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Having intuition feels like someone just handed you a big red flag. What do I do with it? Do I just hold it? Do I wave it? Am I supposed to do something with it? Intuition is confusing and can even be scary at times. I’m going to break down why it’s so hard to trust your intuition and why you should trust it more often.

Intuition & Intuitive People

There’s intuition and intuitive people.

Today, I’m talking to both (but sometimes more to my intuitive people).

This is how I explain intuition….

Basically you know.

But you don’t know how you know.

But you know that you really know.

But by not knowing how you know, you don’t really know if you know.

I can feel my intuitive friends shouting “yaaaaaas!” and everyone else quickly leaving my page….

What Is Intuition?

intuition
 noun
Definition of intuition

1: quick and ready insight
2a: immediate apprehension or cognitionb: knowledge or conviction gained by intuitionc: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

Merriam-Webster

So like I said above, you just know.

Some people are more intuitive and it’s a larger part of their world.

I explain my intuition as an internal compass with built-in auto GPS.

Sometimes, it tells me to go north. I don’t know where it’s leading me or why I’m going there. I just have a strong urge to go north.

My intuition GPS leads me through career choices, events, conversations, relationships, money situations…. literally anytime my eyes are open, my intuition is in full drive.

Trust Your Intuition’s Purpose

Your intuition is an instinct.

It’s there to protect you and help you navigate around life.

I am not saying “trust your intuition regardless of what it says”. I am saying “trust the purpose of your intuition”.

Very coldly put, you only truly have yourself and your brain… and your brain knows that.

Your brain will automatically try to protect you. Your instinct is to survive.

Think of ‘fight or flight’. It’s built into your brain.

You see a car headed your way, you naturally move out of its’ path.

Your intuition is trying to do the same thing for you just in a different way.

Intuition vs Imagination

It was hard for me to find the line between these two.

My brain is a constant Broadway production.

“The Horrible Nightmare of MJ’s 20 Year High School Reunion” & “The Time I said “You Too” When Someone Said Happy Birthday”

I create full-length movies from ‘What-ifs’ and ‘I wonder whys’….

You need to learn the difference between the two if you’re ever going to be able to really rely on your intuition for guidance.

Imagination

Let’s say hubby calls and says “I’m stuck at the office and I’ll be late. Jane is helping me finish up this project and then I’ll be home.”

Imagination is when you immediately jump to picturing hubby and Jane doing some adult stuff

If you have a real wild imagination, you’ll play out your entire separation, the divorce, who gets the kids, who he remarries…

Imagination is just a wild short story (or novel) of any possible outcome that pops into your mind. It’s not based on fact, logic or any rational thought.

Imagination is tricky because it will cause you to jump to insane conclusions that even Evel Knievel couldn’t make.

Intuition

Intuition is the foreshadowing of the most likely possible current reality based on real-life facts and truths.

Say hubby is a stand-up man. Great husband, father & friend. You don’t have any reason to not trust him. He has mentioned a big project recently that requires his undivided attention. You’ve heard him talk about Jane and her husband. She seems nice.

You won’t be bothered by his late arrival home other than the mild inconvenience of having to bathe the kids and put them to bed alone.

Your intuition doesn’t see anything odd or out of the ordinary. It knows the full picture, your relationship and the current situation. It’s at peace, so there isn’t anything for the intuition to latch on to..

But… lets say hubby has come home late a whole lot more often than he ever used to. He’s standoffish when he’s home and seems really disconnected from you and the kids. He is glued to his phone and Jane’s number pops up frequently on his texts.

Red flag

Intuition is here to get to the bottom of things…. and quick!

What was the tone of his voice when he called? Could you hear anyone in the background? Did he call from the office line or his cell? The other day, he said something to someone on the phone about getting dinner… was it Jane?

While intuition and imagination can run wild and free in the same brain, you need to be very aware of which one is making the scenarios.

