Man.. If this isn’t me to a T, I don’t know what is. My gut is literally always telling me that something isn’t right, no matter what the situation is. I have been that way for as long as I can remember. My anxiety is so high at all times; it’s sometimes hard to enjoy life. My mind immediately goes to worst-case-scenario. Things could be going so great, and I will be sitting there wondering what bad thing is going to happen next… Because there’s no way that my life could be that great, right?
- the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
One Love has a great article on trusting your gut, what it means, and certain factors that can cause you to second guess yourself and your instincts. Your “gut instinct” is something that you just know; you don’t need to think it over, or get a second opinion. According to the article, the biggest interferer of trusting your intuition, is overthinking. I can relate to that on a whole other level. I overthink everything. Every. Little. Thing. It also says that your judgment could be clouded based on prejudices and biases– basing things on past experiences, rather than the now. I understand that, too. I base a lot of my thoughts and actions/reactions on what has happened to me in the past. The article states that trusting your gut is essentially trusting yourself. That’s hard. Especially when you have low self-esteem and are very self-conscious. Childhood/Teenage trauma is the “most complex and powerful of all the culprits”. If you went through trauma at a young age, you tend to bring it with you into adulthood, and it could be hard to trust yourself enough, because you often feel like you’re the one to blame.
“The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind” (Inc). However, when you are making a decision based on your gut feeling, there is no guarantee that it will result in the desired outcome. Trusting your gut is extremely irrational. You can’t know for sure if you are making the correct decision, and once decisions are made, it’s hard to take them back,
Inc goes on to explain the different kinds of ‘thinking preferences’, and how people interpret data and how their intuitiveness is deciphered.
“Social thinkers tend to be intuitive by nature. This makes sense, as their thinking revolves around people and relationships, which are not exactly quantifiable. Generally, you can feel good about trusting the social thinkers’ guts when it comes to people-related issues.
Conceptual thinkers may not be able to “show their work” or otherwise explain why they know something. Having a lot of conceptual thinking in your brain is like being the person who could answer the math problem without showing the teacher how you arrived at the answer. They just know. The dots are all connected inside their mind. As long as they understand, that’s good enough.
Analytical thinkers are the opposite of social thinking with regard to intuition. After all, why on earth would anyone make a decision based on anything but sound logic and data analysis? They’d rather have all the information and make a decision from there. But when they have to go with their guts they are actually more accurate than they think because their gut filters through the logical neural-pathways of their brain.
Structural thinkers are often intuitive about time and dates. They are likely to have a good sense of how long a project will take, how long a meeting will last, or what time to leave for an appointment across town. Don’t have a structural preference? Pay attention to someone in your office/home who does. They have the innate ability to understand these things and can help prevent you from putting too many things to do in one day.”
I believe I am a combination of an Analytical and a Structural thinker. Albeit, I am occasionally 😬 late for things, I am pretty good at determining how long something will take. I am very analytical. I think things through probably 4-5 times before I make any sort of decision. I run through all of the possible outcomes; It’s like I have a playbook in my head. I do, however, feel like I can read people pretty well, too, so maybe I have a touch of social thinking, as well.
All-in-all, the best way to naturally follow your gut, is with practice. Just like with any skill, you must practice in order to perfect it. For people like me, anxiety makes it extremely hard to trust yourself enough to follow your intuition. Most of the time, you just end up feeling paranoid. Many articles say that when a situation arises and you’re given the opportunity to heed advice from your gut, the best thing to do is breathe, relax, clear your head, and listen to your heart… but sometimes, your heart can be misleading..
What do you think about trusting your intuition?
Do you tend to follow your heart or your gut?
Is it easy for you to trust your gut? Why?