on other episodes you can learn to manufacture belief and faith in your intuitive/instinctual messages by opening up a connection, building a strong relationship with that side of you. Tracking your hunches and seeing how accurate they were later on. Remembering times when your hunches steered you in the right direction, and bringing those memories or MindStories as we call them, front of mind.
Here are typical signs you’ve experienced a gut instinct. A sudden feeling of dread or fear that is out of context. A strong urge to do something like call a person, or introduce yourself to someone. Full-bodied chills, goosebumps or tingles up the spine when someone tells you something. Nausea or physical uneasiness when thinking about a certain situation. Sudden hypervigilance, as in being on high alert for no particular reason. A clear and firm voice within you instructing you to do something or not to do something.
Now sometimes people confuse fear with gut instincts. Often there are similar physical reactions like clammy hands, butterflies, increased heart rate. The way to know it’s a gut instinct is to think about the quality of your thoughts. If you are having worrying thoughts, catastrophizing or imagining the worst – that’s fear. On the other hand, if your mind is relatively neutral, but your body is experiencing strong reactions, then that’s a gut instinct. For example, I met someone who told me this story. He was walking on the beach in Phuket just before the tsunami hit in 2004. It was one of those horseshoe shaped beaches, and he had the instinct to walk farther than he usually did to come round to the end of the horseshoe. He was in a great mood, it was a beautiful day, but he just did what his instincts told him. When the tsunami hit it did its damage right in the center of the beach, and those that were at the end of the horseshoe weren’t affected. So gut instincts are spontaneous, the arise out of the blue, whereas fears are more vague, nagging, unclear and looping.
So in short, gut instinct is your primal wisdom, and intuition is your spiritual wisdom. When you can learn to read your body reacting to the world, you can really tap into this as a power and when combined with your intuition, it becomes a superpower.
So here are 3 examples of people who used these superpowers in the face of opposition and won the day, just to maybe give you some inspiration.
A friend of mine kept getting the intuitive hit to move. He kept seeing a white house with a dome, like you see in Moorish architecture. Nowhere in his town, he didn’t see houses that looked like that. He began drawing it in detail on paper, thinking maybe he should design the house himself. Some months later, he was looking at his Facebook feed and a person he knew a little bit, posted the exact image of the house he kept seeing. It was in Spain. He lived in Oregon in the US. He compared the photo with his drawings and was awestruck. He contacted his Facebook friend to find out where this house was located, was it for sale, what it was like to live there. His friend had been living there, renting the house for several months, but now had to come back to the US.
My friend got the name of the owner and asked if he was interested in selling. He wasn’t. Also when he discussed the idea with his wife, she just thought he was crazy, not a good idea, she didn’t want to move to Europe and uproot her life. And, logically the thought of having to move all the way to Spain, and try to figure out how to make a living there, all seemed too much. So he went back to his regular life. But his wife noticed he went into a kind of funk, where he seemed low energy and not his usual jovial self – just going through the motions. That’s when she thought maybe they should revisit his intuitive vision. As soon as they opened up the conversation again, a bizarre thing happened… a consulting contract was offered to him with a company that was located 45 minutes drive from that house in Spain.
They decided to do a reconnaissance trip to meet the people he would be working with, and have a look at the house, the neighborhood, and get a feel for living there. They hoped maybe there was a similar house for sale in the area. They both loved it there, they talked to many ex-pats who lived there. Then he called the owner again, and asked if he was now interested in selling. This time he didn’t get a blanket NO answer, and he said it depended on the price. They went to have a look at the house, go inside, and they both knew they were supposed to live there. They both had chills, déjà vu, and felt like I was home. But, when the owner gave him a price he would sell it at, they were shocked. It was way beyond what they could afford. Reluctantly, they declined and went back to Oregon.
They let the whole idea go again, until someone knocked on their door asking if they wanted to sell their house in Oregon. An appraiser wrote down a number on a piece of paper about what he thought it would sell for, which was far below what he’d need to buy the house in Spain. On a whim however, they listed the house at a similar price to the one they wanted to buy in Spain and it sold within a few days. So by keeping the dream alive, synchronicities showed up to help make it possible. And now they live in Spain in their dream house.
Here’s another example. I had this dream of traveling to India. My mother was born there and lived there until she was seven years old, then went back in her 20s and worked there. She often told amazing stories of the people, the culture, the food, the elephants, the ceremonies, the spirituality, the atmosphere. And she befriended many people from India when I was growing up, who had immigrated to Canada, and they told many stories. So I knew I would travel there one day. But, it always seemed like something I would do next year, and then next year. At one point in my mid 20s it was really a vivid feeling for me, so I talked to my boyfriend back then and he didn’t like the idea of India at all, dangerous, crowded, hot, chaotic. Not to mention it was expensive, and a long trip from the West Coast of Canada, and if we were going to go, we should be able to stay for long time, but we had to work, so how could we do that? So I let it go.
