Why don’t we trust our intuition?
Sometimes, a choice may seem right, all the intellectual facts support going ahead with it…
- He/she says all the right things.
- The job in Chicago has great benefits, good opportunity for advancement, and the company is willing to pay for relocation.
- The apartment we want to buy is close to work, spacious, and available for the right price.
Still, for some reason, we hesitate.
There’s the temptation to say, “What is wrong with me — this is so perfect!” But beautiful someone, when we hesitate, there’s a reason. Something is going on intuitively that we need to trust and pay attention to.
The stomach never lies
You know how we tell our kids that if they ever feel uncomfortable in a situation — afraid, queasy, weirded out in any way — they must trust that feeling and walk away, or say no, or call us, or all three? Lately with my own kids I’ve started to shorthand it: “Listen to your gut — it never lies.” And it’s true that our brains sometimes rationalize, “reason” things out, or make excuses, but our stomachs can’t. Which is why when our guts are talking to us, they are telling the truth.
Our intuition is a form of genius, something Albert Einstein once called “a sacred gift.” I’ve seriously got to put trusting my gut high on the list of lessons I wish I’d gotten much earlier in my life. Specifically, to know that when my stomach is twisting, or just giving me that feeling of yech, it’s talking to me, and this purity of communication, its simplicity, its wordlessness, its inability to make excuses, is often so much smarter than I am in my head.
Head and heart
We have both head and heart (intellect and intuition) because we’re supposed to use both in our decision making.
Our intuition, our Spidey senses, our gut feelings, our deepest memories imprinted on the hippocampus during times of great stress — none of these communicates to us rationally through cognition, through conscious thoughts and words. And yet each is incredibly valuable for making choices that lead to an awesome life — a healthy, whole, and sane one.
Sometimes, we need to just let the stomach win.