Many of us experience gut feelings that we can't explain. We might instantly love or hate something, or make quick judgments about someone when meeting them.
Often as women we are told that we need to trust our intuition or our gut feelings more.
This immediately insinuates that following your gut instinct or intuition will lead to better decision making or a better outcome. But is this really the case?
Often we see phrases on the internet like;
"follow your intuition",
"her intuition was her favorite superpower".
In society it seems women have been labelled to have more intuition skills than men. This suggests that we as women have a natural advantage or 'super power' over men, when it comes to making better decisions based upon our intuition under time pressure.
What we want to know, and what we want to discuss further today, is whether you should trust your intuition and whether this is helping you make better decisions and lead a better life.
We are not saying that you should doubt yourself or your intuition. It could be that your intuition is stronger in one area of your life than the other.
The aim here is to bring attention to your intuition and help you understand when your intuition or gut feeling might be working for you, or might be working against you.
For instance, have you ever met another woman at a social gathering or function, and you instantly thought she was stuck-up or looked mean?
But then over the course of the event you happen to start talking to her, and she ends up being nothing like you initially thought. (FYI: You end up becoming best friends, then years later, in a kind moment, you admit what your initial impressions of her were and you both start laughing together...)
We've heard so many stories of this happening.
Imagine if you trusted your initial intuition about the lady who is now your best friend. Think about what you would be missing out on today!
So if this scenario is happening in this instance, logic says it could also happen in alternate environments and scenarios, where our intuition might not be as spot on as we thought.
When to trust your intuition
So when should we trust our intuition?
Dr. Therese Huston, in her book 'How women decide' suggests that we can generally trust our intuition more when we have experience and expertise in the certain situation we find ourselves in.
There are definitely scenarios and stories you hear about when people who made a split decision which saved their or other people's lives. And when asked, what made them do or decide what they did, they didn't know and said they 'followed their gut'.
But what's not said and was unbeknownst to them at the time, was that their brain absorbed certain information through their senses of sight, smell, sound, maybe even taste. When all this information was combined in their subconscious, together with their knowledge of the situation, and experience, they were able to make the correct 'intuitive' decision.
Seek immediate feedback on your intuitive decisions
In understanding whether we can trust our intuition, Dr. Therese Huston suggests that we seek immediate feedback. She states that you need to ask yourself:
"Have I regularly received immediate feedback on this kind of decision in the past?"
If your answer is something like:
"I haven't made this decision often enough to receive feedback"
Then this is an indicator that you can't trust your intuition.
She states that if you haven't received feedback in similar scenarios in the past, then your intuition has no basis, and should not be followed in this instance.
Receiving immediate feedback on past decisions and determining if your intuition was on-point or wasn't, is vital in making better decisions and training your intuition.
Start with your intuition and deliberate further
Dr. Therese Huston further suggests that you don't need to ignore your intuition, rather start with it, then deliberate it further.
By doing this you are supporting your initial intuition or gut feeling.
You can deliberate by considering another option or all the options available, do some research on the internet and gather some information, and look at your decision from different perspectives.
You can still think with your heart, only do it in a structure way
Dr. Therese Huston's next strategy is to look forward a year from now and "look back". For instance you say, "looking back, I'm so glad that I...".
She states that this will help you prioritize what's important to you, and help you determine if you should act on your intuition.
This way you are not letting other people's opinions or influence have an impact on your judgment, because you are looking at what's important to you.
We hope that you enjoyed learning and reading about our 3 tips of when to trust your intuition.
In order to be a better version of ourselves, we need to continue to question ourselves and our intuition, so that we can make better decisions and gain confidence in our decision making.
Please share this article with your friends, and if you enjoyed reading it, please comment below!
HerParade team x