Trusting your gut is a phrase that makes perfect sense to some while making others cringe. As an INTP personality, I fall into the latter category, and struggle trusting my own instincts, preferring concrete proof before making decisions. While this might sound like a logical conclusion to many men out there, it has its drawbacks. Today, we’re digging into why and when you should trust your gut as well as steps to improving the accuracy of your instincts so you can wind up being right more often than not.
Why You Should Trust Your Gut
The primary advantage to trusting your instincts over your logical processes is that your lizard brain will often pick up on subtle clues that your “more evolved” brain won’t catch. This is especially true in social settings. Say you’re talking to a girl or a potential client and your lizard brain starts throwing up red flags. Your logical brain doesn’t find anything wrong with anything going on, but there’s a nagging feeling deep in your subconscious that just won’t just up.
Later on, you’re stunned to find that your perfectly laid plans fell through. What the hell happened? Everything was going so well!
Most likely, no they weren’t. If you find your subconscious screaming at you, most likely it is picking up on subtle body cues, facial expressions, or tones that your logical mind is oblivious to. If you feel this happening, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation. Either excuse yourself to the bathroom for a minute to remove yourself from the situation long enough to reevaluate how things are progressing or ask the other person an open-ended question and evaluate their response.
If their answer is short, their voice emotionless, and their body is closed off to you, chances are things are not going in your favor.
Your instincts also play a crucial role in your very survival. Have you ever been out somewhere at night and all of a sudden your instincts are screaming at you to get the hell out of there? Chances are your subconscious is picking up something that you are not. Most times, it pays to heed your inner voice, even if it winds up to be nothing. It only takes your subconscious being right one time to spell your demise.
When To Trust Your Gut
Now this is just my approach, but I only trust my gut on topics that I am already pretty familiar in. If I had just started a hobby, I’m not trusting ANYTHING my lizard brain is telling me. I will do everything by the book, until I become more fluent.
Others might approach this differently and that’s fine too, especially if the issue at hand has minimal consequences. I call this learning through the School of Hard Knocks, but again, to each their own. Some learn better this way and are more comfortable just diving in and learning through trial and error.
I, however, am not such a person. I am very analytical, sometimes painfully so, and often check my research many times before ever executing a plan. As reasonable as this sounds, it can greatly slow down any progress I wish to make on a goal.
Improving Your Gut Response
Like most other things, improving the accuracy of your gut reaction involves repetition. Make mental notes of the outcomes and tweak your approach each time.
Does a small change on your part elicit a large or small difference of outcome?
What can you do differently next time?
During the learning phase, treat it like a science experience and play with the variables. As you become more comfortable, treat it as play and enjoy the process.
So what camp do you fall in to? Are you more prone to trusting your gut or examining the entire situation before acting?
What steps can you take to increasing the accuracy of your gut so you can make faster and more accurate decisions?
Leave them in the comments section below.