Do you find yourself doubting your decisions and/or immediately asking for advice from friends and family when an issue arises?
If so, you are likely doing yourself and your intuition a major disservice. Asking other people for their opinions is the fastest way to undermine your intuition.
In today’s minisode, Nicole shares what life looked like before discovering the right side of her intuition, and how life changed for her after.
What life could look like for you:
“If you are outsourcing your decisions to other people, you are also outsourcing your power, your self-worth, your ability to navigate your own life.”
“You are the biggest block to accessing your intuition. The awesome thing about being human is that all of us have this internal system that connects to intuition, and the only real thing you have to do is learn how to call it in. So, it’s just like having the passcode to your phone. You need to know the exact right one for you. If you don’t know it, you can’t open the phone and in fact, you can crash the system. When you know that right passcode to your phone, you can dial up your intuition literally at any time.”
“You can’t experience your intuition when you’re in the thoughts of your past or if you’re ruminating about the future. It is only available right here, right now. So it actually already makes your life easier to be present. You’re not worrying or doubting or freaking out about potential future outcomes. You’re actually in the present and then in the present, you can get your secret code to work.”
Welcome to The School of Self-Worth, a podcast for ambitious women who know they are worthy of an astoundingly great life. Join us weekly as we get on the right side of your intuition, redefine success, and reclaim your self-worth.
I’m your host, Nicole Tsong, an award-winning journalist who left it all behind to become a bestselling author of three books on work-life balance and an expert in helping ambitious women unlock their intuition and step into a life of fulfillment and radical joy. Every single week, I will bring you diverse and meaningful conversations with successful women from all walks of life who share insight about what it takes to be brave, joyful, and authentic, every day. Every episode is thoughtfully designed to leave you feeling empowered with tangible tips and advice that will lead you to your next breakthrough.
Welcome back to the School of Self-Worth! Today I am coming to you with a solo episode on a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’m here to talk to you about intuition and more importantly, what are the four surprising truths about intuition, including how it eliminates overwork.
It was inspired by my conversation, which is coming next week, with Renee Fick, who helps entrepreneurs leverage their menstrual cycles to be more productive. I wanted you to be primed and ready for the conversation about tuning into what works for you, so I put this one together. This is the kind of content I get most inspired to share. And if you are a high-achieving career woman who wants to uncover your biggest blind spots preventing fast intuitive decisions, I’ve got a 72-second assessment for you. So make sure to DM me, and quiz on Instagram at Nicole Tsong.
Okay, let’s get started. I’m going to start today with a little story about what it was like before I understood what it meant to be intuitive. First, I used to think it was an exclusive club, like the kind of club I was definitely not allowed to join. The kind of club where literally only Beyonce is admitted. I was always feeling like I was on the outside of this intuitive club, but I was also really curious about it. Like what was intuition? How exactly did it work? How come I wasn’t one of those people who were dubbed intuitive? I really also used to always think that intuition was just gut hits, but I’ve learned that it is a much more powerful tool than just that. So I’ll be getting into all of that today, and I will also be getting into the turning point where I really started to understand my own intuition, and I will share that with you in a little bit.
When I started to practice it and I started to learn from my own teachers about what intuition really was, I was honestly floored. Because it’s not just like a magic eight-ball that always answers your questions for you. Although who doesn’t really want a magic eight ball that actually is accurate? And your intuition is like that.
But this is the part that blew my mind. It makes you so much more efficient. And if you have ever hung out with me, you’ll know that I love to be efficient. I am the queen of figuring out how to do things faster, more quickly throughout the day. I love to move lightning-fast. Really the reason that matters is I have more time then to do the things that I really want to do. So, what I learned when I started to tune into my intuition is actually how inefficient I actually was. Because before I really tuned into intuition, it used to be when it came to decision-making, especially personal decisions like figuring out if I should take a new job or what I wanted to do even on the weekend, those kinds of decisions.
I was slow as molasses. I would ‘um and ah’. My big go-to move was I would ask everyone else, my friends and my family, what they thought I should do. This came up a lot when I was dating. When I was dating someone new, I would call all my friends after the date was over, and of course, I wanted to tell them how the date went. But really what I wanted was for them to tell me if I should keep dating this person. And looking back, this is kind of crazy. Like I can’t believe I did that all the time, because they were not on the date. They have no idea about whether this person was a good match for me. How could they possibly know if he was the right one just based on what I was telling them, because they were only receiving information filtered through me.
