Your gut knows all – above your heart and your head. Let me explain. While your head is ruled by logic – your thoughts and perceptions, and your heart is ruled by your emotions and feelings (which can, at times, be misleading and fleeting), your gut is led by your intuition. Intuition is that feeling you get when you know something is right deep down, even if you cannot explain how or why you know it’s right. Let’s learn how to trust your gut.
Building self confidence
Learning to trust your gut and your intuition is the key to building self-confidence in yourself and changing your life. When you make decisions based on your intuition, it will take you on the path that you are meant to follow. Now, don’t get me wrong, this may not be easy. But just because something is not easy, that doesn’t mean it’s not right for you. Learning from our mistakes and failures, running into bittersweet moments, and overcoming hard challenges are all a part of life. And at the end of it all – having gone through this and followed the path you believed was right for you – you will come out a better, stronger and braver version of yourself; a version who you now trust and believe in, just that little bit more than you did before.
Leave emotions out of decision making
Now, I am a very idealistic person, and one to blindly follow my heart above all logic and reason. But hear me when I say that you should not base your decisions on your emotional state at any given time; whether this emotion is joy, anger, shame, sadness, fear or grief. This is because emotion affects our ability to reason. If you are going through something that opens you up to being in a highly emotional state, take time to sit with your emotions, come to terms with the situation and let go (however long this may take). Awareness is important when making big decisions.
Answer these questions to guide your decision
When faced with tough decisions, there are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help guide you:
- does this decision support the life that I am trying to create?
- does this decision support my values?
- do I feel self-respected and empowered by this decision?
- is this a decision backed by my gut or is it based around my heart (emotion – common one being fear), mind (logic), or other people’s opinions?
Learning to trust
Now that you have answered these questions, what is next? How do I take a step forward? The key is actually trusting yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking – it’s not that simple. How do I learn to trust myself? The answer is: practice. The more you follow through on something you set out to do, the more you will believe that you will follow through on it and you will begin to trust your word. Like everything, you need to start small and work your way up to it.
When making a decision (life-changing or otherwise), it is normal to have doubts and question whether you trust yourself or trust your gut. All you need to do is take the leap. Pretend that you know what you are doing, fake it til you make it, and commit to a single decision and accept that you know it is best for you. If you actually look deep inside yourself, you do know what you want – your intuition knows what you want – it is just a matter of following through on it.
Cover photo by Anna Shvets