Intuition – Knowledge on a Gut-Level
Neuroscientists have known this for a long time: Our consciousness is not even close to being able to handle all the information that continuously floods it. Consequently, it focuses on the immediate and important and continuously blocks the majority of external stimuli out. Just now, as you read this, your subconscious receives all kinds of signals which your consciousness deliberately ignores because otherwise you would not be able to concentrate on the text: information about your physical posture (or were you even aware up to now which parts of your body were touching the chair and which were touching the floor? how warm or how cold your hands are right now? or if a little tension in your neck is coming on?), a number of environmental information (brightness, background noises, temperature, the presence of a colleague sitting on the neighboring table…) and countless more things. All these informational units end up in your subconscious and with incredible speed are processed, evaluated, sorted and filtered. They are usually only transferred into the foreground – i.e. your consciousness – when they become urgent (when your chair collapses under you, for instance!).
Yet, they represent a giant information storage system of many small details that is basically available to us – if we could just access it. This subconscious information storage system plays an important role in the intuitive perception that is preferred by the types mentioned (Here it is important to remember: In this context we always discuss tendencies, i.e. the types prefer intuition – it is understood that they also make use of their five senses!) In their everyday life intuitive types do lend more weight to “sudden inspirations”, those spontaneous associations originating from the subconscious, than the sensing types. Their “gut feeling” plays a more important role for them and they tend to trust it and let themselves be led by it. They know or perceive that it is often simply the sum total of the tiniest informational units that, although having rushed past the consciousness, still lead to important realizations in the subconscious. You surely know examples of yourself when you spontaneously simply “knew” which decision would be correct, whether a person liked you or wished you ill (even though there was no outward evidence of one or the other) or when you suddenly came up with a sudden inspiration for an aggravating problem that appeared to have dropped into your thinking from nowhere. Beyond your perception workers in the workshop of your subconscious were busy collecting tiny observations and details and had finally passed the completed flash of genius to the surface.
Intuitive types are less interested in obvious details and facts. They tend to look for the deeper meaning, the integral whole beyond their perception. Frequently they are also future oriented. Where new developments are concerned they contribute visions and ideas to their team, one could almost refer to some of them as being brilliant. They won’t let despicable reality shackle them to the ground rather, they unconcernedly and creatively experiment with alternatives other personality types in similar situations could not even fathom. For the sensing types this sometimes can make dealing with intuitive types difficult. For one, it is frequently demanding to follow the intuitive types on their flights of fancy into their cloud-cuckoo-land. And for the other the (sometimes totally justified!) suspicion creeps up on sensing types that on their flights of fancy the intuitive types may studiously ignore potentially important facts. In return, the intuitive personality types often tend to secretly look down upon the sensing personality types whom they consider to be much too ponderous, narrow minded and gloomy…
It is one of iPersonic’s missions to help you get to know yourself better and another, at least as important, is to give you the opportunity to change your personality a little bit here and there – if you want to! You now know to which personality type you belong, whether you prefer your intuition or your senses. As in sports, it is always a good idea to occasionally concentrate on exercising those muscle groups that are less used in everyday life and therefore are frequently less developed. For all intuitive types this means: concentrate on sharpening your sensory perception; for all sensing types the challenge consists of giving intuition more room in their life. Depending on which group you belong to and if you would like to, you may try one of the exercises below. Maybe you’ll discover an entire new side of yourself!
Exercises for the intuitive types (the Thinkers and the Idealists)
The 5-4-3-2-1-Exercise (therapy based, helps to focus on the Here and Now and to concentrate oneself on the senses and tangible perceptions):
Choose a comfortable position and a spot in the room on which to concentrate. Keep your eyes open. According to the following scheme, audibly or in your mind say what you sense at the moment:
- 5 times: I see …! → 5 times: I hear …! → 5 times: I sense …! →
- 4 times: I see …! → 4 times: I hear …! → 4 times: I sense …! →
- 3 times: I see …! → 3 times: I hear …! → 3 times: I sense …! →
- Twice: I see …! → Twice: I hear …! → Twice: I sense …! →
- Once: I see …! → Once: I hear …! → Once: I sense …! →
It is not important to name different perceptions in every run; it is all right if they are always the same. At the end of the exercise you count in your pace backwards from 5 to 1, loll about, stretch and feel super refreshed and alert.
The Rose Exercise (actually derived from meditation):
Get yourself a single rose, hold it in your hand and totally concentrate on it. Don’t let anything distract you. What do you see? Which color, form, structure are the petals? The stem? The leaves? What is its scent? Which differences do you notice among the individual leaves? Touch the rose with your fingers, the stem, the leaves, the blossoms, the thorns. What do you feel? Immerse yourself in its beauty. Take five minutes to devote your senses to nothing but exclusively the rose.
Exercises for the sensing types (the Doers and the Realists)Breaking the Routine (serves to widen your perspective and your experiences)
Every morning for an entire week choose a different road to work. Remember how it felt. Does something change in your perception, in your mood? Are you having fun or is it too stressful? And if so: why?
Guessing Games (they serve to sharpen powers of observation and intuition)
For four weeks come up with a weekly guessing assignment that you can play daily during the week. Here it is not the issue to guess right or to question yourself why you came to the impression. Don’t be concerned and don’t subject yourself to pressure to perform or your expectations – just see it as a game. Possible guessing assignments could be:
- How much and what mail am I going to find in my mailbox today?
- When the telephone rings – who will be on the line? (Please without sneaking a look at the caller id!)
- You are waiting in front of three elevators in the furniture store – which one is going to show up first?
- You are sitting in a café - who will be next to call the waiter?
This article was written by psychologist and book author Felicitas Heyne. She is the developer of the iPersonic personality test. Take the free personality test now and get in-depth career advice and life coaching from our unique iPersonic personality profiles!Similar articles in this blog:
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