What I’ve learned over time is that there was a much deeper issue at play where I was outsourcing that decision to them because I didn’t trust myself to make decisions. I was afraid I would make a mistake. If I could say, “Oh well, that person told me to keep dating him”, and if that guy didn’t work out or I didn’t really like him, ultimately I could say it was their fault rather than having to look back at myself and realize that I was the one responsible for those decisions. This leads me to my turning point where I started to see and recognize that this pattern was occurring. Because when you do that, you start to outsource your decisions. Or if you are outsourcing your decisions to other people, you are also outsourcing your power, your self-worth, and your ability to navigate your own life. So it’s an important thing to start to pay attention to that kind of pattern.
Let me get back to my turning point. I had been working with my teachers on getting on the right side of my intuition and to learn to trust myself. I remember I was having some kind of crisis of the many crises I was having in life, where I felt really indecisive. And I can’t even recall exactly what I was feeling indecisive about. I just know that I was feeling super indecisive. So I called my friend Rebecca, who was also working in the same body of work that I was trained in, and I really trusted her to help me make decisions that were the best ones for me. When I laid out all the details of what was going on and the situation, and I wanted to know what she thought, she actually said to me,” What does your intuition say?” I literally was rocked. I remember I was on my headset in my car talking to her, driving over the bridge from west Seattle to downtown Seattle, and I was like, what? And in my head, I was thinking, “Can’t you just tell me what to do? Can’t you just tell me the answer?” But I really am so grateful to her that she did that because it forced me to reflect that I did know the answer because I actually did.
A few days later, I was sitting at my computer, (this is another moment that stands out so strongly to me), going through emails and I got an email that felt stressful. So if you can relate to this, whenever you look at your email, there can be things that come in that require a decision. And it came in, related I think, to a yoga schedule -type of thing, and I remember my first instinct was to push back from my desk and then immediately pull my phone out and call or text a friend to help me figure this one out. And in that moment I remember thinking maybe I should try something different. And I paused and actually told myself, “Nicole, you could actually ask yourself for the answer. It would be faster because I don’t have to ask everybody else. And then you could just actually respond.” And when I realized I did know the answer, it was literally like I was struck by a lightning bolt. I could not believe how much easier it was when I asked myself – and then this is the part that was amazing – I did know the answer when I asked myself, I truthfully did know what the answer was! And it felt so huge. It was like in five minutes I had made a decision. Then I emailed them, and I moved on. It was remarkable.
So what I wanted to put together for all of you today are the ‘4 Surprising Truths’ about your intuition and how you can get a better understanding of what it really does. Like what does having your intuition do for your life in a really practical way, but also in this way of how you start to live your life from a place that feels expansive and free, and you have so much more time for yourself.
The first surprising truth about your intuition is that the biggest barrier to intuition is the person who is listening to me right now. Yes, that is you. You are really the biggest block to accessing intuition. The awesome thing about being human is that all of us have this internal system that connects to intuition. And the only real thing you have to do is learn how to call it in. So it’s just like having the passcode to your phone. You need to know the exact right one for you. If you don’t know it, you can’t open the phone and in fact, you can crash the system. When you know the right passcode to your phone, you can dial up your intuition literally at any time. You can have it accessible, it travels with you, it is always with you on your person and it can actually turn into an automatic habit. Just like you know your passcode so easily on your phone or it recognizes your face, literally it will open up for you at any moment. So if you don’t know the passcode, it’s because you are getting in your own way. You are living in the blocks to your intuition and you’re outsourcing your ability to access them or to access your own cool system. So for you, the really important thing is noticing if you’re living in those blocks when you’re not accessing intuition and then learning to move through those blocks so that you can dial up, be on the right side of your intuition frequently, consistently and use it for all the different parts of your day.
The second surprising truth about your intuition is that it only lives in the present moment. So in many ways, I think this is the best news because that means it requires you to be present to access your intuition. If you have ever said to yourself, “I really wish I was more present in my life”, awesome. The knowledge and the desire and the intention to be present will actually give you access to the system much more quickly. The other cool thing about being present is that when you are present, it takes you out of being spun out in your head. You can’t experience your intuition when you’re in the thoughts of your past or if you’re thinking and ruminating about the future. It is only available right here, right now. So it actually already makes your life easier to be present. You’re not worrying or doubting or freaking out about potential future outcomes. You’re actually in the present, and in the present, you can get your secret code to work.
