Gut Check: Why Your Belly Might Just Be the Best Brain You Have

Ever feel like your gut has its own mind? I’m talking about those times when a thought, a hunch, or an inkling pops into your head seemingly out of nowhere. It’s not backed up by facts or evidence, but somehow, it just feels right.

The thing is, we’re often so conditioned to rely on logic and reason that we overlook the valuable insights that come from our intuition. The thoughts that sneak up on us, the feelings that bubble up unexpectedly – these are all part of our intuitive sense, and they’re worth paying attention to.

Now, you might be wondering, “Intuition? Isn’t that just for psychics and horoscope enthusiasts?” Not at all. In fact, in my work as a leadership coach, I’ve seen the immense value of intuitive thinking. Many of my clients share their gut feelings with me, often with a hint of embarrassment because they can’t “prove” their insights. But from where I’m standing, these intuitive nuggets are often the most accurate and insightful observations they make.

And it’s not just my clients. How many times have you heard an expert say, “I just have a feeling that this is (or isn’t) going to work,” and it turns out they’re spot on?

Intuition is an unconscious recognition of patterns

This isn’t magic, nor is it pure coincidence. Intuition is an unconscious recognition of patterns, a quick and often accurate perception that comes from our ability to pick up on subtle cues and connections. Recognizing patterns is essential in our knowledge work and in understanding how to work with others, especially when logic alone falls short.

So, how can you tap into this reservoir of intuitive wisdom?

Embrace the silence

You don’t need to be a meditation master to connect with your intuition. All it takes is a few moments of quiet, away from distractions and other activities. In this stillness, intuitive ideas can emerge.

Be open to the ideas

Picture a brainstorming session where someone immediately dismisses a new idea as “stupid,” killing the creative vibe. Don’t do that to your intuition. When an intuitive insight pops into your head, treat it like a valuable contribution from a trusted colleague. Be gentle, open, and nonjudgmental with it.

Be patient

Intuitive insights emerge from your unconscious mind, often without all the information needed to confirm or refute them. Give them time and space to breathe. They may gather supporting evidence over time, like a rolling snowball, or they might fizzle out. Either way, be patient and see where they lead.

For me, intuition often feels like a subtle tingle or a persistent thought that just won’t go away. 

How does your gut speak to you?

Maybe it’s time to stop sidelining your intuition and start embracing it as a valuable resource in your decision-making toolbox. We may be conditioned to rely on logic and reason, but there’s a wealth of intuitive wisdom waiting to be tapped. So the next time your gut has something to say, listen to it, explore it, and let it guide you. Trust me, your gut knows what it’s talking about.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

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