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7 Ways to Tune Into Your Intuition and Stop Second-Guessing Yourself

***GUEST POST*** Written by Samantha Rajchel M.S.W., R.S.W.

Have you noticed feeling anxious, stressed, defeated or insecure despite your best intentions to support your baby/child? Do you question your parenting decisions and second guess yourself? Learning to tap into your intuition may help. Read on to discover the meaning of tuning into intuition, its benefits, and how to practice exercising this muscle.

Let’s first talk about some issues that may prevent us from tuning into our intuition and the reasons why it’s so important that we learn to do so. The endless influx of information about what it means to be a “good mom” and what’s healthy or unhealthy for your baby’s development, learning, mental health, and growth is overwhelming. Various sources claim to provide the ultimate solution for your baby, toddler, or child. But the reality is, one size does not fit. Which is why you may find lots of the advice out there to be unhelpful or not applicable.

In addition, parents juggle daily expectations, standards and unsolicited opinions from various sources, be it explicit messages or judgmental looks.

Do you also find that you can sometimes be your own worst critic? This inner critic is often developed by our childhood experiences and is maintained throughout our lives. We are filled with “shoulds” and “musts” leading us to get stuck in repeating our old destructive habits over and over again. The louder the voice of our inner critic, the harder it becomes to hear our intuition.

The good news is, everyone possesses intuition. Yes, you too! When we start to master our inner critics, it becomes easier to “hear” our intuition. It’s important to learn to listen to it because at the end of the day, you are the best parent for your child, you spend the most time with your child and YOU know your child best. Want to know how to tell what choices are best for your child and family? Keep reading. 

What is Intuition?

When talking about intuition, think about your gut feeling, that sense of what feels right. It represents our true selves and deepest values. It’s a voice we are often quick to dismiss, not recognize, or distrust. Its often silenced by our overpowering inner critic (that voice in your head that doubts your choices and tells you another mom would have done it better).

What are some of the benefits of tapping into our Intuition?

First and foremost, our intuition helps us figure out what we really need and prioritize these needs in order to take care of ourselves and others, while we go through difficult times. It tells us to prioritize ourselves, to stop and rest before we exhaust ourselves completely. Exhausting ourselves will result in our inability to care for others, too. Intuition helps us set appropriate boundaries, and not say yes when we really want to say no.

Our intuition helps us develop confidence, make decisions, and find answers to problems. It also helps us find the confidence to recognize and own up to our mistakes, learn from them, and know when it’s time to ask for support. Intuition helps us move towards who and what is important to us and filter through information that does not align with our values. It allows us to identify what our values are and why something is important to us. It allows us to be our authentic selves and connect with others on a deeper level. Connecting with our intuition leads to more genuine connections, satisfaction, and joy in life and relationships, a more balanced lifestyle, and an overall sense of well-being.

How to tune into our intuition and strengthen this muscle

Start Small

What’s one small thing that you can do right now to move towards being more in tune with your intuition? Simply telling yourself you would like to connect to your intuition or reading about this topic is a great start.

Practice Stillness

It is easier said than done, but you can do it and will get better at it with practice. You can start with 1-2 minutes a day, or 1-2 minutes a week. Whatever is realistic for you right now. You can do this while you are taking a quick shower or while your baby is napping. Anything that involves thinking doesn’t count, distractions like TV, your phone, or podcasts don’t count. It’s more about being and less about doing. The quieter we become the more we can hear our inner voices, both our inner critic and our intuition. The quieter we become, the more we can start to hear, feel, and trust our intuition.

(Re)Connect To Your Values

 Brainstorming a list of who and what’s important to you can help you stay centered and focused. It can help you recognize whether your actions are in line with your values that are connected with your intuition. For example, think of what’s most important for you when it comes to parenting. What response now would make you proud when you reflect on it in a year or two? Which values would you like to model and instill in your children? What matters most to you? And What do you already know about your children and their needs? 

It could also help you connect with those people that are important to you and lift you up, as well as to set boundaries with those that fill you with shame and criticism. For example, think of the people that empower you, lift you up, and contribute to your worth. What are some ways you can move closer to them and hear them out? Then, set healthy boundaries with those that don’t add to your growth. Say, “No” or “thank you, I got this”. 

Practice Accessing Your Intuition By Quieting The Mind

You may do this by practicing activities such as yoga or meditation. You can also practice simple grounding by tapping into your senses, one such exercise is the 5,4,3,2,1 Grounding activity. Try it now! Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can taste, or 1 thing you can smell. You may also assign a spot at home with essential oils, or anything else you may find soothing and grounding.

Try Journaling 

This practice helps to note the chatter that goes on inside of us. We may notice our inner critic and how it came to be. We may also notice the information that our intuition is trying to give us. You don’t have to write full sentences or spend hours doing this. Write two or three words a day. There is no right or wrong way of journaling. Do what works for you and you will see it will make a difference.