The third surprising truth about your intuition is that your intuition then eliminates the overthinking. Once you’re in the present moment, you can’t be overthinking because your intuition doesn’t talk that much. It’s not a very chatty friend. Like if you have a friend who loves to talk and you banter all the time and have such a great time, your intuition is like the quiet friend in the corner who says nothing, and then all of a sudden comes out with that ‘boom’, like that thing that strikes you in the gut and makes you realize just how accurate it is. That’s what your intuition is like.
It’s very simple. But if you hear a voice talking endlessly, that is definitely not your intuition. Especially if you’re spinning out on a decision and you’re wanting to know where you are on the intuitive ladder, if you’re asking everybody else what they think, that is actually not being in your intuition. It’s like the story that I shared when I was always asking everyone else what they thought, that was a very clear sign that I was not in my intuition. Besides the fact that it is extremely time-consuming to spend all your time polling people for decisions in your life. I used to do this. I would call and text people, like at least five minimum, for any decision. Sometimes it was those decisions around taking a new job, the decision to keep dating somebody, the decision for any kind of big choice you’re making about a vacation. But when you start to tune into your intuition and you stop asking everybody else what they think, and you just tell them what you’re doing, it’s a much more efficient system. You are actually just living your life in a speedier, quicker way of moving forward. And I have to tell you, it’s such a relief. This is how you’re going to get all of your time back.
Now this actually leads me to the fourth surprising truth. And this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Intuition eliminates overwork. How on earth does it do that? Because you’re probably going to tell me your overwork is due to your bosses, it’s due to your team, it’s due to the culture of the people around you. And that’s the reason that you overwork. I’m going to counter you and say that you are the primary source of overwork. I’m not saying other people aren’t asking things of you, but you are the only one who can determine how much you actually work. Once you get on the right side of your intuition, you no longer spend time questioning decisions that you’ve made, which is a huge source of overwork. You stop doubting yourself, which leads you to being on your computer and working at night, and you also learn to run your day intuitively, which means you are more efficient with the time that you’re spending and you are also more into really setting clear boundaries with other people. I’ve learned that if I ask my intuition to structure my day if I ask it to guide me through meetings, it directs me to the biggest, most important things first.
I am no longer spun out by all the small things that don’t matter, but that make me feel busy or productive. Instead, I actually focus my attention on the things that really do matter and require the most energy, the most thinking, and focus. When I follow my day intuitively, I am always done with my day faster, no question. And when I’m done, at the end of the day, when I close my computer, I also really trust everything that I’ve done has been the biggest, most efficient, most important task. All of that has been done because I followed what my intuition guided me to do. A lot of people think intuition is just around big decisions, leading my life from the big picture. It does do all of that stuff and I do teach that with the intuitive blueprint. What I think is the underestimated benefit of it, is it can actually guide you, moment by moment, through your day. It can actually take you through how you want a meeting to go. When you have 2 hours to work, what’s the most important priority here? And then it also lets you go back out into the big picture and look at the overall picture of what you’re doing and help you guide what it is you’re doing, what’s your purpose? Where are you headed in your life? Your intuition also does that. The cool thing about intuition is that it is the most powerful tool we have inside ourselves to guide our lives, and it is probably the most underused. So you get to actually decide if you want to start to focus on it, to actually get on the right side of it and be the guiding force for you, so that you can actually step into the next level of what you want to create in life. Because I will tell you, from my experience, I trust my decisions. When I’m done with work, at the end of the day, I close my computer, and move on. I have time for myself in the evening, I have time for myself on the weekends, and I don’t worry endlessly about choices that I’ve made. And the more you start to run your life this way, you have so much more free space and you have so much more time to do things that bring you joy and fun and love, and all of the things that we’re looking to really experience on a daily basis in our lives. So these are the four surprising truths about your intuition.
I would love to know which of these resonated the most with you. Feel free to DM me at Nicole Tsong on Instagram and stay tuned, because next week I’ll be chatting with Renee Fick about how to use your menstrual cycle to be more productive. It is such a fascinating conversation. You do not want to miss the insights that she shares, so stay tuned for that. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. Before you go, don’t forget if you are a high-achieving woman who wants to uncover your biggest blind spots preventing fast, intuitive decisions, I’ve got a 72-second assessment for you. So make sure to DM me, quiz @nicoletsong on Instagram. And thank you for being here and for listening.
We read every note that we get from you about how the podcast is making a difference in your life. Please know how much we appreciate each and every one of you. Until next time, I’m Nicole Tsong and this is the School of Self-Worth.