Each of us has two decision making modes: the analytical and the intuitive. The analytical relies on conscious reasoning to guide our decision making. The intuitive looks to the totality of our senses to go beyond our conscious reasoning and find deeper-rooted insight to decisions and challenges with which we are faced.
Analytical and intuitive thinking are both powerful, and both serve unique purposes. They aren’t mutually exclusive, yet are intertwined. The aim is to find the balance between the two because when used in harmony, they open up limitless possibilities.
So, when should you be favoring intuition over reason, and when should you be leaning more on your analytical mind? The answer isn’t cut and dry because it’s different for everyone, but there are a few steps you can take to finding that perfect balance.
Are you tapped into your intuition?
You can’t find a balance between your two modes if you’re not actively practicing and strengthening your intuition. So the first step in balancing the two is actually to work on quieting your analytical mind so that you can fully connect with your intuitive intelligence..
Taking time for stillness or listening to a guided meditation can help quiet your mind and achieve stillness. When you achieve stillness, you are able to take inventory of how you authentically feel when you’re connected with your intuition rather than the analytical. Do you feel a physical sensation like a tingling? Or maybe you’re able to see your inner self as a physical form interacting with you. By disconnecting from the analytical mind, your own unique set of strengths that drive the connection to your intuition can have a voice. This is your way of knowing when your intuition is speaking to you.
Are you weighing external factors?
Your analytical mind comes with a good amount of bias. That’s because it’s based on your past experiences, your preconceptions, and often societal and cultural pressures of what you should think or feel.
When you’re faced with a situation that makes you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, write a list of the factors you know are influencing your decision making. Did you encounter a similar situation in the past and are having trouble separating it from your current one? Are you looking for external validation from your friends, family, or coworkers? These are all external factors that our analytical mind takes into account in the process.
Our intuition works differently. It’s designed to heed cues from our authentic feelings and inclinations about a situation – rather than listen to the influence of external factors. So if your list starts to become a lengthy one, your intuition will have a harder time to be your unbiased guide to the right path.
Are you emotionally attached?
Emotional attachment coincides with external factors, but it’s so powerful it needs its own category. What we mean here is that your external self is attached to a certain outcome in a situation or is tied to a particular answer.
Maybe you’re up for a promotion at your current job, but it comes with caveats like a relocation and increased work hours. Your conscious reasoning, your analytical mind is going to be attached to the idea of taking that promotion at all costs. After all, you’ve probably worked extremely hard for years to move forward in your career.
But tapping into our intuition we have the opportunity to put that emotional attachment aside to listen to what path forward will benefit our deepest needs and desires. By removing the emotional attachment, we can see things with clarity and less bias when making decisions in every aspect of our lives.
Finding the balance of an analytical and intuitive approach is a critical step in striking the balance, and it’s far from impossible. When you learn to separate them — and in turn be able to leverage both — you’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to tackle major decisions, negotiate and navigate every crossroad you encounter.