That same situation can play out very differently in one person’s brain based on previous knowledge, prior experiences and how wild your imagination is.

That’s why you also need to make sure that you understand your intuition.

Understanding Your Intuition

In order to understand your intuition, you have to be a bit analytical.

You have to break down the conversations and situations that made you feel a certain way and allowing yourself to pick through the jumble.

Go through your thoughts.

Validate and dismiss certain things that have formed your final conclusion.

Let’s say you get the feeling that your boss is a bit shady. You can’t put your finger on what makes you feel this way, but you don’t trust em one single bit.

Step back… look at why you feel this way and decide if that gut feeling can be validated through their actions.

They constantly tout their accomplishments and claim other’s ideas as their own. They blame others for their goof ups and deflect all responsibility when things go wrong. They shade their boss to the other employees to make it seem like they’re fighting for the little guy…. but behind closed doors, their lips are firmly planted of the ass cheeks of the big kahuna.

By looking at the facts, actions, conversations, events…. you’re validating why your intuition thinks they’re a scumbag. Cause they are.

By understanding your intuition, you’re more likely to trust it.

It’s also more likely to be a correct conclusion because you’re matching your feelings with reality.

This will keep you from making brash decisions and jumping the gun.

The more often you do this, the easier it will come and the more solid you’ll feel when trusting your intuition.

The more concrete you feel your conclusion is, the easier it will be to react to future situations regarding that topic… like blind copying your boss’s boss on the next brilliant pitch you have to make….

Drop The Ego At The Door

Ego is something that is so commonly misunderstood but it’s incredibly important for intuitive people to understand.

Most people hear ‘ego’ and think ‘conceit’, ‘vanity’, ‘megalomaniac’….

Ego is your conscious mind and what you consider to be your ‘self’.

Your ego also gauges your self-worth compared to the outside world.

Your ego can be a great thing if you are self-aware and in-tune with yourself.

However, if you allow your ego to control you, you can become self-centered and prideful.

Your ego will then bully your intuition into over-rating or under-rating your self importance. Therefore affecting how you feel about certain situations.

Egotistical Intuition

Say you had a falling out with a family member.

Some stupid squabble about politics that seriously shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but it was. Y’all argued like you were actually in congress…

Y’all are awkwardly silent towards one another, neither reaching out to say I’m sorry or address the situation. Just hoping that the other will eventually forget or ‘get over it’.

If your ego tells your intuition “Yeah, but you were in the right. They were in the wrong”, you’ll start to have an inflated sense of self-worth about the situation.

So, you will begin to draw ego-led conclusions from anything and everything related to them.

You’ll assume that their posts on Facebook are directed towards you, but they’re really about another situation all together. You’ll assume that they didn’t go to the family reunion to avoid you… but in reality, they had to work. You assume their social media posts with friends are just an intentional way to make you feel left out, but they’re not even thinking about you in the slightest when they post them.

Now, this is a damn fight in your mind…. but they’re 100% over it.

Once ego gets involved, you’re no longer using your intuition, you’re assuming.

Like the old saying goes, assuming will make an ass out of you and me….. and it will get you in trouble every single time.

Remove your over-inflated self-worth and re-evaluate.

It’s hard, I know. But your intuition is useless if your ego comes first.

The Flip Side

You also have to make sure that you’re not ‘self harming’ due to a damaged ego.

A damaged ego will cause your ‘survival instincts’ to kick into overdrive (even if it’s not necessary).

It will manipulate you into truly, deeply believing the worst outcome even if the facts of the situation don’t line up with the conclusion you have drawn.

An example of this is a woman with a wounded ego constantly feeling like her husband is cheating. Zero proof, zero weight behind her feelings, zero reason to feel this way. It’s her own ego that is saying “You’re not good enough” and then injecting that thought into her intuition.

A person who has a hurt ego should not trust their intuition. Until they can properly heal, their intuition is too muddied and they most likely won’t come to a logical , correct conclusion.

