Thoughtful Awareness

In the previous article we looked at following our intuitive voice. It is important to distinguish, however, between our positive little voice, and the little voice on our other shoulder which is negative intuition.

This is the “I can’t do,” “I’m not capable of doing that,” little voice. It is the pessimistic voice of limiting self belief. It is very often based on false information from our past. And this negative voice can not only stop us in our tracks, but can prevent us from achieving. We must learn to recognise it, realise it is our negative devil, and learn to ignore it.

This is easier said than done, however. Often we might hear our positive little voice chirping in with a great idea, only to be immediately drowned out by the negative voice that we are so accustomed to. This limiting belief is stopping us from acting in ways that may well further our success.

For instance, how many of us have phobias? Fear of heights is common and can sometimes be debilitating. Our negative voice plays on fear. It defies logic and controls our emotions – if we let it. Standing in a high office block, in a room surrounded floor to ceiling by glass, and knowing logically that the possibility of falling out of the room is remote, we still let our inner voice fill our heads with ridiculous thoughts of plunging to our deaths!

So how do we control this negative inner voice and let our positive intuition guide us? What techniques are at our disposal? How do we become masters of our inner thoughts for our benefit?

The first thing is to learn how to recognise those thoughts. Mindful Meditation is the practice of being in the present. To be able to stop ‘doing’, become aware of the present and just listen to our thoughts is the beginning of this meditative process. Don’t try to halt your thoughts. Simply listen to them. Become aware of them. Let the voices ramble on. Recognise the negative voice and distinguish it from the positive voice.

Taking time out each day – even for a short time – to sit in a quiet space away from distraction and practice mindful meditation will eventually lead to the ability to be far more aware of your thoughts. With practice, meditation allows you to pick up on those negative thoughts as they come and stop them in their tracks. It allows space for the positive little voice. Like anything, with more practice you will become better in time.

You will begin to manage the voices, pick up, analyse, and work with the negative; not only during meditation, but throughout the day.

Our intuition, or ‘gut feeling’ can be our ally. Whether warding us from danger or appearing as an ‘aha’ moment, we need to listen to it. We need to be able to hear it, recognise it, distinguish it from the negative demon, and use it to our advantage by acting upon the insight it gives us.

Intuition in Business

How does intuition relate to business? We are accustomed to following standard business procedure, and this must be done in order that our business grows. But do not rule out intuition.

Intuition is defined as: ‘A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

Our intuitive voice is that little voice within our head that is trying to tell us something. Sometimes referred to as ‘gut feeling’, it can also be the momentary butterflies we experience in our stomach. Life isn’t black and white. Sometimes that little voice is giving us direction so we should listen and follow, or at least explore.

How many times have you thought to yourself…”That’s a good idea,” or “That looks like a good opportunity”?

Well this is intuition kicking in. Have you ever been out on business, visiting an unfamiliar place, only to find yourself lost trying to follow street signs to your destination? Then you see a street which you know is the right way to go. This is intuition.

Equally, as business owners, we need to go with our gut feeling at times; we need to follow our instinct on where and how to take our business forward. A client once told the story of how he had been walking passed a book shop on one occasion and felt the urge to go inside. On looking around, his eyes were drawn to a book on the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases. It was as though this book just jumped out at him. It was a marketing book from the 19th century and it was absolutely full of useful information relevant to his business which he has used to this day. Had he not listened to that hunch, he would never have entered the book store.

We should be inquisitive. When our little voice speaks up and tells us to take note of something – “That looks interesting,” and “Let’s look into that,” – we should investigate further. Our exploration of the fact will more often than not lead to something good. We have all more than likely experienced this or heard stories of this happening.

You don’t have to be a psychologist, or a philosopher, or indeed a psychic; just listening to your inner voice and acting on an inkling could lead you to a gold mine. And if you don’t explore the possibilities, you will never know. A great opportunity may have been missed.

Obviously one shouldn’t use intuition to replace standard business processes or procedure. But you should listen out for your positive little voice and let it lead you to otherwise unchartered territories; to more success in business as well as in life.