How Do You ‘Trust Your Gut’?

“What’s your gut telling you?”, I was asked. 

“I dunno”, I replied. “I’m confused”. 

About 10 years ago, I had begun to understand a bit about the power of the subconscious mind. 

I understood that our deeply ingrained beliefs, mostly formed in childhood through a myriad of experiences, guided and shaped our reactions to all sorts of situations, people, sounds, objects, smells and so on. 

We couldn’t possibly recall each experience consciously. Our senses are exposed to way too much information and data points for that to happen. 

So we chuck ‘em into some dark recess of our powerful mind and they shape habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. This then frees up some room in our sophisticated, thinking brain to learn new stuff and find our way in the world. 

Many of our beliefs are quite limiting. They can serve us up to a point in life before they hold us back. 

An example for me was my belief that I was “good with money”. I worked in banking, managed wealth portfolios of wealthy clients, saved and invested well myself etc etc. 

However, when I changed careers into coaching, I froze about six months in. I wasn’t sure about investing in myself because I couldn’t be sure of the return. 

Was I up to it? Maybe I should take more time….

I wasn’t investing in my marketing, support or any further qualifications. I was trying to learn it all myself, on the cheap. 

Unwinding that belief took me a while, and that held me back. 

A couple of weeks ago I invited you to reflect on examples of where you rewired a long-held belief or view, or where you trusted your gut despite perceived logic pointing in a different direction. 

For me, the more I unpack my subconscious beliefs, the easier it is to trust my gut. 

The more self-aware I am, the clearer my gut/instinct becomes.

I still tend to block my instinct by letting stress, noise, guilt and other interference get in the way too. 

Of course, I’ve got lots wrong, And worse, I still stall and procrastinate instead of failing faster. 

But thankfully I’ve lots of examples where trusting my gut worked (all involved the support of others I might add).

  • Becoming a coach when I had a decent and stable career. 
  • Moving to Camberwell (where we knew no one) from Clapham (where we had been for 10 years) just before Nico was born. 
  • Sourcing, and engaging in, a non-traditional approach to heal a serious injury.

What underpins all of this? Working with a coach myself. Finding my own way by learning to trust myself. Accepting that there will always be plenty of wrong turns, but knowing why I chose to take those turns helps inform me what I might do differently next time. 

As Carl Jung supposedly said; “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will guide you and you will call it fate”. 

So tell me, stop and think for a second. Just take a deep breath and let your busy mind settle down. 

  • What inner tension are you conflicted with? 
  • Call it out. Just type it, say it or write it down. 
  • What do you believe to be true about it? Challenge some of your assumptions. 
  • What if it wasn’t true? What if the opposite was true?
  • What would be possible for you then? What impact could you have?

Let me know if anything interesting comes up.