Stepping Stones Coaching
Stepping Into Transition
   May 2006  

in this issue

The Difference Between Intuition And Assumption

Tools To Help You Know The Difference

This Month's Quote And Recommended Reading

Published by Philip Okrend, CPCC Certified Personal And Professional Coach

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   Dear Readers,

Welcome to Stepping Into Transition, the newsletter designed to help you navigate your way through the challenges of change into an authentic and empowered life.

  • The Difference Between Intuition And Assumption
  •   On the surface both intuition and assumptions deal with the unknown. Whenever you make an assumption or intuition, you are operating without the evidence of hard facts or data to support your opinions or decisions. That is where the similarity ends. These two approaches are worlds apart and knowing the differences can help you in finding more joy in your life while reducing your exposure to negativity and suffering.

    We make assumptions when we try to force an answer to something we are unsure about. For example, we may want to know why a person is acting a certain way, and draw an assumption to find an answer. Making that assumption ends the search for an answer, offers the relief we want, and we form a perspective or view around that assumption.

    The problem is that assumptions are often unfair assessments of people and/or situations. We can make judgments and build resentments against ourselves and others all based on our need to find an answer. All this however comes from a lack of trust, and is strained, forced and ultimately disempowering. The need to make an assumption can be checked very simply by asking questions and getting clarification about the truth of a matter. Don Miguel Ruiz in his wonderful book, The Four Agreements expands on the concept that assumptions are self limiting and rob us of joy.

    Intuition unlike assumptions is based on trust. Trusting your intuition is surrendering to an inner knowing that is not necessarily based on logic or thinking. It often comes to you in the form of a feeling, sensation or image. Intuition is not emotionally charged or full of urgency. Rather intuition is effortless and feels as though you are divinely guided to find what is right and true. As we learn to trust our intuition, we tend to make better decisions, and expand our capacity to serve both ourselves and others.

  • Tools To Help You Know The Difference
  •   Listen To Your Body

    To tell whether your decision is intuitive or based on an assumption, notice the internal signals that your body sends you. An assumption carries a need for resolution. It has a forced, worried or strained feeling to it while an intuitive response feels relaxed and effortless.

    So look at your breathing. Is it effortless or strained? Are your muscles relaxed or tense? On a general level, Do you feel more open or more shut down in your body? Start paying attention because your body is a great source of wisdom to let you know whether what you are doing is assuming or intuitive.

    Practicing Patience

    The key to accessing intuition and the avoidance of assumption making is the willingness to relax and wait. Don't give in to the urge to react and sum up a situation, making it likely that you will make an assumption. Allow right action to emerge from a state of relaxation, trust and flow.

  • This Month's Quote And Recommended Reading
  •   Quote

    "If you relax, you accept; acceptance of existence is the only way to relax."


    Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about how we often think without thinking and make important and complex decisions in the blink of an eye. The author contends that great decision makers aren't those who spend the most time deliberating or processing the most information. He gives stories and examples from business to popular culture. An interesting and enjoyable read.

    I hope you enjoyed this edition of Stepping Into Transition. Look out for the next issue, "Seeing Vulnerability As Strength." Until next time....Phil

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