  • Does opening a journal and writing on a blank page feel daunting to you?  You are not alone. Try some of these journaling prompts:
  • What is my inner critic saying? How does it sound, who does it sound like? Where did it come from? 
  • How does my inner critic make me feel? How does this impact my reactions or motivation?
  • What is my intuition saying? How does it sound, who does it sound like? Where does it come from?
  • How does what my intuition affect my feelings, reactions, and motivation?
  • Are there any particular times I may have benefited from listening to my intuition? Will there be any beneficial times in the future? How would it help?

Practice Self-compassion.

Self-compassion practice is the key antidote to silencing our inner critic. Dr. Kristin Neff introduces us to three elements of self-compassion: Mindfulness, Common Humanity, and Loving Kindness. With mindfulness, we can start to notice our self-critical and shaming voice without judgment and start to get curious about where it comes from. Our Common Humanity reminds us we are not alone, that suffering is inevitable, and that we are all imperfect human beings. Loving Kindness is about learning to speak to ourselves in a more kind and loving way, the way we would talk to our best friend. 

So, Self-compassion helps us feel heard, soothed, validated, and understood. It quiets our inner critic and allows us to arrive at a place of calm and wisdom. It’s about loving ourselves unconditionally, with our failures and mistakes. It helps us learn from our mistakes and find ways to move forward. Self-compassion creates space for us to be able to access our intuition, utilize our knowledge and tools, and know what we need to do moving forward. Remember, self-compassion is a process that must be fostered with patience and compassion. If you want to learn more about self-compassion, you can visit Dr. Kristin Neff’s website. Here are two of my favorite self-compassion exercises you can try: Self-Compassion Break (5 minutes) and Light RAIN in Difficult Times (9:31 minutes). 

Daily Self-promises

Make a list of one daily promise you would like to commit to and follow through for a week, then two weeks, then a month. A daily promise can be practicing one of the above strategies. Daily promises can help us build trust in ourselves. When we realize we can commit to one thing, we feel motivated to then commit to something else. It’s important to be realistic and start small, and to persist through downfalls. For example, break down tasks into little realistic, baby steps, celebrate achievements.  Then, when you fail to achieve or you make a mistake, instead of saying “oh I already made this mistake and couldn’t commit to what I said I would, what’s the point of continuing trying?” We can try saying, “Alright I made this mistake and I can recognize this, have compassion for myself and keep ongoing”.

Things To Consider About This Practice

If you find it hard to find the motivation to practice this work, find it confusing, triggering or upsetting it can be helpful to do this work with the help of a loved one or a professional such as a registered therapist.

It’s important to remember that while this work may be simple, it is not easy (and may not feel so simple!). 

Everything that we do requires practice. Tapping into our intuition is a muscle that must be worked out. We can’t simply wake up one day and be able to do this. The more you practice recognizing and tapping into your intuition, the stronger this muscle will become and the more likely you will be to use it automatically. 

You are not expected to get it all right, right away, or all the time. The goal is not to achieve perfection. We are always going to make mistakes, it’s a part of being human.

It’s okay to take breaks and practice tapping into your intuition at your own pace. 

The more we practice the easier it will be to access it in difficult moments. 

We all need a bit of help from time to time. Asking for help does not make you weak. It takes courage and strength. 

We All Have Intuition

Reconnecting with, and tapping into our intuition requires us to take a pause and quiet our minds and those overpowering external noises. When we tune into our intuition we gain access to our own knowledge and wisdom, and space to make choices that align with our values. To tune into our intuition means reconnecting with our wisest inner selves and allowing it to guide us and take charge instead of fear, judgment or guilt. Tapping into our intuition has incredible benefits, and you can realize them by exercising that muscle using the strategies provided here. By no means does tapping into our intuition mean we won’t make mistakes or make the wrong judgment calls. 

When we tune into our intuition, we recognize when we do make a mistake, be kind and gentle with ourselves, so that we can learn from the mistake and do better next time. It also allows us to reach out for help when we need to. Our wisest selves help us acknowledge our intrinsic worth and value, identify and honor our needs and the needs of others, and stop second guessing ourselves. 

Did you like this post? Comment below and let us know, which tip will you start with as your first step towards reconnecting with your intuition?

Samantha Rajchel, M.S.W., R.S.W. is a Social Worker, Psychotherapist. She specializes in helping women struggling with parenting concerns, anxiety, stress, feelings of insecurity, relationship difficulties or old wounds from past traumas. Samantha is passionate about empowering women to feel equipped and confident to achieve their goals and live in accordance to their values. She helps you get a deeper understanding of your situation, guide you through emotions and experiences, practice self-compassion and learn to accept, trust and love your authentic self. Her services are available in English and Spanish.

You can learn more about Samantha on her website: www.samantharajchel.com 

Get started on your intuitive sleep journey: Download the Normal Baby Sleep Guide HERE.

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