Trusting your intuition

I'm learning what trusting your intuition really means

My relationship with intuition is complicated. It’s something I’ve been pretty disconnected from for most of my life. Something I’ve started paying attention to only recently.

My relationship with intuition is intertwined with my femininity, with my sense of self-compassion and self-respect, with getting older and thinking about what I want from the rest of my life.

The truth is this past year has been hard. I’ve gone through a lot of changes that have challenged so much of what I believed about myself and the world. I spent a lot of time feeling lost and confused, like I had no direction or foundation to build from.

I felt like I didn’t know myself. Like I’d been living off someone else’s script for the last 28 years.

I didn’t know if I actually wanted to work 80 hour weeks to build a successful startup or if I was doing it because I thought that’s what success looked like. I didn’t know if I actually wanted kids or if I thought I did because that’s what my family said happiness looked like.

I felt like I couldn’t turn to anything or anyone I’d known for answers, so I started paying attention to myself.

It started out small — I’d wake up early and take a few hours in the morning just to be. To see what I felt like doing when there were no expectations of what I “should” be doing. I’d take some time each day to be alone with my thoughts — no screens, no books, no people.

I wanted to know what it felt like not be consuming. To see what came up from inside me when there was no outside influence.

It wasn’t easy — there was a lot of habitual anxiety, FOMO and guilt about being unproductive that I had to work through.

But eventually, I started to see things come up to the surface. I started to think about what it means to be a woman and how I could connect to the feminine side of myself (something I’d shunned for all my life because I didn’t see my determination, strength and intelligence as “feminine” qualities).

I realized that some things I’ve always loved to do and want to keep doing are to teach and to collaborate with others to solve problems.

I started to feel a lot of joy in doing things that didn’t have anything to do with work — things like cooking and taking care of my plants. Building a home that felt like it was truly mine. And through that process, I started to see what building a family and sharing my life with someone could mean to me.

It was as if all these parts of myself that were dormant were lighting up. And I was seeing for the first time that there’s so much more to life than the narrow path to success I’d laid out for myself.

Slowly, a life I actually wanted to live started to materialize. And not because I’d made any sort of executive decision about what I wanted that life to be. But just because I kept doing the things that felt good.

To me, that’s what intuition is — paying attention. To yourself. To the world around you. And honouring how things make you feel.

Trusting your intuition is a form of self-compassion and self-respect. It’s knowing that your feelings are valid, even when you can’t justify them. And trusting that you have the answers you need within. That you are enough.

For me, learning to trust my intuition has been like getting to know a new friend. A friend whose voice gets a little bit stronger every time I listen to it.

- Niloo

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Wanna know how you can practice trusting your intuition? Check out The 4 qualities everyone needs to bring out their most authentic self and 3 unusual ways to practice being yourself!

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