Do you listen to your gut feeling?
The most logical choice may not be your best course of action. During those times, either you follow your gut feeling or decide to dismiss it. When you’re in the moment, going with your hunch takes trust and courage.
Theory and research guide you down a logical, strategic path. However, even science and research gets disproved as new evidence emerges. Sometimes you need to disregard the data when your gut instinct pulls you in the opposite direction.
Different names, same game
Whether you call it a gut feeling, a hunch, ESP, sense of knowing, or a thought which suddenly pops into your mind, they are all one and the same. Intuition.
Learn to recognize your gut feeling. It’s worthy of your attention.
Similar to any other tool or skill, your intuition can be developed. Virgin founder, Richard Branson, claims, “I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.”
Don’t fully dismiss all logical information. Rather, consider combining the best of both worlds. First, research your options. Then, check in with your gut. It’s a way of making informed, logical decisions that feel right.
The path to mastery
Intuition. During the early start-up stages, as you’re navigating the ins and outs of your business, notice when you rely on your instincts.
Insight. As your business grows, you gain experience. Your insights offer a competitive advantage. You’re now capable of uncovering solutions that less experienced entrepreneurs overlook.
Mastery. Mastery is a process, not a destination. You consistently challenge your capabilities, test for better processes and innovate new solutions. At this level, you’ve internalized the basic elements, grasped the theories and then put your personal spin on it. It’s a fine blend of “know-how,” style and innovation.
Sandy typically second-guesses herself and dismisses her gut feelings. Although she’s respected in the community, she undervalues her expertise. Even when she received recognition for her contribution, the fraud factor overshadowed her achievements.
Recently something switched and she’s ready to do things differently. Because of that decision she’s now following her instinct to play big, rather than remain small.
“It’s as if I have no choice, but to do this although it’s uncomfortable. There’s an inner voice that’s telling me I don’t have to do this. But, I’m putting those thoughts on a time out.” Rather than simply talking about her plans, she’s speaking up and sharing her ideas.
Six moments when it’s best to trust your gut feeling:
Fast response situations where you don’t have access to all the information.
Unexpected change that throws off your plans.
High pressure situations without a clear choice.
Conflicting options where neither one is ideal.
No prior experience available so you can’t make an informed decision.
You need to improvise in a tough situation without ideal support or resources.
Intuition is not very verbal. Therefore, thinking too much becomes a distraction. This is particularly relevant during high pressure moments, especially if you tend to worry a lot and prefer to avoid risk.
Highly successful entrepreneurs learn to trust their first hunch. They decide to rise above the noise rather than let another person’s unconscious bias get in the way. Often, their best opportunities occurred because they refused to follow the traditional path.
Connect the dots
Your instincts interact with your logical mind. Sometimes an opportunity appears, and it looks like the very thing you’ve been seeking.
However, you experience a nudge to not follow through although it doesn’t make sense at the moment. Pay attention to these red flags. They’re indicators that something’s not quite right. Even if you can’t figure out why you’re hesitating, don’t dismiss it. You’re better off walking away.
Trust your gut feeling
Developing your intuition is similar to developing a new skill set. It improves with repeated use and stretching beyond your current capabilities. Similar to anything new, it’s uncomfortable at first.
Start to observe the things around you. Next, pay attention to your hunches and gut feelings. They deserve your attention. Then notice when your instincts point you in a slightly different direction than you expected. Consider them your internal guidance system.
Here’s how to develop your intuition.
Preparation. Notice the insights you’ve gained from practical experience and relevant information.
Incubation. Observe when you feel an inclination to alter your course, especially if it’s not logical.
Conflict. A tug of war develops as your logic and gut pull you in opposite directions.
Revelation. A moment of insight helps you make a decision.
Action. You choose to follow your gut feeling.
Even if over-think things, learning presence of mind is possible.
4 Functions of our mind
Carl Jung, a famous psychologist, stated that our minds possess four major functions. They include intuition, sensation, thinking and feeling. If you prefer systems and order, then developing something that’s not based upon logic or reason goes against your nature.
Does intuition always point you in the right direction? Absolutely not! Nothing is a sure thing.
There’s a learning curve. So, expect to make mistakes.
No one likes mistakes. Rather than dwell on what went wrong, choose to learn from them. As a result, you’ll gain insight about how to approach things differently the next time you’re in a similar situation.
The gift of failure
Failure often leads to amazing insights. As your intuition improves, you’ll naturally develop a system. You’ll notice some patterns emerge.
Ready to get started? Acknowledge your gut feelings and hunches when they occur. Here’s an advanced move: observe the fleeting thoughts that pop into your head before your logical mind takes over.
There will be times you decide not to follow your hunch. If you feel regret afterward, then take a moment to visualize going with your gut feeling. How would things have turned out differently? Next time, choose to follow your hunch rather than allowing your logical thoughts to change your mind.
Are you distracted by ongoing self talk? If you’re ready to to turn down the volume, and build the confidence to follow your gut feeling, then let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary strategy session to clarify your success path.