Trusting your gut or listening to your instincts can mean so many different things. Do you ever do something without thinking, just knowing it was the right thing to do?
How do we do that? Why do we do that? Are we even doing that?!
For many years, we as humans distinguished ourselves from animals by saying we used our conscious brain. You know, we are able to make checklists of positive and negatives. We are able to decipher between right and wrong. We can choose the most appropriate outfit for an occasion; the best politically correct language as to not offend anyone. But a funny thing happened. The more research that happened, the more that scientists realized, we ‘the humans’ had a brain that was more animal like than we had originally thought. The grey matter of our brain is made up of approximately 20% dedicated to conscious thoughts and ideas, while about 80% is left for unconscious thoughts.
What does this mean?
It means that if you aren’t using the ‘unconscious’ part of your brain, your gut/intuition/soul, you aren’t making the best of each and every situation, question, and decision! Imagine going through life only using 20%!! All of your decisions would be based on small, some would say, not optimal portion of your brain. I don’t know about you, but that sounds terrifying to me! All of my decisions could be wrong, or incomplete, or just not the best thing for me.
So how do I know if I trust my gut?
Today, we spend so much time in our heads. Usually overthinking situations, or conversations, or any other minor thing. Even if we are over-thinking all the things in our life, we are still only getting about a 20% return. It seems like such a time-waste when you look at it that way…Thinking, thinking, thinking, but not really getting anywhere. It would be like trying to run a marathon on a track but no one was keeping count. Eventually you might get to that magical 26.2 mile marker, but you would never know!
So if you find yourself in this situation, ruminating over simple decisions, or over-thinking every little thing, you are probably not following your gut…
How do I fix it?
There are a few things that you can do that will help connect you better to that inner space. To better connect you to your soul, your intuition, your gut.
- Journal it out: writing down thoughts and feeling is a great way to get all of the ‘thoughts’ out of the way. It allows us to get deeper into our thoughts and start to decipher what is truly ‘us’ and what is just background noise from life.
- Ignore others: It can be very hard to not make decisions based off of how others might feel or think or react. But this is imperative. If you life your life to make decisions based on others, you will NEVER live your life as it is meant to be lived. You were not placed on this earth to make decisions for others. And truly, if you start making the best decisions for YOU, it in turn will turn into the best for others around you as well.
- Be Quiet: Finding solitude is important to finding out who you are. This can be done by sitting in silence, going for a walk, even going for a long drive in quiet. Being quiet allows our true self to come forward and break through all of the ‘noise’ of life.
- Start Little: Start practicing small. Start to go with your first choice when making decisions. For example, ‘what do you want for dinner’…go with the first thing that comes into your mind, or ‘what should I wear today’…just go with it. Don’t question it, JUST DO IT. Starting small can give you the confidence to start making bigger and bigger decisions based off of your intuition or gut feelings.
- Have grace: Holding yourself in a state of grace is very important. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Following your intuition can be very difficult at first and it can take a while to really grow it. So give yourself time and don’t give up. It is a skill that will develop with practice!!
Now you have a better idea of what following your gut means and how to grow that skill. So go out into this big world and practice!!
Let me ask you, what do you want for dinner?