Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform

Trust your gut…

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Can you remember a time when you trusted your gut?

When was it and what was it about?

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Was it about whether or not you would take that new job?

If you should go to that networking event?

If you should really take on that new client or refer them on?

That you shouldn’t walk down that street?

If you should take that on-line course or workshop?

If you should leave your current career?

– What does trusting your gut mean? – 

We all talk about trusting our gut, and yet what is really happening when we say that?

Well, your gut reaction to something is your intuitive mind at play.

Intuition is how we make sense of something without having to necessarily engage our conscious mind to make a decision.  It’s a great way to have insight into our ‘cave man’ selves as from an evolutionary perspective it’s a skill that has been developed over time.  Its been there to keep us from danger, to help us to stay alive and maybe even choose the right ‘mate’.

But what role does it have to play now, I mean surely we have learnt enough over the millennia to know how to make the conscious choices we need to, and even if we don’t there’s Google to help us isn’t  there?

– It’s always helped me – 

I happen to be a big believer in ‘trusting my gut’ or my intuition.

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Psychology research suggest that intuition isn’t just a pseudo science, but actually something that comes down to the subtle nuances of behaviour and experience that have been learnt over time and thus developed into an ability to assess unconscious cues in our environments, that help us in our decision making.

I’m sure there are times that you can think of when you ‘trusted your gut’ that worked out for the best for you.  I certainly can, and there are also great stories across the inter-web, if you fancy a quick scout, in which people share miraculous stories about all sorts of things to near-death misses and discoveries of major illnesses where disaster had been averted!

When I work with a client, I often encourage them to listen to that little voice inside there head…there ‘gut reaction’ that tells them that they should or shouldn’t do something.  But I do give them a little additional advice that I’d like to share with you as you ponder your own gut reaction to things.

– Training your gut reaction – 

So, the first thing you can do is just to reflect and think back on times when you have reacted to your gut response and think about the times when it’s served you and times when it hasn’t.

Do you notice any patterns?

Have you always been ‘right’ or have you sometimes been led astray?

Notice then, if there are patterns about the things you’ve been right about as well as led astray in?  The pattern you don’t want to get into is ‘staying safe’ to the point of inertia.  As I’ve said here on the pages of my bog many, many times;  I feel that it’s important that we challenge ourselves and push ourselves out of our comfort zones so that we keep on growing as human beings.

That being said, there’s a big difference between a gut feeling that you shouldn’t do something because you don’t feel safe or feel that there is a danger versus feeling like you might look silly, you may lose or fail at something.

 The other thing I would try and tap into is just to notice that if you feel afraid of doing something can you distinguish that feeling between a scared feeling that is actually an excited scared feeling, almost like an exhilaration.

Like the feeling you might get if you like going on rollercoasters?  You feel wide-eyed and expansive, an excited but scared feeling in your gut.  This is versus a feeling that makes you feels small, closed off and wanting to hide.

Being able to distinguish between these two types of feelings is something I’ve again found be useful in my own actions as well as when I’m guiding clients through their own decision making.

I hope you find these little tips useful about how you might distinguish those gut reactions.  Maybe you also have a story you’d like yo share about a time when you did, or maybe didn’t trust your gut…what was the outcome?

I’d love to hear from you….til next week!

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