thinking is a little-known but important trap to be careful of in decision
making. Let me tell you about my client Tom who illustrates this trap. When
making decisions, he tended to use more traditional ways, focusing on analytical
methods. He wasnít sure if intuition should play a role when making important
decisions. He couldnít tell the difference between intuition and when it was
something else. And frankly, he didnít trust his intuition all that much. The
problem was that he needed to expand the methods he used to make decisions.
We discovered that he had run into one of the obstacles to intuition: wishful
thinking. It turns out that many decisions he thought were intuitive were
actually wishful thinking. These decisions included smaller everyday decisions
as well as larger ones like making a big career change. Clearly, he needed to
learn more about how wishful thinking was interfering with his ability to make
strong decisions using his intuition.
Wishful thinking is when you want something so bad that you force it to happen.
Bypassing your intuition, you convince yourself that a situation is right,
forcing it to work. This type of thinking is so common that most of you have
probably experienced at some point in your life. So how do you know itís your
intuition and when itís wishful thinking? One of the biggest ways you can tell
itís your intuition is when youíre unattached or neutral about something.
While your intuition may guide you to do something that your rational mind would
find silly, it will communicate it in a very neutral way.
How do you know if youíve fallen into the well of wishful thinking?
When you really want something, itís essential to stay as neutral as possible
in order to tell the difference between your intuition and something else like
wishful thinking. Staying neutral is probably one of the toughest things for us
to do as humans with desires and wants. It is possible. It will take some
practice. Start by simply noticing how attached you are to the outcome of a
The more attached you are, the more likely you are to get caught in wishful
thinking. If the message of your intuition doesnít sound neutral, you canít
be sure that it truly is your intuition. It might be wishful thinking hiding
behind the mask of intuition. Keep paying attention and the messages of your
intuition will become clearer.
Suzan Bond, MA,
MSW, CPCC,. You may contact Suzan at
suzan[at]suzanbond.com or by phone at 312.654.8569.
* * *