You know that feeling you get, or that little voice within, that is telling you to go for it? Or to make a change? Or to do something that terrifies you that deep down you know will help you? Some people call it your gut, others call it your intuition, but regardless of what you call it, it can feel easy to ignore or try to push down when we’re ready to level up.
Our gut is our little guiding voice who works hand-in-hand with our subconscious brain and sends us those little feelings about what to do. It’s that feeling you get to randomly text your old college roommate, or take the long way home from work. Sometimes it’s easy to listen to and follow, but sometimes it feels scary, foreign, and uncomfortable (“I just need to get home already, I’m not driving an extra 10 km”).
Why Trust Your Gut?
Being able to trust your gut is essentially being able to trust yourself, which, let’s face it, can be difficult to do sometimes, but is something we need to do more often. The fact is that we tend to cut ourselves short by getting it into our heads that we don’t know what we want or how to proceed. Or, we get it into our heads that we already have all the answers and have somehow cracked the code to life. But the reality is that we know so much more than what we give ourselves credit for, and we have so much more potential than we realize. Sometimes, we just need to take a moment to slow down and listen to our thoughts, as opposed to taking them at surface level.
Trusting your gut means being able to believe yourself, follow your dreams, and step outside of your comfort zone. It takes courage, discipline, and dedication, but can take you to new levels of growth.
10 Tips for Trusting Your Gut
1. Get clear on your goals
Before we can really start trusting our gut, we need to be clear on our goals: what do we want? Where do we want to be? What excites us? What makes us grin uncontrollably? This doesn’t mean you need to have a 10 step plan or timeline with how you will achieve everything, it just means that you need to start with a little glimmer of an idea.
2. Get comfortable with who you are
We spend the most time with ourselves, so we better get comfortable with who we are. In other words, instead of being rude to yourself, or judging yourself, or believing you are not enough, you need to get comfortable with yourself. We are substantially more likely to follow our gut and pursue our dreams when we are comfortable with who we are and where it is we are going.
3. Stop the Negative Self-Talk
They say that where attention goes, energy flows. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are not enough, your subconscious brain will be like “cool, got it! We are not enough!” and will continue to make decisions that validate that statement. In other words, we love to be right. When you switch the narrative and begin to tell yourself that you are enough, your brain will start to confirm that instead, “oh HECK YES we are enough, let’s go out there and achieve our dreams!”. When you swap from negative to positive self-talk, your gut will be working hand-in-hand with your dreams.
4. Learn from experts
Look to people who are where you want to be: they don’t need to have everything the exact same way, but the fact is that we can learn a ton from others. Read blogs and books, hire a coach, find a mentor: find someone who has been there, who you vibe with, and who can help you train your gut.
5. Look for signs
Have you ever found yourself looking for something, unable to find it, only to realize you’ve been staring at it the whole time? We are constantly interpreting the world around us, but that doesn’t mean we are necessarily seeing everything for what it is. If we think things are bad, we will see things that confirm that, if we think things are good, we will see things that confirm that. Look for signs that remind you that you are on the right path, and start to see the good around you.
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Meditation is hard because we are so used to constantly thinking and examining the world around us. Get in the habit of calming your mind and sitting in silence. This will help you get more in tune with your thoughts, and teach you way more about yourself.
7. Rest, refuel, rehydrate
Sometimes it’s the things we need the most that we push to the back burner first: we need to sleep, we need to eat, and we need lots of water – do not skip on these. In order to be able to trust your gut, you first need to make sure you are taken care of. Prioritize your rest, even when life feels busy. Eat foods that make you feel good. Drink water (do it right now, grab a glass).
8. Ask for help
If you don’t know where to begin, where to go, or where to turn, ask for help. Ask for help: a neighbour to pick up your kids from school if you’re feeling too busy, hire an assistant to go through your emails, order in takeout if you haven’t thought of making dinner. Get creative, and ask for help where you need it.
9. Trust the process/your timing
Stop thinking that you are behind, or that you missed out on something – you are right where you are supposed to be. When you think about it, you wouldn’t be you if things worked out differently. You wouldn’t have the same interests or the same determination. So forgive yourself, be proud of yourself, and remember that your reality now does not dictate your reality in the future.
10. Love Yourself First
It will be easier to listen to your gut if you trust yourself, believe in yourself, honour yourself, and always love yourself first. Anything is possible when you do it out of love for yourself.