Have you ever felt a firm but seemingly illogical pull in your heart or your stomach towards a particular option, decision, or action? Commonly referred to as one’s “gut instincts” or “intuition,” many of us make the mistake of ignoring this in favor of being guided by logic alone.
Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with the logic. But there is something inherently wrong in completely ignoring your gut altogether and never even giving it the time of day.
9 Reasons You Should Never Ignore Your Gut Instinct
1. It Teaches Self-Respect
Gut instinct is the voice of your intuition. If you respect your tenacity and your intelligence, you may feel inclined to trust that your subconscious has picked up on crucial information. Recognizing your subconscious is an essential step to better self-respect.
Besides, some gut instincts are accompanied by the desire to follow them. Of course, you can’t always get what you want – but sometimes you have to put yourself first. Instead of listening to all the external input from people who aren’t you, look inward and listen to your voice.
Gut instinct is a compelling pull of your heart and a critical voice in your head. When you listen to it, you’re learning to put your thoughts and instincts first. Even if you ultimately decide against following your gut, you have at least acknowledged it, giving it the respect that it – and you – deserves.
2. It Makes You Make Faster Decisions
Many decisions are thrown around, hitting you like fastballs that you don’t have time to process or research fully. This situation means that there’s a lot of pressure to make smart decisions with minimal time to do so, but the stress that comes with that pressure can make it very tough to choose something.
Worse still, choosing hastily under these circumstances typically means choosing with a confused mind. This means you likely won’t feel confident in the quick choice you made, and you’ll regret it and think about it for hours. Instead of allowing that to happen, the next time you’re forced to make a quick decision, do the following:
- First, take a deep breath and stop yourself from performing any panicky, split-second reactions.
- Remind yourself that you are capable of making the right decisions, even with these time constraints.
- Look inward and focus on your heart, gut, or soul, whatever you want to call it.
- Think: when you were first asked to make this choice, what was your immediate, automatic thought? Is it one you still feel drawn to now?
This way, you can get in touch with your gut instincts, even in times of pressure. Spontaneity is an excellent quality, and it’s part of what makes life more fun, positive, and enjoyable. So don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
3. Knowledge Shapes Intuition
Gut feelings aren’t just raw, animalistic instincts, unlike what many people believe. Intuition, on the whole, is shaped by what you know. A combination of your past experiences, small tidbits of knowledge, and natural instincts develop your intuition, meaning that there are times when your gut is just telling you what you already know deep down within.
Your brain is responding to all sorts of knowledge and stimuli, sent up and down your nervous system, as you face certain situations. That instinct is just your brain trying to tell you what it thinks is best, guiding you down the path it believes has the most positive outcome.
So, let’s put it this way. The more experience you have within a particular field, the more likely your gut instinct is to be accurate. If it’s something you’re brand new at, you can use your gut instinct to ask questions, determine potential dangers, and decide whether something is right for you, but not as a be-all-end-all decision-maker. If it’s something you’re practically an expert in, trust your gut.
4. It Pushes You
Sometimes, you need a little extra push in the right direction. A gut instinct provides that. Here’s how:
· It Encourages Change
Change is frightening. Many times, this fear stops us from making changes that our gut is already telling us we should make. Listening to your gut can help you step outside of the world that you know, giving you the positive thinking you need.
· It Makes You Take Risks
If you never take risks, you’ll never leave your comfort zone, and you’ll never be able to grab opportunities as they come. Your gut instinct informs you when risks must be taken and when they should be ignored.
· It Pushes You To Improve
No change? No risk? Well, then you’ll be stuck, stagnant, forever. It’s safe, but it’s boring, it’s not particularly positive, and it’s rarely ever successful – it’s just average. Do you want to be stuck in a mediocre position for the rest of your life?
5. It Shows Your Strength
Your gut instinct often whispers that you’re stronger than you believe. When your mind burns with anxiety and reels with fear, confusion, and a desire to run away, your gut instinct can ring true: “I can do this.”
But then, you may ask, why don’t you hear your gut instinct often enough? And why do you never listen to it when you’re in the throes of panic? It’s because most of us have learned to suppress it as much as we can. We learn that logic and rationale are essential things in life, and that causes us to put trust in our brains and brains alone.
There’s nothing wrong with being logically driven. But there are times when our brains are compromised by negative or panicked emotions, impairing our abilities to believe in ourselves. It’s times like this when a gut instinct can shine showcase just how strong you are. It knows what you are capable of, and you must believe it.
So the next time you feel frightened or panicked, quiet your mind and listen for your instincts. Deep down, a small part of you will tell you what you can do. Learn to listen to it more and more, and it will become stronger over time – and so will you.
6. Intuition Embeds In Your Brain
Intuition is 100% natural. It’s a part of your brain. Intuition links many different aspects of yourself to each other – your spirit, your body, your mind, and everything else. This allows for a balance – a harmony – between emotion and rationale. And this balance is natural.
So when you try to ignore your instinct, you are ignoring the natural impulses within your brain. While it’s okay to regulate them to adjust your approaches to different situations, flat-out ignoring them is counterproductive.
7. It Opens Up Your World
When you trust your instincts, there’s very little that you can’t do. Here are some ways it can open your world:
Why merely aim to barely scrape by when you could do so much more? Learn to trust your gut when it comes to taking career-related ventures and risks. Work with both your smarts and your instincts to determine the best route.
Dating is difficult, and everyone has so much advice to give. But try to follow all that advice, and you’ll wind up being confused and awkward. Overthinking will make your dates very uncomfortable and will likely make you inauthentic.
On the other hand, listening to your gut and doing what feels right will make you true to yourself, attracting kindred spirits in both friendship and romance, and putting your best foot forward.
Fear often holds us back from exploring new places. Travel to big cities from your little town. Go overseas and immerse yourself in culture. Try new things, visit new places in your country, or see a site you’ve never been to. See what you need to see and only stop when your gut feels you’re where you need to be.
With all that being said, it’s clear that trusting your intuition opens your world to potential, allowing you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
8. It Helps You Pick Those You Can Trust
In life, you’ll meet many people. Most will be alright and merely either compatible or incompatible with you. But there will be people who will hurt you or betray your trust, and that’s just a part of life.
Having healthy relationships is a process that involves effort and hard work, but your instincts can help tell you who to cut off before you’re in too deep. If you get bad vibes about someone, be cautious around them. There’s no need to burn bridges right away – keep your concerns in mind and don’t get too trusting.
This logic goes the other way, too. If you feel like you click with someone and feel great energy from them, then that will be your gut instinct telling you that this person is safe to trust! Enjoy going into that new friendship with some sense of security and positive thinking.
If you have issues with anxiety, understanding what frays your nerves can be significant. If your intuition honestly is warning you about things that aren’t issues, then there’s a possibility that potential trauma or negative experiences from past situations are causing your instincts to “malfunction.”
Understanding your nerves through your intuition allows you to listen to your body’s concerns. You can then lay subconscious fears to rest, allowing you to fine-tune your gut instincts so that they work better for you. You can refine your abilities by:
- Keeping a journal where you record and contemplate your anxieties
- Confronting old emotional baggage that leads to incorrect judgments
- Speaking to friends, family, therapists, or other people you can trust about your concerns
- Doing meditation
- Writing reflections on progress, anxiety, and troubles
The main reason your gut instinct is so vital is that, in a world where everyone scrambles over themselves to tell you what they think is best for you, you are the only person who truly knows yourself. No one else understands your inner workings without a shadow of a doubt.
Sure, it can feel like you’re not in touch with yourself – at least, not yet. But intuition can be trained, and you can undoubtedly whip yours into well-working shape!