So, you need to make sure that you are in check with your ego and course-correct as needed.

Get Healthy

Get your shit together. Seriously.

I see my mind as a desk. I’ve got a file folder of things I need to do, have to do, want to do. I have a Rolodex of past experiences and memories. I’ve got a shelf of encyclopedias ready to welcome more information in… and then I’ve got my action pile. Then there’s the stuff that needs my attention ASAP.

There have been many times where it looks like someone came through with a dump truck of bricks and dropped it right on my desk.

You can’t function that way. Neither can your intuition.

In order to trust your intuition, you have to be in a healthy mindset with all your priorities in a line.

You have to let go of past traumas, self-harm, fears, worries, regret, anger, frustration, past failures and thoughts that aren’t your own.

I wrote a post about soul work and how I used it to help me get to a healthy place in life. I really suggest you figure out who you are and what you truly, deeply believe before you begin to trust your intuition.

Just like the ego, an unhealthy mindset can re-calibrate your intuition to the wrong direction.

So…. get it together.

Acting On Your Intuition

This is such a touchy subject for me.

To trust it? Or not to trust it? That is the question.

And dammit, I wish I had the answer for you.

When in reality, it depends on how big of a situation it is.

Is something inside of you telling you that you should probably check in on a family member? Or do you have an inkling that your significant other is stepping out on you?

Those two situations need to be handled 10000% differently.

I break my intuition into two categories: Intuition Major and Intuition Minor.

Intuition Minor

I somewhat joking call it my Intuition Minor, but it’s a real thing to me. Understanding what’s the little stuff and what’s heavy.

My ‘Intuition Minor’ gets me into a whole lot less hot water than my ‘Intuition Major’, so sometimes it’s easier to follow.

It’s my internal nudge to text someone when I notice an odd post on social media. It’s the urge to call a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

Just check in “Hey, you okay? You’ve been on my mind.”

Sometimes it’s a weird feeling I get when I meet someone. Like an internal cringe. My way of mentally filing them under the category ‘Don’t even give them your real phone number’.

It may seem small… and that’s because usually it is.

But it still matters.

These seemingly small moments or events pull on you because you have noticed something out of some interaction or words said.

It’s never so small that you should ignore it.

Sometimes the smallest intuitive moments can mean the most.

Maybe that friend really needed to hear from you. Or, your first impression of someone was spot on and you need to steer clear from someone.

My Intuition Minor is mainly reserved for small things and first impressions.

Intuition Major

We’re talking about the life changing stuff. The stuff that weighs heavy on your heart and affects you deeply.

Changing careers, ending relationships, moving, breaking ties with family….

The gut feeling you get when a chapter is over and you need to move on. A relationship isn’t working. You decide to leave your job. You need to move away from wherever you’re living. You decide it’s time to find a new doctor or a church. You need to cut ties with a toxic person.

These are the intuitive moments or conclusions that take longer to form and to come to a head. It’s something you sit on and mull it over.

Intuition Major moments have to be thought through and rationalized before you ever make any sort of action.

My Intuition Major Story

Intuition failure #1: When we first started dating, he was engaged.

RED FLAG

I dismissed it because he was a slick talker and had all the perfect excuses. “They were only engaged because my parents pushed me into it.” “We’ve been drifting apart for years anyways.”

3 years into the relationship, we were both pretty unhappy together.

I guess the newness of the relationship wore off and we weren’t ‘exciting’ enough for him anymore.

So just like he did when he was with his ex, he found something that did excite him.

He’s away on a trip and I get a text “We’ll be at the Mariott. You should stop by”.

WTF. I’m 7 hours away and work in the morning.

Clearly, that text wasn’t meant for me.

I call, he explains it away like he usually did. “We got into an accident coming back to the hotel and someone had to drive us back. I meant to text that to so-and-so… so they could meet us with the car.”

Yeah…. still doesn’t make a bit of sense.

He gets back and I confront him.

