At some point in our lives, we have all been given the professional advice to “go with your gut”, something that is really challenging to carry out sometimes. Is this a good piece of advice, though? Can we trust our gut instinct?
Why is gut instinct so powerful?
From the moment you were born, your gut has been storing an endless amount of information. Trusting your gut means that you are putting your faith in this collection of subconscious, lifetime experiences. You have been drawing from these gut instincts all your life, without even realizing it. These are insights that aren’t readily available in your conscious mind at a specific moment, but are things that you’ve felt and learned at some stage as you were growing up. While we might not be able to explain a particular piece of information at a specific time, the information we’re looking for is readily available in our gut.
Most people who go with their gut feelings are happy with their decision. Not having to over-think every move you make can save plenty of time and mental energy. Here’s how you can start to trust your gut instinct:
Take time to think things over
Any time that you need to make a decision about something, take a little time to think it through first. Tell people that you need to sleep on it, that you will let them know the next day what you’ve decided to do, and then do just that. Spend time on your own and let your mind just wander. Your gut will let you know if you’ve ever been in this situation before, and it will help you to make that correct, all-important decision.
If you have to make a big decision or a tough choice at some time, set yourself a limit of say 30 minutes to think about it. When the 30 minutes is up, you will be forced to go with your gut instinct to make the decision.
Can we trust our gut instinct when we’re nervous?
Nervousness causes many people to freeze up and be unable to function properly. If this is how you react in stressful situations, then make a mental note of exactly how you feel at those times. Be honest and tell yourself that you’re feeling extremely nervous at that moment, and/or that you’re unsure about what’s going to happen next. Make a point of developing these emotional labeling skills, because they will help you to recognize what your gut is telling you what to do.