Fast forward fifteen years later, I came to this time in my life where I really felt at a crossroads, something had to change, but I was unclear what. I was lying in bed one morning and I got this intuition to turn on the television, which I rarely did, because the new direction of my life would come to me by whatever I saw as a turned it on. So I turn on the television and there is a documentary about a woman who travels to India and studies the goddesses in Hindu mythology. That’s when I remembered my desire to spend a significant amount of time in India. But again, how would I make that work? I got this intuitive hit that something unusual would show up, and to just be patient.
At the time I was doing training programs or speaking at conferences on innovation and creativity for people in a managerial role, doing this mostly around Canada, but occasionally in the US. An old friend of mine came into town, and we had dinner. He mentioned that he was being asked to do a series of speaking engagements across India, but he didn’t want to go all the way there. He was near the end of his career, and just enjoyed NOT traveling so much and staying home mostly. Now, he’d never been asked to speak in India before – it was very unusual. And I rarely saw this friend. And, he already had declined the offer, and wasn’t even going to mention it. He just blurted it out at one point for no particular reason. I took this as the time, as maybe that — something unusual showing up.
At first I hesitated to ask if I could go in his place, because he was far more well-known than me, and maybe they’d already given that speaking slot to someone else. But I bucked up my courage and I asked if he would be open to recommending I go in his place, since we spoke on similar topics. Long story short, four months later I was traveling all over India giving presentations to managers, along with a colleague of mine. This paid for my trip over there, and I decided to stay for four more months. It’s what I needed to get over the – how can I make this work? After that I went back every year for several years, and it was a huge turning point in my life. Being there unleashed even more intuitive abilities, and my desire to do more creative things in my life. It was a complete creative reinvention of my way of being in the world.
Another friend of mine had a very successful job as a journalist in a small city, but always wanted to be a singer songwriter. She didn’t want to leave the prestige and income of her job, but she kept seeing herself on stage singing. At the same time, her logical mind kept writing it off, thinking it’s something you start when you’re much younger. Also, there were no opportunities for building much of a career as a singer-songwriter where she lived. And people around her thought it was an unrealistic dream. But the vision persisted, and one day she just dropped it all and moved to Nashville, the Mecca for singer songwriters, and got to work. She went on to be a multiplatinum award-winning songwriter before the age of 32. Many top artists since then done recordings of her songs. She later transitioned into a unique career doing something called keynote concerts, where she performed conferences around the world — combining inspiring songs, audience interaction and humor. So, she just keeps that vision alive in whatever way works at whatever time of her life she’s in. If she didn’t follow her intuition she would have led a far less adventurous life, perhaps till in her small community, doing a job she didn’t love.
So, I hope those examples are inspiring. And here’s a question for you….What’s a vision, an instinct, and intuitive hit you’ve had that might seem illogical, irrational, crazy, mad, impossible, too expensive or just downright inconvenient? If it keeps coming up for you, it’s best to start exploring it, opening your mind to solutions out of left field. It’s like playing a game with life. You get the vision and you start doing something, anything with it, and then it’s like life gets excited and says…oh you’re willing to play…here’s a bit more…and you keep playing…here’s a bit more…but if you drop the ball…Life thinks…oh you don’t want to play…I’ll go give this vision to someone else. These intuitive visions and instincts are Life’s way of experiencing itself…so give yourself the gift of exploring your superpowers and watch the magic show up.
For more ways of building good habits of mind like this do check out our book on Amazon entitled: MindStory Inner Coach: A 5-Step Self-Coaching Model to Overcome Limiting Stories So You Can Grow Yourself and Your Business Fast. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1086051211
It’s designed to help you Use Your Inner Stories – so Don’t Let Them Use You.
If you sense that the scripts you’ve lived by up until now feel too restrictive, this book is for you. Maybe the inner work you’ve done hasn’t shifted it yet. Trying to change one limiting belief about what’s possible in your life, at a time doesn’t work. It’s part of a bigger “MindStory”, or operating system, below your awareness. If you want different results, the whole story needs to change. So this book will introduce you to a proven 5-step process called the AVARA Model that can break you free of anything, anytime, anywhere. Available in paperback or kindle.
Just type the name MindStory all one word Inner Coach into Amazon and you’ll see it there, written by me Carla Rieger and my partner Dave O’Connor. Or, just click on the link in the shownotes.
Okay, that’s it for today. In the meantime, please hit subscribe, please like this episode and do share if so others can find it. Until next time, thanks for listening.