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Gut Check

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”

Dr. Joyce Brothers
Psychologist and Television Personality

We all get hunches and gut feelings which clue us on what decision we should be making. Most of us can recall times where we ignored our gut feelings and pressed past that feeling to only regret not listening to our gut feeling or hunch. We say things like “I should have trusted my gut; I knew something wasn’t right …”.

What is a hunch or gut feeling? Dr. Joyce Brothers suggests in her quote that hunches are usually based on facts that are just below the conscious level. I agree that often times what we “feel” is our unconscious mind processing what is happening and giving us a feeling based on facts/experiences. I also believe that hunches and gut feelings are reactions to energy that is be emitted by another person or thing and it is this energy that gives us a literal gut feeling or maybe a twinge of a headache that is a signal to us that something is not right.

I find it interesting in a culture where we have faster access to more facts than ever to ask does “Mr. Spock” like logic win out or do we trust our hunches? I have sat many times and looked at what appeared to be the facts and how the facts led me to a logical decision and yet I did not feel good about the logical decision. Even though the facts were right in front of me and logic drove me in one direction, my gut told me otherwise, something wasn’t right. I, like many of you have learned that every time I go against my hunches and act in favor of logic and facts alone that I invariably regret not following my gut feeling.

Gut feelings, hunches, flashes of insight are simply intuitive knowings. The question is why do we not listen to these intuitive knowings? Often times the reason we don’t listen to that gut feeling or hunch is because we cannot logically explain our decision. We can’t explain it to ourselves and we certainly cannot explain it to another person. Because we cannot explain what we are feeling we may press ourselves into going the way of reason and logic.  When we express to another that we have a “bad feeling” about something we are about to do the other person my challenge us with logic or they may say that what we are feeling is fear and not anything that means anything. Of course this may sometimes be the case. It is important that we are able to discern between fears and intuitive knowings.

For someone whose awareness level is low discerning between fear and intuitive knowing can be very difficult. As are awareness increases we can more easily discern between what a fear is and what a “gut feeling” is.

How do we create this awareness? One way is to recall instances in your life of experience when you didn’t want to do something because of fear and when you did go ahead and do it all was well.  Recall what that felt like; what were your thoughts; what physical reactions did your body exhibit, sweaty palms, increased rate of speech, etc. Now recall a time where you had a feeling, a hunch that something wasn’t right and you went against that hunch. What were your thoughts like? What physical reactions did your body produce? I believe you will find a difference. Going forward when you feel something you can then stop and ask yourself am I reacting from fear or is this an intuitive feeling?

When you learn to recognize your hunches and to follow your hunches you will be amazed at how right your hunches are and how following them sometimes in spite of logic and facts will enhance your life.

Follow your hunches! Go with your gut feelings! Learn to trust in your intuitive knowing and you will be surprised at as you develop a trust in yourself and the occurrences of hunches will increase and your decisions will be that much more productive for listening to your gut.

Do a gut check today. What is your gut telling you? Listen and follow your intuitive knowing!

“Learn to let your intuition –gut instinct – tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you (and conversely, when what your doing is just right)”

- Oprah Winfrey

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