Lately, it seems that intuition is getting shortchanged in a world that values data and critical thinking. We have become so focused on trying to bulletproof our decisions by backing them up with facts and figures that we often overlook the fact that our gut (as well as our heart) can be highly instructive in helping make better choices. In my own experience, I have found that when I haven’t listened to my gut, I’ve always regretted it. And yet, with so much pressure to make “rational” decisions, it’s so easy to allow our heads to talk us out of (or into) things that our intuition is warning us against.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink he explores how experts in a diverse section of fields can make decisions on things in a so-called “blink of an eye.” This ability may, on the surface, seem like intuition but in fact, is based on years and years of expertise that become part of an individual’s DNA. The lesson to me here is not to automatically dismiss intuition and ‘gut feel’ as something that is less relevant to your decision-making than analysis and data. It’s the combination of both that make for a powerful outcome. If your spidey-sense is tingling, even if the numbers all add up, take a pause and dig into what’s bothering you. There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s something there that needs to be explored.
When was a time you didn’t listen to your gut? What did you learn?