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Gut Feeling: The Inner Voice That Speaks Volumes

  • 9 min read
a hand-drawn illustration of a figure experiencing gut feeling

How many times have you ignored that feeling in your gut when it’s screaming something isn’t right?

Once, twice, or maybe more times than you can count?

Maybe you thought what you were doing was correct to some degree, or you convinced yourself by saying, “It’s not that bad” or “It will work out for the best,” and you ignored that gut feeling.

But the gut doesn’t speak for no reason. 

It normally speaks when something is wrong. Even if your mind can’t quite put a finger on it, and acts as an extra boost when something feels right.

Let’s explore what gut feelings are and why you should listen to them.

 

What Is a Gut Feeling and How Does It Work?

Gut feelings are often referred to as a gut instinct or intuition.

Your gut feeling is your inner voice speaking to you through your first emergency response system, your gut.

Your gut and your brain are connected in a way that if your brain doesn’t pick up on something important, your gut will start telling you to pay closer attention.

Your gut feelings tend to guide you most during moments of uncertainty, crisis, or decision making. The problem with gut feelings is that your gut doesn’t speak through words, which means you won’t know what your gut is trying to tell you if you’re not in tune with your body, or you’re not paying close attention to the situation at hand.

Learning to listen without knowing all the facts and relying only on logical thinking can be complicated and unreliable. However, acting without having all the facts is hard-wired into our brains from prehistoric times when the choices were more straightforward — run or die.

Even though we now live in a modern society where things aren’t as detrimental as back then, that intuition stayed with us.

Your gut warns you whether or not something is right for you in an instant.

Understanding your gut feeling can mean the difference between avoiding a disaster in the future and making the best decisions based on intuition.

So, how does it work?

When you’re in a situation that requires you to make a decision, and you start to experience an “off” feeling that you can’t explain, that’s your gut guiding you to make a different decision.

Stepping back and reassessing the terms could enlighten you on things you might have missed if you had made a split decision which could have caused unnecessary problems immediately or in the future.

Listening to Your Gut Feelings

Should you trust your gut feeling?

Gut feelings are often misunderstood because, logically, they don’t make sense. But they have an uncanny way of speaking the truth. Since they are a form of your intuition, gut feelings can be an excellent source of knowledge.

They provide us with intuitive knowledge that cannot be obtained through thinking alone.

So, should you trust it?

Let me put it this way, I’ve had situations where I hoped for the best outcome. Even though my gut was telling me to run away, I decided against it.

I ignored my gut feeling, and it turned out that the choice I made wasn’t the best decision to make.

Whenever I trust my gut and do as it says, I’m always rewarded with the knowledge of why the choice I made was beneficial.

So, should you trust your gut?

My strongest opinion is Yes!

They have never steered me wrong before, so I doubt yours will take you in the wrong direction.

How to Get in Tune With Your Inner Voice

The best way to get in tune with your gut feelings is by developing your intuition through your self-awareness — a process that can be done through journaling.

Self-discovery takes time and dedication. It is not an overnight sensation and thinking so will cause you to miss valuable information about yourself.

Once you become aware and confident about yourself, your gut feelings will become a strong beacon speaking louder than ever.

It is like your best friend who always provides clarity and direction on what to do in any situation instead of being caught off guard, completely unaware until it’s too late.

Self-awareness is about learning who you are, why you react in a certain way to things and how that makes you feel; this is how your gut feelings work best.

Pay attention to your body and your emotions because when you’re emotional, your gut tends to be more intuitive.

Doing this will help you to learn the subtle cues of your gut intuition.

Again, this is a process that takes time and patience, but it’s worth the wait to fully understand what your body is trying to tell you in the best way it knows how.

Examples of Ignoring Your Gut Feelings

Ignoring your gut feelings, as I indicated above, can turn out to be disastrous. Here are two examples of exactly what I mean.

Example 1:

Mya was invited to a house party with her college friends. She was excited because she loved meeting new people and making new friends. But, when she got there, it was a lot different than what she anticipated. Something felt off the moment she stepped into the house, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She mentioned this feeling to one of the friends she arrived with, and they told her they felt the same way but didn’t know what to do. Finally, they decided to leave. The next morning, she heard people talking about the party and the tragedy that happened. She quickly inquired for more information and found out that someone was severely hurt from a fight that broke out after she left.

Because Mya listened to her gut, she and her friend were able to avoid witnessing a traumatic event.

Example 2:

Another example is the story of Michaela and her wife, Jessica.

After five years of marriage, Michaela started to feel that things were changing with her wife. From her perspective, Jessica’s behavior seemed to have changed overnight resulting in toxic verbal exchanges and constant arguments between them. Michaela ignored her feelings and convinced herself that they were just going through a rough patch.

Jessica, on the other hand, thought differently. Michaela had started to say subtle things that hurt her feelings for more than a year. Her words stung Jessica like an angry bee and poked at her patience. But every time she tried to address it, Michaela would blow up and proclaim she didn’t know what Jessica was talking about. The last straw for Jessica came when they were at a restaurant, and Michaela belittled her in front of the waiter.

That night, Jessica finally told Michaela that their relationship wasn’t working out, and she was moving out. If Michaela had listened to her gut and paid more attention to her wife, she would have noticed that Jessica wasn’t happy. Unfortunately, since she chose to ignore her gut intuition, Jessica’s news was like a punch in the stomach.

In the examples above, Mya and her friend were saved from witnessing a traumatic event, but Michaela ignored her gut and lost.

Listening to your gut intuition can help you navigate life’s difficulties with confidence. If your gut is telling you to pay attention to the person in front of you, listen to it. There’s something you may have missed that your intuition didn’t.

Tips for Listening to the Voice Inside of You

  1. Pay attention to your body when you’re emotional, making a decision, start to feel off about a situation, and when your mood changes.
  2. Be mindful of the signals that might be telling you something is amiss. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I feel tense?
  • Am I excited or anxious?
  • Do I get butterflies in my stomach in a bad way when a certain person comes around?
  • Why did my mood just change?

Keep in mind that gut feeling provides us with intuitive knowledge we can’t get from thinking alone, so pay close attention when the environmental energy changes.

Is Your Gut Feeling Usually Right or Can It be Wrong?

From personal experience, it’s never been wrong!

Your intuition is there to guide you to make smart, wise decisions that are beneficial to you and the people around you.

If you think your intuition is incorrect, you should stop and think about the situation more in-depth.

Gut Feelings Provide Knowledge

Gut feeling provides instinctive knowledge you can’t get from logical thinking alone, so pay close attention when changes happen in your mood or environment.

If gut feelings are not important to you, then it’s time to start paying closer attention.

Your instincts will tell you if something is wrong, so be sure to listen and trust that feeling. Trust it even if you don’t fully understand it. The reasons will always be revealed after the decision has been made.

It takes practice, but gut instincts will guide you through life’s difficulties if you let it!

What has been your experience listening to gut intuition?

Share below, and tell me how this article has helped you understand gut feelings. Plus, how it’s changed the way you think about your gut feeling!

 

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Jody

Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

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