First let’s get clear on what intuition is.
The dictionary defines it as:
the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
There are actually 2 types of intuition. The first is physical feelings, usually in your gut or centrally located in your body somewhere. Science has actually proved that both your gut and your heart have neurons that enable thought and communication.
The second type of intuition is more akin to clairvoyance or claircognizance where you see or know things immediately.
To really make the most of your innate abilities you want to develop both, but it’s usually easiest to start with the physical – internal guidance which will naturally lead to the other.
So why is intuition so important?
We are all born intuitive. Human beings are so intuitive that it’s actually a source of great suffering for many. We suffer when we betray ourselves, our values, our ideals, our dreams, and ignore our intuition. Ignoring your intuition can often cause an irritating voice in your mind that questions your choices — whether you’ve said something you regret, broken someone’s confidence, stayed in a dead-end or abusive relationship, or resigned yourself to a mediocre job instead of going for the career of your dreams. “This nagging voice is your conscience or consciousness” Not to be confused with your ego mind that insults you and berates you for making mistakes. You conscience is a soft, but insistent voice that simply asks you if you are doing what is right or in your best interest.
We can turn off that persistent voice and shift suffering into wisdom and joy by following our intuitive guidance. Paying attention to that inner voice enables you to grow, expand, and move easily toward your life’s purpose and personal fulfillment.
So let’s talk about some of the ways we block our intuition.
Here are 9 other ways we block or interfere with our intuition.
If you recognize and understand these blocks, you can heal them, and have an authentic relationship with your innate internal wisdom.
1. Lack of Self-Trust (childhood programming)
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t rely on their intuition is because they don’t trust it or themselves.
If you’ve spent most of your life feeling like you don’t make good decisions, second guessing yourself or feeling like your instincts are always wrong then you probably haven’t even tried to activate or develop your intuition. You may not even know what intuition really is.
I know those feelings well. I’ve been there. Unfortunately when we are kids we’re taught not to trust ourselves. Everyone around us tells us they know what’s best for us, they are trying to protect us, or that we are too young and naïve and need to listen to adults instead. Those well-meaning, (and some ill-intentioned) comments, criticisms, rules, and notions wreak havoc on young minds and hearts. We learn to fear ourselves and look for answers everywhere else.
From birth we are taught to listen to anyone else but ourselves. Most of us are trained to ‘please’ others, and seek external approval – from our parents, our teachers, our peers, our community, and our government. Our self-worth is determined by how ‘good’ or ‘obedient’ we are. Some of us rebel at one time or another, but we eventually surrender to the voice of authority, whether it’s personal, professional, legal, governmental, financial or otherwise.
We have ignored our inner voice and given our personal power away for so long, that it often takes a major crisis – an accident or illness, a relationship breakdown, or a deep personal loss – to bring us to the point where we are ready and willing to question the foundations we’ve formed our life around. There is a crack in the foundation of perception which allows new light to enter – the light of our Higher Self.
It doesn’t have to take a crisis to shift our awareness and reconnect to our innate wisdom and power. We can start right now, if we are willing. With intention and practice you can begin to clearly hear the small voice in everyday situations – what to eat/not eat, when to sleep, when to disconnect and take some self-care time, who to keep close and who to break ties with, when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes’ and so much more.
Fear of failure, fear of being wrong, fear of making mistakes, fear of the unknown, fear of religious persecution fear of punishment, fear of abandonment, fear of judgement, and the fear of discovering that your life could have been so much better and easier if you had listened to yourself long ago are just some of the fears that prevent us from hearing and listening to our intuition.
The energy of fear actually blocks you from connecting completely to your intuition. The first step is overcoming those false, instilled beliefs and the willingness to miss the mark, make mistakes, and just be plain wrong in the beginning and from time to time as you grow toward mastery.
It will almost seem like all those things your caretakers told you were right, but that’s just your mind trying to prevent you from shifting away from your analytical skills and ego over to your innate skills and body wisdom.
It takes practice and acceptance that not everything will be accurate at first, but the more you practice and stay unemotional about the misses the faster and easier you will begin to get more hits.
