The Unglamorous Side of Intuition

Intuition is only as useful as your willingness to take the leap and listen to it. Even when it is uncomfortable and most certainly when it is inconvenient.

The stories of not getting on the plane that crashed because someone “had a feeling” are incredible because most of us WOULD have brushed or buried whatever feeling aside and have still gotten on the plane. The ticket was purchased, good money was paid, there was somewhere to be — why not get on the plane?!

If you’re serious about honing your intuition, be willing to be uncomfortable. Following it might lead to:

  • Telling your riding instructor that you’re going to be late to your lesson because your horse needs to be lunged more before you get on
  • Telling your instructor that you’d rather pass on your riding lesson today because you neither like nor trust your horse’s behavior
  • Buy the horse anyways
  • Call the vet/farrier/body worker out anyways, even when there is no logical or seen reason to do so

If I am being honest with myself, the times I have gotten hurt from a horse, I knew I shouldn’t have gotten on the horse to begin with. Every. Single. Time.

Developing your intuition doesn’t begin with the “big” decisions like to ride or not to ride or to call the vet out or buy the horse anyways. It starts with following through on the little nudges.

Nudges like–

  • Reaching out to the person on your mind
  • Having the uncomfortable conversation you’ve been dreading for weeks
  • Doing the chores around the house that you have been putting off

If you don’t honor the nudges (which come from your intuition) in these little ways, it will be a lot harder to follow your intuition in larger ways.

Take Action:

  • What are the conversations you are avoiding? With whom? List them out and take steps to have those conversations. Don’t put them off any longer.
  • Who are 5 people that you have been meaning to reach out to be haven’t yet? Reach out to them.
  • Where else in your life do you feel unease? Why? the question out until something comes to you.



Are You Brave or Are You Confident?

“You don’t have to be a brave rider to be a confident rider. Brave does not equal confident.”

Heather Blitz told me this after helping me onto a squirrel-y horse who then proceeded to dump me. It changed my life.

It took a few days (and lowered adrenaline levels) to unpack what she ways saying to me. For most of my life I have been the brave rider. The kid over-mounted and growing timid, but it’s that horse or no horse. Riding the horse — or else– was what I was accustomed to.

And yet– here was Heather giving me an out to riding my own horse.

Elsewhere (especially if you’re in any personal development circles), boundaries are often discussed, whether they are with a family member, boss or friend. Seldom do we ever discuss boundaries with ourselves.

To move from a brave rider to a confident rider, I realized needed to start by telling myself no more often–

  • No, “things will probably be OK” is not a good enough reason to get on the horse (it never is)
  • No, “but I’m told to (or obligated to, in the case of a lesson)” is not a good enough reason to ride (when I get hurt, it’s almost always in those scenarios)
  • No, “but there is no one else” is not a reason to swing a leg over the saddle. (there are many options to get energy out and further training. Pick a different option.)

And I need to start saying YES to the right things–

  • YES the boundaries I sent with myself are valid
  • YES the expectations I have for my horse are worth upholding
  • YES, doing those things don’t make me less of a rider or horse person

I am still finding my way from brave to confident, but I CAN become a confident rider now, thanks to the distinction Heather drew for me.

Boundaries with ourselves are powerful agents for growing confidence in our own abilities. The more frequently we are able to keep the commitments we make to ourselves (even in the small things, like eating a leaf of lettuce at dinner), the greater our belief in our own abilities.

Our belief in ourselves grows over time from successfully upholding smaller commitments. For example, instead of making the commitment never to eat sugar again for as long as you live, start with something smaller. Say, instead of having your regular white chocolate mocha in the morning, decide to go for a plain ol’ boring latte.

What commitments do you need to make to yourself today?