Instinct is the nose of the mind. - Old Farmer's Almanac
Some of us think we have great instincts, but other's of us think they aren't so good. I think we can improve our "nose of the mind" with a bit of practice.
Trust Your Gut, Not Your Emotions - When you are working on listening to your instincts, you have to quiet all the other things not only around the outside of your body, but, on the inside as well. High emotions can make something appear in a totally different light than it actually is. When you hear the phrase, "trust your gut" what comes to mind? I think most people when they think of their gut, they think of it feeling ill, or nervous. We use the term feeling "butterflies" in our stomachs when we have an important meeting coming up. However, sometimes when we know something way down deep, it might come out as an emotion as well, so, our emotions may enhance what our gut is feeling. In different times in my life, when a big decision has had to be made, I have a "tell". Usually the wrong decision will bring me to tears, even if there is no visible sign it would be a wrong decision. Now, every time I cry it doesn't mean my gut (or instinct) is trying to tell me something, but, sometimes crying confirms what my gut is already telling me. Think of different times in your life when you just "knew" something was up. You just felt it. That is what you need to listen to when all the other noise around you is settled.
Pay Attention - As you begin to shut out the other noise and listen to what your "gut" is telling you, the next step to trusting your instinct is to pay attention to it. That means, you need to follow what you feel deep down inside is the right way to go, or not. The more you trust your instinct and pay attention to it, the more you will recognize what it is and you will find yourself more capable of finding the right answers to issues you face at work and in life. Does that mean we as humans know everything deep inside and can therefore do everything perfectly well?! No. There still is human error. Plus, just because you learn to follow the right instincts in your life, that doesn't mean everyone around you will be doing the same and what others do often affects us and the outcome of a situation. By paying attention to our instincts, though, we hopefully will be in a better place to try to make the best decisions for us and for others at times.
Instinct May NOT Make Sense - Sometimes our instinct seems to be telling us something that isn't logical to do. For instance, let's say you are offered a very lucrative position in your company and it seems like the most amazing job in the world, but, something just feels "off" about it. Your common sense says that you would be a fool not to accept the job, but your gut is telling you not to do it. What do you do? Sometimes we might not listen to our instinct and find ourselves in a job that might pay great, but, end up having so many responsibilities that our family suffers, or that the job itself just isn't what we are cut out for. On paper, it might not make sense to turn down the job, but, you just know it isn't the right move for you at this time. In our relationships, we might meet someone that seems perfect for us as a friend or a romantic partner and yet, something just doesn't "sit well" with you. No matter how great this person seems, you are uncomfortable in a way with them that seems to have no real reason and no matter how much you try to get to know them or spend time with them, you just can't shake that feeling. Our instinct senses things at times the normal five senses may not, so we need to listen even if it doesn't make sense to others.
All living things have been created with our own unique set of instincts. In general, like creatures have similar instincts, but not everyone has had the same exact experiences in this life, so our instinct is ours alone. They are a help for us to navigate us through life and to point us when to take the right risks for us or to help us know when to protect ourselves from certain risks. Like our physical bodies, our instincts will work better when exercised. So start listening and acting and who knows what you will accomplish!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker Photo Credit: Renee