You don’t need to be a neuroscientist to trust your gut feeling, all individuals do it naturally; but you do need practice in hearing and listening to that inner voice to ensure it isn’t misleading you.
You’ve probably heard a lot of stories about successful leaders who trusted their guts before starting their businesses or launching a new product. And whether you’re in PR trusting a journalist with an embargo for a story, in HR recruiting for a role in your organisation, or an entrepreneur trying to find a partner for that new business; in many cases, you have to rely on your own judgment to make the right decision. Because all the research and A.I in the world won’t always help you reach the right conclusion.
Of course, family, friends, and colleagues can help you put your ideas in the balance whenever needed, but if you work, you won’t always be able to rely on people and will most likely going to make decisions every day based on that gut-feeling, however small or impactful those decisions can be.
First of all, let’s not romanticise the idea. Trusting your gut itself can’t always lead you to great things, but if you’re true to yourself, critically analyse the situation, and respect other people’s ideas, you got yourself a potential win. In a paper published in 2015 in Administrative Science Quarterly, Laura Huang, an Associate Professor of Business Administration described that decisions tied to gut feelings were surprisingly effective. While they don’t necessarily lead to more successes overall, it’s pointed out that companies that succeeded had a much higher performance; giving you one more reason to trust it.
Chourouk Gorrab, co-founder and head of communications & partnerships at The Spill, and PR and Events professional, shares the common thread between entrepreneurs and their second sight.
It keeps them in touch with their inner selves
And so can you. The more you learn to know yourself and be at peace with your feelings, the better you can learn to differentiate them. After all, how can you trust your gut, if you don’t know yourself, listen to your body or pay attention to people around you. Meditation, breathing exercises or journaling are usually good ways to identify your feelings.
It grows through experience
It’s commonly said that you learn more from your mistakes than your successes, and it is true. The same goes with gut feeling. You will learn over time when to trust that inner voice and when not to, and this often comes with experience and failed attempts at listening to it. To rely on your gut feeling, you need to build its muscle. What was initially a murmur will grow louder and with more insistence over time. After all, can you master a headstand without building your core first?
It keeps them alert
Think of it as keeping an eye on the news. Knowing how your body responds to all these messages and being able to identify the good gut-feeling from the bad, really gives you a sense of being ON and alert. Because those gut feelings often need a quick response, you need to train that mind of yours to answer it the best possible way.
It empowers them
Ever got that sentiment of pride after achieving something you’ve been aiming for and attained against all odds? Trusting in that feeling and building it over time requires time, energy, and focus as mentioned earlier. And with time, you will feel more energised and confident to achieve other things you’ve been putting on the backburner. Think of it as the Red Bull of your psyche, ‘it gives you wings’.
It helps them cut through the chase
Trusting your gut feeling can occasionally be your only option. It doesn’t matter the amount of information you collected or how many people provided their opinion; trusting your instinct can be the only way for you to go from ‘I’m lost’ or ‘I don’t know’ to ‘Let’s do this’. Sometimes, you just have to let go of everything and trust that gut feeling. If successful leaders can do it, so can you.