It may seem simply incongruous that doubt and intuition can be the best of buddies. Yes, I mean firm best friends, and even allies.
It may even surprise you that they can dance together beautifully, with delicate interweaving synchronicity, and through their union create accuracy of meaningful perception. Together they can bring forth joy through supporting the positive unfolding of events in your life.
These two processes can happily hang out together, and in doing so help you choose your favourite flavour of ice-cream, inform you that that potential suitor is worth having dinner with, and offer insight into which particular new role is the juiciest path in life for you to take.
Yet the experience of self-doubt is the main reason many people claim they are not intuitive at all, or mistakenly believe they are not very adept at using their intuition in their lives. Being intuitive is a healthy and normal level of subtle awareness which we all use in our daily lives, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. The appearance of doubt is not an indicator that you are unintuitive or inaccurate with your intuition.
Usually, unless you have a free, natural or well experienced relationship with your intuition, the first thing that arises when you have an intuitive awareness is doubt. Even if you do have a great relationship with your intuitive awareness, doubt still arises.
Because doubt itself can and is a healthy function of intuition, and in fact can be the best friend of intuition. Healthy doubt is a function of your spirit and soul, your awareness, higher self (or however you name and relate to guiding consciousness), guiding you further and deeper.
The challenge is to learn to discern if the doubt which arises in the gap after intuition, is your ‘best friend’ variety of doubt, or its unfortunate nasty cousin – undermining, paralysing, derisive doubt. The latter is usually a function of either our inner critic or absorbed, internalised voices from those around us, our culture, our family or friends – voices which function as a way of keeping us fearfully or obediently in line. Our intuitive guidance is often opposed to such socially constructed limitation, seeking to liberate, inspire and free us to be healthier, more authentically ourselves and following our unique life path.
In contrast, the best friend version of doubt has a central role as a refiner of our intuitive awareness. Best friend doubt acts more like a steadying influence, allowing you to check your awareness, facts and deeper inner knowings. It is not there to put you down, shame you for your intuitive insight or guidance, but to help you gain more clarity about the intuition itself and how to utilise it. This form of doubt comes from the same deep, quiet core of yourself and your essence, that intuition itself both springs from and is serving.
When friendly doubt arises it calls us to enquire deeper into the intuition, coaches us closer to its message and guides us more accurately on our interpretation and actioning of intuitive messages, in our lives and in service to others. Without this refining guiding doubt it is much harder to action our intuitive guidance into life, and follow the guidance it seeks us to.
Of course not all intuitive messages are followed by doubt. Many intuitive knowings are clear, straightforward and easily received by our awareness. They are doubt-free! Our hearts and our bodies, speaking through our felt sense, (the inner awareness of our bodies of feelings and sensations) can respond to such accurate intuitions by giving a clear signal that ahh, yes, that intuition is right.
Friendly doubt can also show up as felt-sense awareness. Body sensations and feelings may feel like “yes, but…” or “this is not quite right, you are close but hone in more…” Or friendly doubt can be directly heard as knowing, or niggling or doubting voice in your mind which says, “mmm, I’m not sure this is accurate but you are close, go back and check……” This form of doubt is coaching you onwards.
I love my friendly doubt and am grateful to it. When I am exploring my own inner process, questioning an action to take, or working collaboratively with a client, I rely on my friendly doubt to help me refine my accuracy and clarity around the issue, options or random intuitive insights I receive. If there is no doubt following an intuition, and my body awareness says ‘yes’ when I check it for feedback and deeper awareness about the insight, then I know I am on target. If doubt arises, my body will confirm the doubt and I am encouraged to explore deeper, letting the first level of intuition open to the next one which is available, and so on, peeling back deeper layers of information and insight till doubt no longer arises. At this point, the accurate feedback loop which my body provides then gives me a consistent, peaceful and healthy ‘Yes’ to my intuition.
The other form of doubt, the hindering, nasty, turn-us- to- jelly-inside version, we all recognise with ease. It is usually a potent weapon of our inner critic or inner critical and repressive voices. It’s easy to recognise this bad cousin. It is snitchy, nasty, happy to tell you blatantly you are wrong, and to undermine any further exploration and enquiry into your intuitive awareness. It wants to halt your exploration right there.
Your best friend doubt is refining, encouraging, deepening and positive about exploring intuition. Nasty doubt hopes it can fatally wound it, kill off your awareness of intuition itself and keep you under its sharp, bony and critical thumb.
So next time you have intuitive insight, no matter how subtle or strong, and doubt follows, take a moment to check in with the nature of the doubt itself. Is it the best friend doubt or the nasty, jealous cousin fearing it will be out of work. The best friend has a message worth hearing, take some time to listen to it, probe deeper.
And importantly, please don’t automatically assume your intuitive message is wrong because doubt has shown up directly after intuition. The best friend variety is worth showing in the door of your awareness and cultivating a relationship with, is essentially supportive and will help your life to flourish.
Gradually learning to discern the difference between supportive and undermining doubt will cultivate an empowering new level of self-awareness which will bring you results and self-confidence and a deeper ability to trust yourself and your inner sources of guidance. Forming an alliance with friendly doubt is worth every moment of introspection and enquiry, to support you to live more peacefully, and more on your path, in every day.