I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who was working through a challenge. During the conversation they kept saying that their gut was telling them to do ‘X’. I stopped them mid-sentence the next time they went down that road and said, “Is that your gut or your guilt?” Turns out it was guilt, masquerading as gut.
I am struck by how often our gut is right; when it’s REALLY our gut and not some other emotion that clouds our insight.
I laugh as I write this, because I too am often misguided and do not accurately identify the difference between my gut and some phantom thought and/or emotion.
We are navigating stormy waters these days; it is critical that we pay attention to the truth. Unless you are a sociopath, your gut is a good place to listen for the truth. At the very least, it’s a good place to start!
Here are a few steps to get you started:
1. Stop everything you are doing, be still, pause for 10 seconds, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “what is my gut telling me?”
2. Listen carefully to what you hear; without any ‘buts’.
3. Ignore the emotion that will inevitably come up when your gut is in play.
4. Check it out with trusted friends or advisors. Say it like this: “My gut is telling me ‘X’! I just want a reality check.” (What they say is not gospel, but it will help with clarity.)
5. DO NOT THINK IT OVER!!!
6. Evaluate your gut reaction against your values.
7. Act on your gut.