What if Intuition Fails?
I recently had a client that came to my office because she just feels sick. Nothing specific. Her medical doctor cannot find anything wrong with her. I got an intuitional hit and told her what I thought was going on and gave her some things to do. It did not work. She is not feeling better. I really thought I knew what was going on—I was so confident–but now I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. I was so sure and now I am embarrassed to see her again. I depended on my intuition and it failed me.
Well congratulations. You are making mistakes. This is very good. You are in excellent and esteemed company.
Nuclear physicist, Niels Bohr, was visiting with students after guest lecturing at Harvard in the late 1950’s. He was bristling at the introduction the university president had given him calling Bohr “…an expert among experts…” Bohr told the students “… an expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” Bohr felt that that was the kind of expert he was. He had made all the mistakes he could make and he felt it was his mistakes that made him the expert in the field.
I love Bohr’s comprehension of this. It is very supportive of the process of becoming.
Intuition is a skill that needs to be developed and your right to be wrong is one of your most precious teachers in this development. I have a post-it on my office bulletin board, credited to Dr. David Burns. It says: “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up the right to be wrong, because you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.” Think about it… when you are right – or when you think you are right – you stop looking for a solution. Being right stops the energy of searching.
I encourage you to ride this feeling of discomfort and embarrassment and make over those uncomfortable sensations into the perpetual heart of a beginner. A beginner’s heart is comfortable with making mistakes.
The young man asked an old wise man:
“How did you get to be so wise?”
“By making wise choices,” the wise man said.
“How did you know they were wise choices?”
“Why, by experience of course,” replied the old wise man.
“How did you get the experience?”
“By making poor choices!” exclaimed the old man.
Buddhist teaching, author unknown
P.S. By the way, you may not be “wrong” at all… you may be on the right track in understanding this problem for your client. Resolution comes in all shapes and sizes and always in it’s own time. Issues can slowly dissolve and because we may not always have a measurement for slow dissolution… it does not mean that the client is not moving in the right direction.