Why trusting your intuition can help you succeed in the workplace

Do you listen to your intuition? “Yes, of course!” you might say, “Everyone does!” But talk is cheap. The real question is: do you act on your intuition? If you don’t, what’s stopping you? Why should you trust your inner voice?

We all have an inner voice to guide us, but not everyone listens to it as much as they should. How loud does yours need to be before you follow it?

I’ve been guilty of ignoring the “laser beam” insights of my intuition, and I also often meet people who sit on theirs. They wait for the right moment to “unleash” it, only to waste the moment because something blocks them from acting or speaking up. But sometimes listening to your intuition and following its wisdom is the best course of action!

Listening to your intuition can be a challenge

Recently, I worked with a client—let’s call her Angela—who was a publicist. She was good at her job and knew how to get great media exposure by following her intuition and marrying the right journalist with the right pitch.

Angela had a client who owned a well-known company and felt the need to be “famous” along with the brand. This client was rude, insistent, and demanding, and kept asking for stories and coverage that would harm the company’s brand.

Angela knew that if she was bullied into following her client’s orders, it would undo the brand’s credibility and the following she had worked so hard to achieve. She would have to clean up the aftermath or risk losing the account, but if she didn’t listen to her client, she might lose the account anyway.

She didn’t like confrontation, and this was pushing her out of her emotional comfort zone. Why? At school, she was severely bullied because she was seen as sensitive and weak, so she learned to hide and stay quiet to avoid painful verbal assaults.

Angela found it safer to remain voiceless. Nevertheless, she excelled in publicity because she delivered her work mainly in writing. She also believed that speaking up would bring criticism and humiliation. Yet she had attracted the very situation she had wanted to avoid: a bully client who would complain and boss her around.

The power of trusting to your intuition

Angela realised that she needed to break this pattern. She didn’t like how she was repeatedly making herself a people pleaser and undermining what she really wanted to say.

She also recognised that this story was repeating itself throughout her life, so she wrote down all the times when similar situations had happened before. She decided to make a change and act differently the next time this situation arose. She visualised herself being heard and respected for her ideas, by this client and by others.

Angela stood up to the client, confidently and firmly saying that she would not proceed with the proposed campaign. Instead, she offered another option, trusting her intuition on what she felt was the right course of action. She explained what the client could expect and why.

The result?

The client backed down without any tantrums. The campaign was a huge success and everyone came out a winner.

    Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
    — Steve Jobs

    Steps toward trusting your intuition at work

    Angela implemented a few steps to help her speak up, already knowing what her intuition was telling her. These steps worked for her, and they can work for you too!

    Try the following steps and see how they help you with listening to your intuition:

    1. Identify the belief that’s limiting you. It helps to write down your situation and see if this has happened before. History tends to repeat itself.
    2. Create a quiet space to let your intuition speak. Take micro breaks from work, plug in some headphones, listen to classical music, and imagine yourself taking a peaceful stroll through the forest. Listen to that inner voice and let it convey its ideas.
    3. Practice speaking up in the workplace with confidence. Think about it this way: if you don’t speak up, others can’t benefit from your ideas and suggestions!

    If you need help identifying this feeling, read how to listen to your intuition.

    add your comment

    What happened when you followed the steps above? Have you ever used your intuition to help make important decisions at work? How did you decide to follow that 'feeling' instead of logic? Share your experiences in the comments below, I'd love to hear them.