GOOD MORNING MONDAY -
AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning! The weekend is over. I hope you were able to spend time, with self, family and friends. Here we are again - Monday morning 😊be energized and grateful for life!
Last week we contemplated our inner voice; specifically listening for and being aware of our self-talk (both positive and negative). Think for a second. What did you tell yourself this past week? I hope it was more on the positive and affirming side; but if not, don’t be hard on yourself. Remember that this is a lifetime’s work. Keep at it and continue to be aware of this facet of your thought life. It truly creates your experience and world. You deserve an affirmative and nurturing world!
This week, let’s continue exploring our inner voice, but from another perspective. Let’s delve into the part of our inner voice that is our intuition, our instinct, our gut feelings.
I am sure each of you can think of a time while attempting to make either a personal or a business decision, that you have received the advice, “follow your inner voice”, “trust your instincts”, “listen to your gut.” Have you ever, when deciding, after weighing many factors, gone with the decision that “felt most right?” Even though most of you have probably heeded that counsel, if you were asked to list the elements that helped you to make the decision, you would most likely cite experience, research, data, even polls; but probably never your inner voice or that you trusted your gut!
“Go with your gut” is one of the most commonly doled out pieces of professional advice. Trusting your gut is age old advice for a reason; because your instincts and intuition are usually right! The one thing that we all have in common, however, is the tendency not to pay attention to our gut. Much of the time we disregard it, and when we do, we realize we may have missed something in our decision-making process.
Why don’t we pay attention to our gut feelings? We spend so much of our workdays in the “outer world” interacting with team members, colleagues, clients, we do not take the time to process our “inner world.” It is in our “inner world” where we reflect on all the experiences we are encountering. It is our "inner world" that provides us our insight (instincts, intuition, and gut feelings). We do need to give credence to these facets of our thought process. They are not something to be dismissed.
So, where do these “gut feeling” signals come from? The gut itself does literally feed gut feelings, but they do not originate there; they originate from signals in your brain. Here is how it works: experience is encoded in your brain as a web of fact and feeling. When a new experience calls up a similar pattern it unleashes not only stored knowledge, but also an emotional state of mind and predisposition for you to respond in a certain way. Thus, the more experience you have in a domain, the more reliable your intuitions will be because they arise out of the richest array of collected patterns of experience and data. You can find comfort in knowing that you can lean on unconscious patterns when facing big decisions. Both your rational and emotional mind is important when making decisions; there really is no such thing as a purely rational decision. The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind. The question is not whether rational reason is better than intuitive decision-making; it is how do you combine both for optimal results?
Your intuition is always there, whether you are aware of it or not, always reading the situation, always trying to steer you in the right way. Can you feel it? Can you hear it? Are you paying attention? Feeding and nurturing your intuition, using the wisdom it provides is one key way to thrive, personally and professionally.
So, what can be done to reignite the instinctual components of your decision making? How do you learn to integrate the extra sensory cues and artillery within you so that these components of your thinking are integrated to enable you to make better decisions?
Here are some ideas I found that may help you get more in touch with your intuition:
Listen to your inner voice rather than ignoring it. To make the best decisions you need a balance of intuitive and rational thinking. Don’t disregard your hunches.
Carve out time to reflect. After a meeting or interaction that requires a decision, give yourself mental space to reflect. Spend time alone – even if for only a minute. You need a little bit of solitude and silence amidst the craziness and noises of everyday life. If it is a big decision; sleep on it. You must create space to listen to what your gut is saying.
Give yourself constraints. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to make the decision, but do not allow yourself to over analyze it. At the end of the time, after you’ve weighed all of the factors and you are still not ready to make the decision, rely on your gut for the rest and make the decision. This will force you to begin to become more instinctive.
Be aware of your feelings. Develop an awareness of how you are feeling during both personal and work situations. Do a body scan and get a sense of what is going on in you. Emotionally label what you are feeling to get in touch with what your gut is saying to you.
List every time your gut instinct served you well. Being instinctive is not an innate trait. It can increase or decrease depending upon how much you practice using it. List the times you trusted your gut and the outcome was favorable.
I hope you take time this week to slow down, take time when making decisions and listen not only to your logical processing, but also to your inner voice. What is it telling you? Trust yourself. Listen to both your gut and head to calculate your next best move. You will know what to do.
Have a GREAT week exploring your intuitive side and increasing the power and outcome of your decisions.