3. Mental Censoring
As children we treat all of our perceptions as real and true. Our intuition is unrefined and untrained so we use it unconsciously to gather information confirms our fears or wishes. We accept these observations unquestioningly because we are not aware that they were selected by our intuition. Children often invent monsters to represent the stress or threats they are experiencing in their young lives. Often if you ask a child what will make the monsters go away they will give you a very thorough and accurate metaphor for the remedy. The unconscious mind always knows the answers even if it lacks the understandable language to explain the answer. Unfortunately most adults often convince children that monsters aren’t real, that it’s just their imagination, or even tease children for believing in such nonsense.
By the time children reach adulthood they are full of fears, but lack the means to describe the root of the fear or what would cure it. Sometimes those fears are projected onto other people or experiences. We were taught that imagination and creativity are not important or valued so we stop using them as we grow up, but it is those exact skills that could provide us the answers to our deepest fears.
As very young children we learn to distrust or disregard our intuition. As we grow up we are trained to judge information we receive as real, important, relevant, or objective and to ignore everything else. Over the decades this mental censoring becomes automatic and further buries your all but forgotten intuition.
4. Fear-based Decisions
This fear is often something as simple as ‘what will other people think?’ So often we don’t listen to our inner voice because of our need to ‘fit in’ or belong.
For example, your friends invite you to go out and get drunk because ‘it’s fun’. You don’t really want to go. You don’t like feeling out of control, acting like a fool, throwing up afterward, or the certain hangover you’ll have the next day, but you say ‘yes’ because you want them to like you and invite you to do things with them more often. Besides, everyone does it, and if you just do it in moderation you can have a good time with your friends. It beats sitting at home alone. This is based on fear of rejection or isolation.
In another scenario you long to be an artist, dancer, or musician, but your parents want you to get a ‘real job’ or a ‘successful career’. They want you to become an accountant, lawyer, or doctor because it’s ‘secure’, it ‘pays the bills’ and it would make them proud of you. You can’t stand the thought of living the rest of your life in a suit and working sixty hours a week in a job that sucks the life from you, but you go ahead and agree because you can’t disappoint them. This is another form of fear of rejection or disapproval.
In this scenario you are in a long-term relationship that has turned extremely abusive, mentally, verbally, or physically and you want to leave, but you love your partner and you know deep down they love you. You don’t know if you can make it on your own and they would be lost without you. Besides they keep saying they are going to leave you, so you might as well wait it out. You can’t leave until you’ve tried everything in your power to save the relationship. This is fear of not being enough or abandonment.
Remember, intuition is insistent but the tone of voice is always gentle and kind. It never gives orders, makes demands, or criticizes. If that is the voice you hear it’s your ego judging you and keeping you aligned with fear.
5. Self – Sabotage
This comes from low self-esteem, lack of confidence or feeling undeserving of love, respect, appreciation, or goodness.
You may find yourself constantly saying yes to things you know don’t feel right or mutually beneficial because you feel like you have to. It’s the nice thing to do or what you were doing or planning to do is not as important as doing what this person wants. Your intuition will gently question your choice, but you ignore it and do what goes against your better judgement anyway.
For example, a long-time friend insists you come over and help them move some furniture. They tell you they don’t have anyone else to help them and they will pay you back. You know that your back has been acting up and they will never return the favor, but you feel compelled to come to their rescue because they don’t have anyone else. You wind up injuring your back, but at least you have an excuse to avoid them for a while now.
Maybe you go to see your doctor who tells you that you need surgery for your back. You know your injury is not that serious. Your back goes out fairly often, but you tell him to go ahead and schedule an appointment with a surgeon even though you know surgery is extremely risky and could cause more harm than good.
You go to work the next day and tell your boss you hurt your back and may have to have surgery. Your boss tells you there is no way they can cover for you that long. You may have to come back in a different capacity and a lower pay rate, if another position is available, or you’ll need to look for another job. You tell your boss you will cancel the surgery, or find a way to return to work sooner so you don’t put them in a bind.
At home your spouse or partner has no sympathy for your injury and wants to know what they are supposed to do about meals, having clean clothes to wear, and the birthday party you were supposed host next week. You know they are perfectly capable of doing what needs to be done, but you feel guilty about asking them to help out, so you tell them you’ll figure it all out and they don’t need to worry about anything.
Remember, the moment you stand up for yourself, you reclaim your personal power in relationship to others and your experiences go from tragic and tiresome to thrilling and satisfying.
