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Can Intuition Help You Succeed In Business And Life?




“I’ve trusted the still, small voice of intuition my entire life,” says Oprah Winfrey in the August 2011 issue of O Magazine. She continues, “And the only time I’ve made mistakes is when I didn’t listen.” For Oprah and 50% of other Americans, their intuition is a powerful force. As a level of unconscious thought, however, understanding how and when to listen can be tricky – especially for those who have been conditioned to ignore this singular experience.

Listening to Intuition

Intuition is a natural, thoughtless process that requires no analysis of deep thinking. It’s a very personal experience that can show through instinctive-like thinking and physical responses; in other words, a “gut feeling.” For some of us, the pull of intuition can lead to rash decisions or hours of agonizing deliberation. But our intuition isn’t out to hurt us, rather guide us. Formed as a cumulative response of past experiences, personal biases, and expectations, intuition is not a fool-proof, magical force; it is a reflection on our truest goals.

Listening to intuition is a full-body experience. When hit with a gut feeling, notice your body’s other reactions. Experiences like changes in heartbeat, breathing, and muscle tension are there for a reason. Be aware of your environment and the options you’re faced with, ask yourself if these options will further your personal success, or merely maintain the status quo as the “right thing to do.” Your intuition could be signaling that even though a decision may seem logical, it may not bring you closer to your core goals. Intuition may be formed from past experiences, successes and failures alike, but keep in mind that every situation is different and history does not always repeat itself.

Professional Intuition

In our modern world, especially in regards to business, analytical thinking is usually regarded above all else. Even as children we are taught to “consider all our options,” “look at the facts,” and perhaps most damaging of all, “don’t be emotional.” Understanding how to balance critical thinking and intuitive thinking by eliminating arbitrary expectations and prejudices leads to some of the most successful decision-making skills.

Among business executives, 63% say they rely on their intuition daily when it comes to decision making, supplementing their industry know-how with creativity and self-trust. For those of us working in fast-paced environments performing tasks and responsibilities we are familiar with, and even in our professional communication skills, having a well-formed level of intuitive thinking can go a long way. Author Malcolm Gladwell calls effective decision-making skills a healthy blend of “deliberate and instinctive thinking,” compounding on the powers of both to reach one’s highest utility.

Your intuition may be trying to tell you something –  are you ready to finally listen? No two people’s intuition looks exactly the same, but the more we reflect on our intuitive thought, the greater our self-trust will grow. Take a look at this infographic for more on the power of intuition, how to harness its strength, and use it to influence your personal success.


Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.