Trust Your Guts.

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Trusting your guts means trusting the instinctive feeling/signal your body sends you when you are making a wrong or right decision. You can call it intuition, instinct, hunch, gut feeling, deeper knowing or sixth sense; no matter what it is called, you know it when you feel it. Our gut feeling is buried deep in our minds, and hearing it will be hard for most of us. We are surrounded by noise, distracted by drama; we are not paying attention; hence, we can’t distinguish between signals and bandwidth. Oprah Winfrey once observed, “When the universe compels me toward the best path to take, it never leaves me with ‘Maybe,’ ‘Should I?’ or even ‘Perhaps.’ I always know for sure when it’s telling me to proceed—because everything inside me rises up to reverberate ‘Yes!’.

Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart. – Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  – Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Univesity Commencement Speech

In his illuminating book, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, American author and security specialist Gavin de Becker made the following observations about intuition and trusting our gut feeling. He observed:

The root of the word intuition, tuere, means “to guard, to protect. Intuition connects us to the natural world and to our nature. Freed from the bonds of judgment, married only to perception, it carries us to predictions we will later marvel at. “Somehow I knew,” we will say about the chance meeting we predicted, or about the unexpected phone call from a distant friend, or the unlikely turnaround in someone’s behavior, or about the violence we steered clear of, or, too often, the violence we elected not to steer clear of. “Somehow I knew…”.

Intuition is our most complex cognitive process and at the same time the simplest. It is knowing without knowing why.

Intuition heeded is far more valuable than simple knowledge. Intuition is a gift we all have, whereas retention of knowledge is a skill. Rare is the expert who combines an informed opinion with a strong respect for his own intuition and curiosity. Just as we look to government and experts, we also look to technology for solutions to our problems, but you will see that your personal solution to violence will not come from technology. It will come from an even grander resource that was there all the while, within you. That resource is intuition.

Intuition heeded is far more valuable than simple knowledge. Intuition is a gift we all have, whereas retention of knowledge is a skill.

In her book, Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable, co-founder of IT Cosmetics and the first female chief executive officer of a L’Oréal brand, Jamie Kern Lima shares an experience that exemplifies the value of trusting one’s gut. In the early days of starting her business, she had dealt with multiple rejections from vendors such as QVC and Sephora. She finally got her shot at QVC, but experts were advising her against showing models with real skin conditions to present her concealer product, but she trusted her guts. It was a risky move but it paid off eventually.

She writes:

QVC SAID NO for many years. Then when we finally got a yes, all the experts said my vision would never work. If I’d taken those years of rejection from QVC to heart, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to keep trying for a yes. When the opinions and words from the best experts didn’t align with what my gut was telling me, the safest and most tempting thing to do would have been to listen to their experience and track records.

One of the great lessons I learned was, when you have a truly new idea, product, or vision, it shouldn’t be surprising that experts won’t believe it will succeed. There’s simply no proof that it will. How could there be? It’s never been done before. Often experts who mean well haven’t actually created or built anything themselves. And, though they may believe they are visionaries, they often aren’t able to imagine the success of something they haven’t seen before. Had I known this earlier as an entrepreneur, I would have saved myself so many nights crying myself to sleep.

To venture into unmapped territory, sometimes we have to take the experts off the pedestal we’ve created in our minds for them, and put our intuition onto one. We have to be still and listen to that small, clear voice inside of us telling us what to do. And then have the confidence and courage to do it. These are the moments that define us. Had I listened to the experts, we might have hit a sales goal.

I truly believe our own gut instinct is one of our greatest superpowers. And we all have it! You have it right now! But one of the greatest challenges we often face is when our gut is telling us something completely different from what our head/heart/other people/the experts/the trolls on social media/friends/family/partners/coworkers are telling us—and we have to decide which to listen to. The key is being aware of the things that prevent us from listening to our intuition: past mistakes, self-doubt, other people’s opinions. These can cloud our instincts, but when you’re aware of them you’re able to take your power back. Every one of us has intuition, and the better we get at tuning in to it, the more we’re able to step into our authentic selves and our full power.

Every one of us has intuition, and the better we get at tuning in to it, the more we’re able to step into our authentic selves and our full power.

Instinct is what tells you how to finish the fight. When you’re listening to a mess of external directions, you’re going to end up trying a million little things, without complete confidence that any of them will work. But when you’re trusting yourself, you have the focus and efficiency to pinpoint the one big move that will do the job.


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All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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