6. Ignoring the red flags.
You’re sleeping soundly when all of a sudden your chest starts hurting, you’re having trouble breathing, and your heart is racing. You’re pretty sure this is an anxiety attack, but you don’t know what it’s about. You lay there trying to calm yourself down and eventually fall back to sleep.
The next day you are getting married or signing a mortgage contract, but that couldn’t be the problem. You are completely ready to commit to this. It’s been your dream for so long. Unfortunately you ignored the signs that the person you are marrying has a drinking problem or can’t stand you family and friends. Maybe the house you are buying is in a bad location, or you decided against a well inspection thinking the previous owners would have told you if there were any issues. You completely ignored the warning bells going off in your head and jumped into something that is not in your best interest, because you’re just being paranoid, or you always leap before you look,. Maybe you’re tired of being alone and you can help your spouse overcome their problems. All marriages have their problems. Together you can deal with anything. The house was a great price and you’re tired of renting. You want to own real estate, because you know you will make your money back when you sell it down the road. Everyone does….
What would have happened if you heeded those warning flags?
7. Constantly seeking validation from others.
You cannot open up to, or trust your intuition, if you need to ask others for verification. Seeking confirmation outside of yourself only keeps you on a merry-go-round of bad choices, indecision, and guilt following other people’s agenda, goals, or opinions which are based on their own fears, trauma, and misperceptions. You’ll be lucky if someone eventually leads you back toward your own truth after years of chasing people, places, and things you never really wanted to begin with.
On some level you may not want to live with consequences of following your intuition. It may guide you away from certain people in your life, or out of a job that feels safe, or into something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. You only want to hear what you need to know to keep you safe and out of trouble. The big blessings can only be found when you find the courage to follow every whisper that urges you to do something different. You cannot become completely self-reliant, confident, capable, fulfilled, and who you were meant to be until you develop and follow you intuition.
8. Physical Obstacles
Not getting enough sleep, poor quality sleep, drinking alcohol, smoking, eating junk food, taking prescription drugs, environmental toxins, and hormonal imbalances are just a few of the physical obstacles that will disrupt your intuition.
Learning to follow your intuition means taking care of your body. The body houses your intuition and your soul. If your mind and body are clogged up with toxic substances and toxic thoughts you may never hear your intuition. Usually the voices you hear will be that of your ego or other people in your life who have wounded you in some way.
A special note about your endocrine system and hormones “The endocrine system includes the following glands: the pineal, pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and ovaries/testes. These glands use hormones (rather than the electrical impulses used by the nervous system) to effect changes in our body, emotions, cognition, and energy. Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through the body via the bloodstream and coordinate critical body functions. They increase or reduce nerve impulses and can also act as neurotransmitters.
The hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands play particularly important roles in spiritual experience.”
The pineal gland is the seat of intuition located in the middle of the brain. It interacts with the pituitary gland. These glands can become calcified due to heavy metal toxicity, mold exposure, and viruses. When these glands are decalcified, your intuition kicks on easier. There are certain foods you can eat to decalcify the pineal gland and increase clairvoyance.
Healing and stimulating the pineal gland is a foundational step for expanding consciousness and restoring the health and vitality of the physical body.
9. Not Recognizing Your Intuitive Signals
For most people intuition does not come as a direct statements, complete sentences, mental movies, or obvious connections. Especially in the beginning, it is often symbolic, fragmented, and doesn’t always make sense. As adults our intuition has become interwoven with our thoughts, feelings, logic, and knowledge, making it difficult if not impossible to recognize the difference. We often convince ourselves to dismiss the brief flashes of images, feelings, thoughts, or insights that pop up unexpectedly because we don’t know how to interpret it. Actually we all use our intuition regularly, even if it is unconsciously. Most people have intuitive wisdom around their area of expertise or their area of emotional preoccupation. Whether it’s doctors diagnosing patients, a stockbroker choosing the best investments, an employee who thinks he is constantly in jeopardy of losing his job, or a mother knowing when something is wrong with her child, we all tap into that innate ability.
Just like your mind completes complex mental processes without your conscious awareness, retrieving information, images, and associations for any number of experiences you are having simultaneously, so too does your intuition send data to your conscious mind, nonstop, without your awareness. The key to developing your intuition is learning how, when, and where to shift your attention and how to accurately interpret the data.