Listen here (or read, below)…
This feels like a good place to start. Because I feel the best work we do is when we’re acting on intuition, rather than doing what we think we should.
You’re in the early days of running a business. And you’re hearing it’s good to have a social media presence. So you spend a few hours a week scheduling social media posts.
You find it boring. And you don’t see results. But you do it, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Well, how about if you just didn’t? And instead, you waited until an idea dropped into your head; something really engaging, related to your industry, that people would want to discuss?
Maybe a controversial thought. Or a post inspired by a news article you just read. Or an anecdote that you’ve just remembered, that might teach people something new about how you work/live.
This might happen once a week, or a few times a month. But it may well happen more often if you remove the pressure of having to schedule a certain amount of posts per day/week.
When you’re able to access your intuition, in terms of work, you’ll have an idea – for something big like a new product/service or small, like a tweet – and it will give you butterflies. It will feel so strong and clear.
BUT if we’re a bit lacking in confidence, this can create a barrier. And that exciting, free-flowing idea generation process can stall or disappear.
So, if you feel like you just don’t get many ideas, or don’t really understand intuitive working, here are some ideas for activating your intuition:
- Engage with culture – listen to a podcast, read a book; novel or non-fiction, poetry. Buy a magazine or newspaper, read a blog on anything you find interesting or exciting, watch a TV series.
- Move in nature – sitting at a computer all day will not help you to generate ideas. So go for a walk in the park, or the beach/woods – whatever is nearby. Go with no intention. Except to observe: how does it look, smell, feel, sound? Move your body. Jump, shake your limbs.
- Chat to someone – the best way to find inspiration, I find, is by chatting to people I share interests with. So if there’s someone you love to chat to, who you find really interesting, ask them what they’re into at the moment; what they can recommend for you to watch/listen to/eat/do.
Once you’re engaging with people, nature and culture – and this should be an on-going practice – you will find ideas come to you more easily.
What to do with your ideas
So, it’s great when your mind is flooded with ideas but what if you’re too busy with other stuff – day job, kids, shopping etc – to bring this amazing new project to fruition?
Firstly, get out your phone or notebook and record the idea. Use voice notes, and speak about it. Or write down some bullet points.
Anchor that intuitive buzzing feeling
What I sometimes find hard is that I’ll be brimming with excitement as I find a solution to a problem, or an idea for a new product, so I note it down but then, when I’m free to work on it, I don’t have the same energy for it. It feels flat.
So I’ve designed an exercise that will help you to anchor that buzzy feeling.
You will need:
1 x scented object
This could be a scented candle, pouch of dried lavender, a scented oil. I have a roll-on oil from Aisha Carrington’s online shop, which has: lavender, frankincense, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, clary sage. It smells heavenly.
You need to carry this around with you.
Because when you have that lightbulb moment; that creative spark – you pull out your scented object.
As you’re running through the idea in your mind, hold the object close and sniff the amazing smell.
Breathe it in.
Feel that excited butterfly sensation in your belly as you solidify your idea, while smelling your candle/oil etc.
Now, record your idea: voice notes, or pen and paper.
And then hold onto that feeling for a moment longer, again breathing in the smell of your scented object.
What you’re doing is anchoring that sensation of excitement, delight, thrill.
And when you are able to start putting your idea into practice – you pull out your notes/recording and your scented object. And when you smell it, it should take you back to that same high-vibe feeling you had as you recorded the idea.
Intuitive working sometimes takes time to get into.
When we’re in the earlier stages of business, or embarking on something new, it can feel overwhelming; there’s always so much to do.
But the idea with working intuitively is that you are slowing down, observing yourself and the world around you – and allowing your energy to guide your work.
Because sitting down to start a new project when you’re feeling depleted won’t result in your best work. But waiting until the next day, when you’ve had a better night’s sleep, just might.
And many of us waste a lot of time on the GO GO GO, when really we should be putting everything into the work we feel inspired by, and letting go of the stuff that doesn’t bring us joy/fulfilment/satisfaction.
That might look like outsourcing, or it might look like just not doing it (if that’s possible – tax return is non-negotiable; engaging on social media is, for instance).