There is a difference between intuition and impulse.
Intuition lives in the GUT.
It is our primal sense, our animal body, and our deepest, wisest knowing.
Impulse lives in the MIND.
It is our fast-acting, scarcely-thinking state of reaction.
Both are valuable.
But I have yet to think of an instance when intuition has not served me and the world in a positive way…
Impulse, on the other hand, has given me a laundry list of moments I wish I could take back from the pages of time!
Impulse is handy if there is a hard or sharp object flying at you.
The physical realm and our physical safety is where impulse is most useful.
But when it comes to reacting or taking action in our lives based on the circumstances we find ourselves in, impulse is a slippery ledge…
Because though an impulse comes from the mind, it is not logical— it is based on emotion and desire, and biologically exists to instigate a reaction.
It usually begins with a thought…
… maybe “I need/want that!” or
“I don’t want to be here” or
“I’m so pissed off right now”…
and that thought swiftly becomes an action.
The trend I have noticed is that those actions generally are not in my best interest, or the best interest of the world at large.
Furthermore, those actions often become the source of either shame or guilt (or both).
(Side note: If you haven’t read my last article “Notice the Impulse” you can find it on my blog)
So what to do with this information?
And how can it help you live a healthier, happier life?
Here are 5 steps to tell the difference between Impulse & Intuition:
(saving yourself guilt, shame and pain in the process)
1. The initial step is to notice the feeling as it arises.
Notice. Get curious. Step into a place of wonder.
– What is this feeling that I must take action?
– Where is it coming from?
– What is underneath it?
2. Make the distinction between your intuitive voice and your impulsive voice.
– Where do you feel the nudge in your body?
– What is the potential aftermath of this action you’re about to take?
Identify which voice is currently taking up the airwaves in your ears.
3. Name either the impulse or intuition.
If you can do this, you give yourself an opportunity to weight any repercussions or effects of the action you’re about to take.
(If you’re still not sure which is which, see the tests below…)
4. A great test for an impulse is: Can it wait?
– What if i waited 10 minutes, or until tomorrow, or spoke to my best friend about it first
Very few things in this life are SO pressing that we must decide in this moment.
Often, its the stories we make up about the need to decide that create the tension, more so than the decision itself.
5. A great test for intuition is: Tune into your literal gut.
– Do you feel butterflies or a slight churning in your stomach?
– Do you feel nervous, excited or inspired?
If you ultimately determine that this is your intuition speaking, trust it.
Our intuition is often subtle, like an owl feather swept gently across your brow…
Our impulse is usually not so subtle, like a fallen branch to the head.
Are you loving this game? Hating it?
Do you have further ideas to share with me?
Please DO! I’d love to hear your thoughts, feelings and feedback on this.
Listening to our impulses often leads to regret and keeps us stuck in old patterns.
Listening to our intuition usually leads to growth and helps us expand.
Wishing your intuition a fruitful harvest season,