Research indicates that people rely on their intuition to make faster and more accurate decisions. Successful and innovative leaders such as Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, Oprah, and Steve Jobs have all noted the importance and power of using their intuition as a guide.
So, what is intuition? Following your gut or intuition is the unconscious process we go through to make a quick decision or judgement when we don’t have all the information or data available, especially when there is some degree of risk involved. When you act in accordance with your intuition, your actions are authentic to who you are as a person.
Listening to your gut has countless benefits. It will make you a better leader, employee, partner, and friend. Your most powerful tool is your intuition because it does not always maintain the status quo, instead acting in accordance with your intuition can lead to major personal innovations and positive life changes.
Your intuition is where your integrity lives. So, your gut is always correct because acting upon your own integrity is always the right thing to do, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.
What can get in the way of your ability to trust your gut? Fear of what others may think, fear of the unknown, or fear of rocking the boat. So, your gut can get clouded by how you think you are supposed to be, to believe, or do. You know-- according to social norms, other people’s opinions, or in the interest of maintaining the status quo and not rocking the boat.
So, how can get you get in-tune with your gut? Perform a gut-check, which is method to quiet or silence the outside noise that might be clouding your gut.
3-Step Gut Check Process
1. Filter and examine the feedback. If you have already received solicited or non-solicited feedback from others you must first depersonalize the feedback, decide whose feedback matters to you, and whose does not. Is the source of that specific feedback and the actual feedback relevant to you and your decision? For example, if you are thinking about leaving your job to start your own business, should you really consider the opinion of your risk adverse friend who is comfortable, yet unhappy in her stable corporate job?
2. Get curious. You have filtered your cloudy gut from outside feedback, so now it’s time to get curious with your gut. You ask yourself questions, while weighing out the options in relation to your values, who you are, and what you stand for. This is the process of truly tuning into your gut. For example, when weighing-out the options consider your choices and what that means in both the short-term and long-term.
3. Get quiet. At this point, do not discuss the options with anyone else but yourself. Don’t do any more research. You will know the answer. If you come upon an answer and are overcome with anxiety and dread, then this is not a pure answer from your gut. Go through the steps again until you feel calm, or even excited, but not extreme dread or anxiety about the decision in the long-term.
Following your gut can be hard and even excruciating. Listening and following your intuition is not always the easiest path, but the best with the greatest long-term rewards.
Click here to watch the author, Dr. Adrienne Partridge's Live TV Interview on Fox Denver's "Everyday Show" discussing the power of following your intuition.
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