Most people can think of a time they didn’t take notice of a gut feeling. They let their intuitive sense of knowing something was about to happen or someone was dodgy slide.
As a result, they lost money, love, or something else that mattered to them and said, “I could have kicked myself for not believing my gut.”
It’s hard to know when you can rely on your intuition, however, since, although it can be right, sometimes it’s off kilter. As you don’t know when it’s correct, you might only use logic as guidance. Understand your gut feelings and you’ll have a better idea about when it’s helpful.
Get to know your intuition
Your gut feelings stem from reliable and unreliable sources, depending on the circumstances in which they arise. When they are accurate, you are composed and emotionally balanced.
When your intuition is wrong, you are stressed or the data it’s gathered to form inspiration comes from your assumptions or prejudices.
Your gut makes snap decisions
Your intuition arises in a flash. It cuts through your usual method of decision-making involving measuring pros and cons. The information it uses from your subconscious is made from experiences and beliefs whether or not they are accurate reflections of the world. Thus, your gut feelings match the reliability of your ideas.
If your beliefs are dubious since they arise from misapprehensions–your intuition will offer you unhelpful guidance. Imagine you think men are more intelligent than women, for example–or vice versa. You need to hire someone smart to manage a team of your employees, so you carry out interviews.
Your gender bias will influence your choice of employee. If the person you select turns out to be useless at the job, you’ll think your gut feeling was useless too. The truth, though, is your intuition can only use the data available in your subconscious and isn’t to blame.
Bias can be costly as well. According to a recent podcast on unconscious bias by Salesforce, “Research shows that diverse sales teams do better. Being aware of your unconscious bias will help you build stronger teams.”
Stress makes intuition unreliable
You might know stress stops you functioning on all cylinders physiologically. When you experience fight-or-flight, your system sends your energy to the parts of you required for immediate action. The idea is you need to run from an assailant or use muscle-power to defend yourself. Consequently, your digestion slows, and other bodily functions suffer too.
Similarly, stress helps you pour attention into what you think causes your anxiety. The offshoot is, you get tunnel vision and focus only on a specific topic. Other factors that influence what’s happening are out of view.
While you are anxious, your intuition will offer advice, just as it does on other occasions. The inspiration it supplies, though, will stem from limited data and won’t help you make well-formed decisions. To see the big picture, you need to reduce stress.
How to make your intuition reliable
If you want correct intuitive advice during a crisis, make sure you are calm. De-stress. Go for a walk in the countryside, meditate, or listen to gentle music. Also, take deep breaths and fill your lungs with air before exhaling slowly. When you are tranquil your gut feelings will be more accurate.
At the same time, practice mindful exercises daily. Stay peaceful. You will be level-headed, and your gut will offer helpful advice when it’s needed.
You can reduce your preconceptions by mixing with different people than usual. You might even challenge all your beliefs. Research topics you feel strongly about and purposely seek data to counter your biases. Remember to contest limiting beliefs too like rich people are mean or you aren’t bright enough to run a successful business.
Once you’ve ironed out misconceptions about yourself and others, your gut feelings will be based on accurate data and the advice it provides will reflect your sound mind.