Friday, October 25, 2013

Intuition - Does it help or hinder your decisions?

Do you think of yourself as intuitive? Do you wonder why your intuition does not serve you better? Shouldn’t it make your life easier? Shouldn’t it help you figure out the path you are supposed to walk on? In her widely acclaimed book The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron talks about intuition in a way that answers all these questions. Generally, being highly intuitive is thought to be a gift, a trait that can help us make better choices. 

Aron flips this commonly-held notion on its head. She says that highly intuitive people are, in fact, likely to falter when trying to uncover and discover their vocation. Why is this so? One of the main reasons is that being highly intuitive also means that we are hyper-aware of our inner voices speaking of countless possibilities. 

Deciding which of these voices to follow is very difficult. Aron says that our inner dialogue goes something like this: “Yes, it would be desirable just to serve others, thinking little of my material gain. But that rules out a lifestyle with time to pursue the finer things in life. And both exclude the actualizing of my artistic gifts. And I have always admired the quiet life, centred in family. Or should I be centred in the spiritual? But that is so up in the air when I admire a life close to the earth.” So, on and on these voices go, echoing the far reaches of our soul, speaking for all the people we might possibly become. 

Aron says: “If you’re flooded with such voices, you will probably have trouble with decisions of all sorts; very intuitive people usually do.” So, how can we resolve this tension, these threads pulling apart and never letting us weave our lives into a whole?  

Elaine Aron advocates pulling in the opposite direction by deliberately engaging our rational side. She asks us to pare down our never-ending list of options to two or three after evaluating the pros and cons of each choice. This approach makes us whole - it helps us bring into fruition some of the possibilities that are dormant within us. It also forces us into maturing and accepting that in one life, we can be anything we choose to be, but not everything.


  1. On this note.. I totally disagree with Elaine Aaron.... who is she to dictate anyone's pursuits!!!!... serving others.. finner things in life...

    1. Actually, what she is saying is that if you are very intuitive, you can get pulled among different parts of yourself. You are aware that you want to serve others. On the other hand, you may also feel the need to build a life focused on family, which could take time away from serving the community. While you might be able to do both to some extent, many times in life, you have to choose what you want to focus on. And being hyper-aware of all the different voices inside you makes it harder to choose. So, she was giving an example. She is not telling what someone should/shouldn't do.