He spews off these lies about how some girl at a bar was talking to him and he invited her back to the hotel to ‘watch a movie’.

Understanding guy talk, I knew that this was absolute horse shit. He invited her back to hook up. Duh.

I watched his body language, tone of voice, eye movement…. and choice of words. I knew it was a lie.

The story then morphed into just a kiss. Then they made out. Then they just ‘played around’…. and then he finally said “I’m guessing you know what happened. I should probably leave.”

Something in my gut said “I will never trust you again. Ever.” So I asked him to leave and that was that.

Luckily, this story ends with Hunter moving him out of the house and return with a bottle of wine to cheer me up.

The man of my dreams walked into my life as the wrong man walked out.

Anyways, I made my final decision because a mixture of feelings, intuition, and concrete facts. It wasn’t just an emotional decision that I made on a whim. I relied on facts.

Fact: He was a habitual cheater. Fact: He was a habitual lier. Feeling: I could never trust him again. Feeling: It would happen again if I let him slide. Fact: He wasn’t worth me feeling so small.

I closed a big chapter because something didn’t feel right and my internal compass was telling me to go.

Skepticism

You’re going to come across people who don’t trust your intuition because you can’t explain it.

Because you cannot put your gut feeling into words, they will never trust your intuition…. and that’s okay!

It’s not your job to explain to someone why you feel a certain way.

Me trying to explain my intuition is about as easy as explaining why I’m right handed. I can’t.

Sure, you can try to share the facts and situations that helped you form your opinion…. but if someone doesn’t understand with how intuition works, they probably won’t get it.

Intuition Loneliness

If you’re an intuitive person, you’re going to feel alone at times.

Sorry.

It’s just part of it.

Something can be so crystal clear, cut & dry to you, but no one else gets it.

It’s okay. I promise. It’s going to be okay.

There have been tons of times that I’ve met a person or come across a situation and just been like ‘nope‘.

It gives me the willies, I get uncomfortable and I want nothing to do with it.

But everyone around me is like “hell yeah…. this person or this thing is freaking great!”

I just want to shake them and scream “HOW DO YOU NOT SEE THIS?!?!”

But I don’t. Cause that’s wrong.

But being intuitive can be lonely and it can be alienating at times. Just ride the wave. Let things play out.

If someone asks what you’re thinking or what your take is… be mindful with your advice.

Don’t berate them for not seeing it sooner. Don’t take up arms like you’re a knight coming in to fight injustice.

Take peace knowing that the Universe will right whatever is wrong without you intervening.

I wholeheartedly believe in the truth pendulum.

If someone lies or a situation is fake/no good/bad, they’re pulling the truth pendulum to one side. Eventually, that pendulum will fall back to it’s natural resting place. However, it has to swing just as far back in the other direction before it will rest.

Couldn’t find a pic of a pendulum…. but a swing does the same thing.

Truth always comes to the surface. Shadiness always finds light.

Don’t feel like you have to raise a big flag on the play just because you’re the only one who saw it. Everyone else will catch it when they watch a replay of it later on down the road.

Giving Intuitive Advice

Because of what I said above, I generally try to shy away from giving intuitive advice.

It’s usually too real for people to accept and it has a pretty decent chance of ending negatively for both you and them.

Throwback to a few years ago, a friend started dating a new guy. We all went to dinner, had a pleasant time… and she asked me what I thought.

I said very bluntly “Well, I think he’s a pretentious jerk. I don’t like the way he talks to you and he thinks he’s better than everyone else. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s lying about how rich he is.”

*Silence*Awkwardness*

While I think you should always trust your intuition to an extent, it's not always smart to speak your mind about your intuition.

Things were awkward for a bit and I learned to put on a nice face when I saw him… but I kept seeing red flags. This time, I kept it to myself.

Sure enough, months later, the relationship imploded. She found out that he was in debt up to his eyeballs. He became super controlling and was basically trying to make her his sugar mama.

