I recently read an article that confirmed – I need to slow down and trust my instincts. It can be unnerving, yet incredibly freeing, listening to that little voice inside. I’ve worked for years to listen more carefully and trust more fully.  Why?

Because if you’ve honed your intuition over the years, it can be very powerful, especially if you don’t have much else to go on. Not to mention, the numbers are on your side.

Scientists say you’ll be right 90% of the time using instinct over intellect. That may be hard to believe unless you’ve learned to listen and experienced the thrill of a satisfying decision. It’s quite empowering, using something from within rather than waiting for the information or overanalyzing the data before you. But where does it come from and how can you learn to trust it?

It turns out, that response that bubbles up from your gut is an unconscious form of reasoning based on a collection of your experiences.  And the more you listen to your gut, the more you’ll learn to trust it. In order to listen more, you need uninterrupted, quiet time; which for me, with two daughters and working full time, can be a challenge. That’s probably why my best ideas and decisions come on the road – whether I’m out running or traveling in a bus full of fifth-graders on a field trip!

So how does this help when working with clients? For starters, when your intuition tells you “that’s a good idea”, or “this is the wrong direction”, you should pay attention.  Don’t let overthinking make you feel like you can’t do something you know you can.  On the flip side, rational thought obviously has its place too. It may actually help when you’re learning something new or when you have limited, concrete options. But if it’s something you know how to do, or if it’s emotional or complex, go with your gut!

– Jen, jwhisnant@quixotegroup.com