Intuition or Not. Why I Want to Trust My Gut

We all know that emotional response when something just doesn’t feel right…or in some cases feels exactly right, but we can’t put our finger on exactly what and why.

Call it intuition. Call it trusting your gut. Call it a hunch. Call it whatever you like, it’s a real thing.

And from what I understand there are plenty of sound reasons to be aware of it and listen to it Maybe not as a the ultimate decision making guide, but to be listened to and considered in your decisions.

Personally I’ve always struggled with making decisions.

I never know whether to use focused logical thinking, follow what’s in my heart or listen to my gut—all of which may be suggesting contradictory actions.

For example, my logical brain has been telling me for years to get a sensible and secure job.  My heart tells me to focus on writing fiction.

I’m not so sure what my gut is saying, other than a sick feeling when I’m doing something that doesn’t feel quite right. It’s probably why I decided not to decide between a job and writing, and split my attention between running a business and writing books at the same time.

So while my intuition does kick in, I’ve never been completely comfortable listening to it…but maybe I should.

Psychology Today explains that intuition isn’t necessarily a magical phenomenon, that gut feelings are formed out of our past experiences and knowledge.

“So while relying on gut feelings doesn’t always lead to good decisions, it’s not nearly as flighty a tactic as it may sound.”

Some experts explain intuition as a form of unconscious associative processes—that intuition is actually a process of taking information in without realising you’re doing it.

“The best explanation psychologists now offer is that intuition is a mental matching game. The brain takes in a situation, does a very quick search of its files, and then finds its best analogue among the stored sprawl of memories and knowledge. Based on that analogy, you ascribe meaning to the situation in front of you.”

So can you trust your gut?

If your gut feeling is a form of automatic information processing, than it’s worth at least listening to it.

I don’t think it needs to be one of the other when it comes to rational (conscious) and intuitive (nonconscious) thinking. They both deserve a voice at the table.

It’s okay listen to your head, heart and gut, and trust that you don’t need to know the reason why your intuition is saying something. Then decide.

‘Intuition’ is today’s word out of the jar. Read more about my Out of the Jar project here.  

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Kylie Fennell
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