If she had asked, I could have possibly given her a perspective that she hadn’t seen yet. Of course, I should have chosen much softer words to make the delivery of my first impressions a little bit less harsh.

Moral of the story: don’t dish your intuition out like hot apple pie!

If someone asks for your take on someone or something, it means they are open to hearing what you have to say.

If they don’t ask, they probably don’t want to know.

Why You Should Trust Your Intuition

Like I said, your intuition is your brain protecting you.

It’s not always perfect and you can’t always trust is 100%, but it’s fighting on your side.

If your intuitive conclusion seems outlandish or if it’s all based on a weak foundation, keep your intuition close to your heart.

Don’t ignore it or throw it away. Just keep it in mind and tread lightly.

Intuition is a gift.… as long as you are aware of it, you understand it and you are in the right head-space to follow your intuition.

When you’re in-tune with your inner self and you know who you are, your intuition will be a guiding light.

If something in your gut screams ‘THIS ISN’T RIGHT!’ then act on it, but be deliberate with the decisions you make.

It’s a lot to take in, it’s a lot to learn and it’s a lot to process, but in the end… it’s definitely worth it.

Again, all you have in this world is you and your brain. Don’t you deserve to trust yourself?

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I'm an INFJ- so I'm a walking contradiction with ADD and a heart the size of Texas. I live my life by the Law of Attraction and I love helping other people find inner peace.

6 Comments

  • Paisley

    You explained why it’s so hard to trust your intuition, perfectly! I’ve never been able to find the right words. Thank you for this! I’m a highly intuitive person, I find myself saying “I just know” so often. I actually get a physical feeling when it’s my actual intuition and not my damaged ego, thankfully.
    Although, I still find it difficult to follow without the undeniable proof… I guess I’m always waiting for a bullet point print out of facts 😂
    This was a fabulous read!

    • BarbedWireandLace

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Paisley!

      I am a big fan of making lists, so I always start making lists of how I feel and why. I use it as my physical proof to back up my feelings.

      I’m the same way with the physical reaction. If my intuition is really strong about something, I’ll feel it physically. Like if I get a feeling that Hunter is trying to surprise me or do something fun, I get really strong butterflies and I pace. If I get strong intuition that someone I just met is a nasty person, I’ll get a deep knot in my stomach.

      I’m so glad that you are so similar to me and that you found my site!

  • Gina Lucia

    I loved this post, I could relate to so much of it and I loved your personal story too. I don’t think I’ve ever given intuitive advice mostly because I didn’t realise at the time that it was my intuition talking. It’s only recently that I’m starting to listen to it more and it’s serving me pretty well!

    • BarbedWireandLace

      Thank you so much!

      I only reason I learned the difference between my regular advice and intuitive advice is just sort of a guess based on past situations. I’ve stuck my neck out there and given advice about things where people can’t comprehend how I got to that conclusion. They either assume you’re judgemental, snarky or you’ve snooped further into the situation than you really have.

      Most of my intuitive advice is easy to keep to myself cause I can’t even describe it anyways. So I do the typical INFJ thing and play out the conversation in my head… if I can’t make a logical point, then I keep it to myself haha

      I’m glad you’re trusting your intuition more! You’re so smart and logical, it wont lead you wrong!

  • Sarah Stansell

    Wow this article just blew my socks off! I’ve never been able to explain my intuition until now. Especially when I’m asked questions like how do you know? This was so helpful!

    • BarbedWireandLace

      I’m so glad you thought it was helpful! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      Intuition is such an odd thing. You feel like you’re some sort of mind wizard with zero ability to explain it… It can get frustrating and confusing. It wasn’t until I heard a friend’s 7 year old daughter try to explain her intuition until I realized that it was a real thing that people experience at a very young age… and it will always be something that is hard to explain. Her explanation was ‘A fairy told me… and she’s always right!’ So, I guess my intuition fairy has been around a long time! hahaha

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