Let your gut be your guide

A client sent me a note recently.

My gut is starting to speak loudly to me.

Starting? No, I told her, it always has.

And I really believe that. If ever you feel like you’ve lost your intuition, your sense of inner knowing, my guess is you’ve likely stopped listening to your gut.

Perhaps you tuned it out before because you didn’t like what it was telling you (i.e. Don’t apply for that job—it’ll make you miserable. Stop taking on so many clients—the money isn’t worth your sanity.) Or maybe you’re simply unfamiliar with how your gut communicates.

As we head into the first week of March, let’s put our antennas up.

Our gut speaks to us in moments of positivity and negativity. It’ll tell you when something’s a NO and something’s a GO. Here are a few ways your gut might be trying to tell you something.

Negative: You feel instant dread.  

When we make decisions without thought or intention, we often experience instant regret—that nagging feeling of foreboding. We ask ourselves, Why did I agree to this? And we do that because we didn’t ask the question before we made the commitment. Dread is a gut reaction, a quick and easy way to recognize that we’ve made the wrong decision and should perhaps shift gears.

Positive: You feel laser-focused.

Often, when something is jiving with your gut, it’s almost hard to stop thinking about it. Your next steps are in clear focus, and you show up for yourself like never before, tackling tasks and achieving goals with a concentration most would envy. It’s not that it’s easy—it’s just that your gut knows it’s worth it.

Negative: You have physical pain.

I talk about this a lot with clients. Our gut will often take desperate measures to get our attention, manifesting as bodily pain to let us know something isn’t quite right. I’ve had a lot of clients who hate their 9-to-5 tell me they feel physically sick on Sundays or on their morning drive. In a past life, when I was regularly tuning out my gut, I found myself with acute shoulder tension. Take note of these pains, and try to draw connections.

Positive: It’s easy to be silly.

Ever make a big decision and then find yourself feeling almost silly with joy? That’s how I felt when I quit a demanding job in the nonprofit world. In the weeks leading up to my last day, I’d blast Beyonce (who else?) and dance in my bathroom. I was exceptionally joyful, and that made it easy to be silly. Silliness could be your gut’s way of celebrating, too.

When it comes to how we use our expendable resources—time, energy—our gut is always talking. My friends, don’t forget to listen.

Rooting for you,

Regan