Wednesday, 24 June 2015

On Going With Your Gut

Have you ever had that feeling in your stomach, an automatic reaction to a person, a situation, a problem, an idea - sometimes before you are even in the moment of making a decision on it? I'm not talking about the brain-led voice of your ego that constantly chatters away to you, I'm not comfortable, I won't succeed, this won't be good for me, I want people to like me therefore I'll avoid this....

This gut feeling is instinctive, it does not come after days of deliberation. It is not a decision you come to after carefully and analytically weighing up the pros and cons in your head during a long walk or a bath. Nor is it a straight fear-based reaction eg Run from a lion - fear is only self-preservation after all. No, this is an instant reaction almost from your stomach - hence the cliche of "gut feeling". It may say go for this, it may react favourably or unfavourably towards a person, it may shout that this situation or project will or will not work.

I've had these strong gut feelings only a few times in my life - at least when I've actually heard them - and every time they have been right.

Someone who is religious may say this is God guiding you, a spiritual person would consider it your true soul or the universe, an atheist or a scientist would perhaps suggest it is an automatic chemical reaction in your physical body brought on by a lifetime of knowledge of the world and society. That is, your brain unconsciously stores everything it has learnt over the years and in a microsecond weighs it up, causing a bodily reaction.

I don't know what it is. Maybe all of the above, maybe none. All I do know is that we should listen to this "gut feeling" more. Feel your automatic physical reactions to a choice, a piece of news, a person and consider them. Because in my experience and many others, they are almost always right...

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