Intuition ~ Trust Its Wisdom
Written by Michael Linehan, Co-Author of "Real World Safety for Women"
Personal safety for women, men, and children includes being aware when something feels uncomfortable or unsafe and taking charge as soon as possible. From time to time, we are asked about intuition – what it is and how to use it more effectively to help us stay safe.
The first answer is simplistic, but very true … in one sense, you already know about intuition. We don’t mean to seem dismissive. It’s just that you’ve heard so many negative messages to the contrary. So we say, “You already know,” to emphasize the point and to acknowledge and support your innate wisdom. Often, all someone needs is the support to trust and act on what they already feel.
Our hunch is that just about everyone could remember times when their intuition was warning them if they thought for a few moments. When we ask participants in courses if they have ever felt uncomfortable about a situation but dismissed that thought, almost everyone acknowledges having had such experiences. Sometimes, unfortunately, putting aside that warning voice can lead to a troublesome or dangerous situation. Personal safety for women and for men includes paying attention to that warning voice.
We very firmly believe in the power of our intuition to advise and warn us in almost any situation. We want to emphasize this so much that I’ve taken to saying in courses, “If there is only one point that you will take from this course, if you forget everything else we say and practice, take this one thing with you … pay attention to your intuition. If your intuition is warning you, there IS something wrong. Trust it and act to increase your safety.”
We can get messages from our intuition in different ways. It might be words we are actually saying to ourselves (inside our head or out loud), a visual image, a dream, butterflies in the stomach, hair standing on end, a shiver up the spine, feeling hot or cold, an uncertain or uncomfortable feeling or a combination of these. It’s important to identify and be aware of your warning signs, the ways in which you tell yourself that something is wrong. How does your intuition warn you?
And it is important to “err on the side of caution.” If you are uncertain if some discomfort is your intuition speaking or just the discomfort we can feel when doing something new, take the safer course. Don’t carry on with the present situation unchanged. Personal safety for women, men, and children includes not just being aware but also taking charge if something feels uncomfortable or unsafe. act to increase your safety. With practice, and with paying attention, your intuition will reward you by speaking more clearly and powerfully. You’ll be able to recognize those warnings quickly.
Of course, your intuition must be combined with common-sense safety precautions because sometimes our intuition may have gotten rusty from lack of use or it might be a situation where our intuition is unable to operate effectively. Some common-sense precautions:
It is never a good idea to simply open your door to a knock without knowing who is there.
It is unwise (to say the least) to hitchhike.
A woman alone might be at risk if she walked over to a van to help some guy with directions.
And so on.
Your most effective protection will come when you combine the most powerful safety principles and skills to complement each other.
Personal safety for women, men, and children is easier to protect the sooner we notice a problem and take charge of our safety. The costs of dismissing your intuition can be enormous. If there is only one point that you will take from this newsletter, take this one thing with you … Always trust your intuition. If it’s warning you, there is something wrong. Trust it and act to increase your safety. You can find resources to explore this subject further – including Real World Safety for Women (by the author of this article) and Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear – in our list of recommended resources.