Trust Your Intuition

On many occasions, your intuition leads you along the right path. Do you know how to listen to it and pay attention to it?
Trust Your Intuition

Last update: 11 March, 2022

It’s traditionally been thought that reason is more accurate than intuition. However, some scientific studies such as the one conducted by a group of scientists led by Professor Marius Usher at Tel Aviv University, have called this statement into question. In this study, the researchers claim that, in a high percentage of cases, decisions based on formal intuition would be as valid or more valid than those based on reason. In other words, your intuition would be right.

Has your reasoning ever presented you with something as being valid that, deep down you didn’t completely trust? Nevertheless, you couldn’t find any compelling reasons for your lack of trust. In fact, there were no rational reasons for your feelings, but your intuition was warning you.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations …I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”

-Albert Einstein-

Learning provides good advice

Over time, your mind has recorded infinite experiences. You have memories going right back to when you were four years old. Since then, and throughout your life, you’ve met many people and experienced many situations, both good and bad.

Woman worried about her intuition

All of these experiences have been recorded in some part of your memory, although you can’t vividly relive them and it’s extremely difficult for you to locate them. Similarly, sometimes you don’t know why, but you have the feeling that a person isn’t trustworthy. You also might intuit that some event will go wrong if you make a certain decision.

This could be because you once met someone with those traits and they didn’t turn out to be a good person. Or, you made a similar decision in the past that went wrong. These are engrams or memory traces, highly valuable for the human species due to their great adaptive load.

As a human, your mind is the most valuable thing you possess. Your mind’s learning, based on your experiences, helps your intuition gain strength. After all, you have countless decisions to make, and it’s not only your reasoning that’ll help you make them. Your intuition is also helpful in this respect.

How does your intuition work?

With the help of your intuition, you make decisions in a matter of seconds. They’re the kinds of decisions you make every day. For example, deciding whether you’re going to take the metro or the bus. In fact, you no longer even use reasoning to make this particular decision, because you’ve done it so many times and you know what mode of transport is faster. In this way, your instinct is guiding you.

However, imagine a person who was born in the jungle and who grew up outside of civilization. If you brought them to the city, they wouldn’t know whether the metro or the bus was the better option. That’s because they’d never have done it before. Hence, that learning wouldn’t be recorded in their mind. Because intuition isn’t something magical that you’re born with. In fact, it’s developed by learning from everything you live through and see around you.

According to the scientist, Margarita Amestoy de Sánchez, the use of experience, along with instinct and even inventiveness, connects three spheres. These are the intellectual, the experiential, and the contextual. These three fields integrate, in a balanced way, logical-critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence.

Woman testing her intuition

Instinct and intuition

Two of the innate instincts you were born with are survival and sexual reproduction. These have allowed us, as a species, to continue to exist for hundreds of centuries. They allow us to flee from what threatens us, without the need for reasoning. Instincts are the result of prior learning carried out by our ancestors.

Likewise, in order to now know how to escape from a fire, you had to first learn the danger of flames. To know now not to put your hand in the hot oil, you had to learn, as a child, that it was a dangerous thing to do and that you should stay away from hot pans. In other words, much of what’s harvested today is the fruit of what was planted centuries ago.

Once you’ve learned what puts you in danger, your body reacts in a matter of seconds, and you flee whenever you see something as a threat. Your intuition is reliable, and you have it because you’ve learned from experiences, books, movies, etc.

Therefore, when making decisions you shouldn’t ever underestimate your intuition, since it contains pretty accurate information.

Clarification.  This doesn’t mean that every time your intuition tells you something, you’ll be right. For example, when buying a lottery ticket or choosing the right restaurant. What we’re talking about here are basic survival instincts, which have allowed humans to adapt. We don’t mean skills of divination or being successful in matters of chance.

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  • Bunge, M. (2013). Intuición y razón. Sudamericana.
  • Echavarría, J. D. L. (2009). La intuición en la psicología y la psicoterapia. Revista de Psicología Universidad de Antioquia1(1), 85-94.
  • Sánchez, J. C., Fernández, T. R., & Loy, I. (1995). La génesis de la intuición. Helmholtz y la naturalización del sujeto trascendental kantiano. Revista de Historia de la Psicología16(3-4), 375-382.