Going with Gut

Ever wondered about the difference between someone who is successful and fulfilled in their life and someone who isn’t? I have. A lot.

This is a really interesting time in my life. I’m accomplishing more in a 24 hour span than ever before, and somehow, I’m surviving to tell about it. I’m working really hard, but I don’t always feel like I’m working. I have what seems like a million projects, and all of them are exciting. Yet I still get to spend time with my family and my friends and have meaningful relationships. It’s entirely possible that I’ve finally found that elusive balance in my life.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses. I’ve had times in the past where I’ve not had this kind of balance, and it’s had devastating results, including an entire year of fairly serious illnesses, the breakdown of relationships, and one big burn-out. I’ve spent some time this week analyzing what has changed, and what is now allowing me to accomplish so much without fear of crashing and burning. What I’ve discovered is, the solution has a lot to do with my gut.

Instinct. It’s not just for breakfast anymore. We are all born with instincts. When we’re little, these instincts factor pretty strong into our lives. Our instincts show us when we’re hungry, when we’re tired, when we’re uncomfortable. Unfortunately, what happens when we get older is we start to ignore our instincts. We’re tired, but we continue to stay up late and get poor quality sleep. We’re hungry, but we eat sporadically and usually all the wrong foods. We’re uncomfortable, yet we remain in the very situation that is making us that way. Ignoring our instincts does more harm than good in the end. What do you think would change if you started listening to your instincts a little more?

Listening to that voice. No, not that one. Yah. That one. We all have two sets of voices in our heads. There’s the one that tells us “You’ll never amount to anything.”, “It’s too much work.”, “It’s too risky.”. That’s the one most of us tend to listen to. Then there’s the other voice. This is the gut. When I actually focus on listening to my gut, it tells me all sorts of interesting things.

My gut tells me when to leave a party, and when to stay. It told me to go out on that second date with the guy I ended up marrying. It tells me when to reach out to someone if I think I have something to offer. It tells me when to pick up the phone and call a friend who needs help. It tells me when to drop a client, or pick up a new one. It tells me when to dive in to starting a company with both feet, even though I don’t know where the bottom is.

The thing with your gut is that it’s often much more difficult to listen to what your gut is telling you. Because going with the gut often results in having to make a more difficult decision, or take a bigger risk. But the real thing with your gut is that if you learn to listen to it on a regular basis, it can actually help you succeed.

Learning to trust my instincts and my gut has probably been the single most important lesson I’ve learned in my 30’s (besides finally learning to play an “F” on my guitar). It’s changed every aspect of my life in a positive way.

The next time you aren’t sure of what direction you should take….I strongly suggest you just go with your gut.

Category:about life
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  • March 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    This is my first visit to your blog (discovered it because of #Plus1Day). Great insight into the decision-making process that differentiates between people who do and people who want to do. So often I meet people who want to change their lives and go with their gut, but they’ve found ways to block their own progress. They look at those of us who have followed our guts and think, “There’s something different about that person — they’re doing something I could never do.” But those of us who have taken these chances have learned that, once we’re here, the road is a lot less rocky than it was when we were turning against our own instincts toward progress.

    Thanks for the Sunday-morning insight. You help us remember that we’re here because we chose to be here, which is something we may forget when we’re “in the weeds.”

    Beth from Avenue Z’s last blog post..Xerox Mobile Express Driver: Printing on the move

  • March 1, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    So much wisdom, Suze! I love it! I’m still trying to find that balance but I am also trying to listen to the voices (the right ones) that tell me when to move forward and when to leave. I left a non-profit last year after 17 years not because it didn’t have value but because there was so much on my plate that I couldn’t see straight and I didn’t feel valued by a few vocal people… (overall, I did feel valued but the loud voices stick in your head) Right now, I have met great people, like yourself through social media and my faith in people with vision has been restored.

    I still have lots to work on but I can start one step at a time… Thank you!

    Julie Walraven’s last blog post..A Business Study – The Filling Station

  • March 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Your post reminds me of a great book I read called “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell about intuition and trusting your gut. I think that we get too wrapped up in the outside world and ignore our gut feelings, and the results are unfavorable most of the time. It’s not until you “learn the hard way” that you really start to believe and trust yourself and react to your inner feelings. I also think age has a lot to do with it. I’m listening to myself a lot more now than ever (40ish). Older and wiser as they say.

  • March 1, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    great post 🙂 your gut is def. where it’s at 🙂

    Your inner knowing comes from first your instincts, second your intellect, and third from your intuition. Most people only operate from the level of the intellect. If you get a hunch from your instincts the intellect is great at rationalizing therefore negating an intelligence that is grounded in a deeper reality. Your instincts have a higher intelligence that comes from the past that allowed you to survive. Your intuition comes from a higher cosmic intelligence that simply just knows and does not require logic.

    I am glad I stumbled onto your site, I look forward to your future posts.

    Seeing as we have similar perspectives I think you would enjoy my post “how to develop your 6th sense: Intuition”


    ivan’s last blog post..How To Make The Leap Into The Unknown

  • March 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I love this post. It does take courage to listen to yourself and follow your instincts. To be able to separate the two voices in the head. To trust yourself enough to jump in with both feet and see where it takes you!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with all of us. It is deeply appreciated.

  • March 6, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    It’s weird how instinct works. It tells us fear; it offers us opportunities of joy; it makes us hide when we need to (or not) and it does shape our decisions.

    Sure, normality and plans may be the more *sensible* route. But sense doesn’t always make the best bedfellow.

    Cheers for reminding us that we should trust our instincts more, Suze.

    PS – See, I told you Toronto would be good for something. Go F!!! 😉

    Danny Brown’s last blog post..Introduce Yourself



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