Biofeedback pioneers, Elmer and Alyce Green, coined the phrase passive volition to describe this shift. When faced with a task like animal communication, the mind thinks it needs to produce results at all costs and stays in active mode. It's similar to someone who is nervous in a social situation and so keeps on mindlessly talking rather than listening. To solve this, the Greens recommend actively clearing the mind first so that you can passively receive information. This effectively removes you from the responsibility of producing results.
Researcher, Kenneth Batcheldor, also found the major impediment to psychic ability was this ownership inhibition — when people feel they are personally responsible for making things happen. When people worry about personal failure, their psychic abilities drop. When they believe they are not in control of the outcomes, their scores improve. This is why people have such success with methods that take the responsibility out of their hands, like crystal balls, tarot cards, and even calling in help from angels. Helen Palmer, founder of the Center for Investigation and Training of Intuition, agrees and recommends using an inanimate object, like a rock or leaf, to give you the information.
Maybe your pet rock has a new purpose in life?