43. Trust Your Gut

Trusting your gut is about trusting yourself. It is about trusting the most important person in your life – YOU!!  Trusting your gut means you make better decisions, decisions that are true to you and you learn you are reliable and trustworthy!  

SHOW NOTES

Crina and Kirsten are on a big high from a listener focus group on this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get toWork – trusting your gut.  Seven listeners gathered for a virtual cocktail hour (or fabulously hydrating water) to discuss what they thought about trusting your gut – what exactly is it, their experience with trusting their gut and how it worked for them.  It was AMAZING!  These wonderful women shared what gut instinct felt like in their bodies, times they found it most useful and how it has affected their career and life path.

So exactly what is your instinct – is it supernatural ESP, a belly-ache or your amazing ability to process information and feelings, physical and emotional?  Of course, it’s the later, but we kinda hope there is a little woo-woo somewhere in there as well.

Courtnet Helgoe writes in 5 Gut Instincts You Shouldn’t Ignore (Five gut instincts you shouldn’t ignore) that (you guessed it) there are five main gut instances:

  1. Something feels wrong in my body
  2. I’m in danger
  3. I want to help
  4. I know how to do this, which is more effective for experienced people, once you develop experience, be careful not to overthink it – and trust your gut that you can do it.
  5. This is it (and as one of our focus group listeners said “this isn’t it”)

So why do we care about trusting your gut?  Fundamentally, it is about trusting the most important person in your life – YOU!!  Trusting your gut means you make better decisions, decisions that are true to you and you learn you are reliable and trustworthy!  Who do you think knows you better?!

Cautionary note – trusting your gut about your own personal and professional decisions is great, but be careful about trusting your gut for personnel decisions, such as hiring, firing and promoting.  Doing so can often promote bias.  If we just pick people we are comfortable with – then is it likely we end up with people just like us rather than a diverse work culture of experiences, skills and talents. Be suspicious of your gut in these situations.

Here’s why your gut instinct is wrong at work

It is important to cultivate trusting your gut.  Kirsten started with low-level decisions, like what to eat at a restaurant.  Crina had experiences where she did not trust her gut and regretted it.  Learning to trust her gut was a defining moment in Crina’s career.  

So what else can you do to hone your gut instinct:

  1. Listen – check in – what it your literal gut health – use all of your senses
  2. Pay attention to your energy levels
  3. Capture your “AHA” or “WOW”  flashes
  4. Pay attention to your first thought – particularly in the morning when you wake up
  5. 5 minute meditation or breathing exercise (yes, again!)
  6. Connect with nature
  7. Kirsten’s friend Jody asks the Universe/higher power for guidance and then listens
  8. Engage in repetitive behavior, preferable physical – walk, run, row, lift weights

Listeners – you are a rich trove of wisdom for yourself – know it, cultivate and use it!  And here are some more good reads on the subject.

How to know when your intuition is talking to you

Trusting Your Gut Is The Best Business Tool You’ve Got — If You Can Listen

5 Gut Instincts You Shouldn’t Ignore

4 Techniques Guaranteed to Strengthen Your Intuition (Even If You Think You Have None)

Photo by Lemon Wing Photography