"Listening to our gut becomes increasingly important in situations where we have information overload, mounting risks and uncertainty, and feel paralyzed or too scared to make a call. Trusting our gut can allow us to move forward even during the most difficult times rather than pushing critical choices and decision off, avoiding living life in the present moment."
Everyone’s heard that saying, “keep calm and carry on.” I’m guessing we’re feeling the value and wisdom of these words even more these days. I find myself setting the intention of calm and equanimity most mornings recently. The practice of stability is something that I’m focused on. In connection with that, I’m finding that I need to be able to trust my gut more than ever to feel calm and carry on, regardless of the world events and the details of life unfolding around me.
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Similarly, if you can’t trust yourself, what can you lean on in in the face of chaos? In order to cultivate a stable conviction in yourself, you need to feel grounded and connected to your intuition – in other words, you need to know how to trust your gut.
Trusting your gut is often thought of as something emotional or spiritual, but actually, when you’re relying on your gut, research shows that you are actually trusting your mind, which is the source of that gut feeling. According to experts, your gut feeling is an immediate answer from your brain based on your collective knowledge, wisdom and every experience you’ve ever had. Not a bad thing to rely on when you’re facing new and challenging situations that can be unsettling and overwhelming, right?
Another benefit to trusting your gut is that you’ll learn and grow regardless of whether your gut led you down the “right” path. If your decision was on point, you’ll obviously reap the benefits. Even if it wasn’t the best choice, your brain will learn from that experience and strengthen your gut which will likely prevent you from making worse decisions later... which could turn out to be a worth while investment. I'm a firm believer in the saying, "what doesn't kill your makes you stronger!"
During chaotic and unpredictable times, you might feel out of touch with your gut. In those instances, it’s important to first create some space in your head. Instead of overthinking things and obsessing over details, maybe use that time for some deep breaths, a short meditation session or yoga practice to declutter your head. Notice the sensations in your body, feel the lightness of heart, focus on the present moment, relax…chances are you’ll feel more grounded and in touch with your deepest intuition.
Just to be clear, trusting your gut doesn’t mean making irrational or biased decisions. For matters where you have sufficient data to make a rational decision, you shouldn’t ignore hard facts and numbers. Also, we all suffer from unconscious bias so it’s important to check gut decisions when we’re judging people – for example, it would be a mistake to hire employees based on gut, since most of us tend to immediately like people who are most similar to us.
Listening to our gut becomes increasingly important in situations where we have information overload, mounting risks and uncertainty, and feel paralyzed or too scared to make a call. Trusting our gut can allow us to move forward even during the most difficult times rather than pushing critical choices and decision off, avoiding living life in the present moment.
What is your gut telling you today? Do you feel connected and one with your inner voice of care and wisdom? If not, create space, practice, and try again. Your gut is your north start and worthy of nurturing. It will be critical in helping all of us to keep calm and carry on, especially during these difficult times.