It can be a queasy, foreboding feeling in your stomach or the subtle sense of reassurance that something just feels right. You've no doubt had those intuitive whispers before. The question is, how often have you trusted them?
Beyond our standard consciousness, our intuition is informed by tiny, untaught signals that point us to pay attention to something or someone. It's a lot like how we ride a bike or drive a car without fully thinking about each small action that it takes to do so. Uninhibited by our learned biases, and wired only to perception, our intuition can guide us to predictions we later marvel at.
Psychologist and life coach Marcia Reynolds told Psychology Today that "to make the best choices, observe your sensations as well as our thoughts so you can read what your reactions are telling you."
Trusting your gut doesn't mean ignoring reason; it just means allowing yourself access to more information before making a decision. And then having the courage to follow through and honor that decision, whether it's in business, dating or life in general.
Because, it turns out, that's how you make the best decisions. Research published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics illustrated how British economists applied some brainpower to the question of gut feelings and found that people who second-guess themselves make considerably worse decisions than those who stick with instinct.
Researchers found that in their data set of 57,000 individual predictions, the ones that were revised—either immediately or after getting some more information—were often wrong. But those who trusted their instincts and made a prediction and stuck by it? They were overwhelmingly correct. Meaning that while you may want to go over something in your head or second-guess your rationale, there's really no need. You've got this.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
- Albert Einstein