What happens when your gut reaction is wrong?



Last week a friend and colleague invited me to join her in a 5-day course being run by a business and mindset coach. Trusting her, and always open to new learnings, I checked out it out immediately.
I took one look at this woman’s website and got an instant “hell no”. Her overall vibe wasn’t for me. The language she used didn’t speak to me. The design of her site jarred me…and everything about her felt a little too, how can I put it? A little too perky.

My usual response in a situation like this is to trust my gut. 

Afterall, I’ve worked hard over the years learning to discern what’s right for me and unless something’ a full-body yes, I tend to give it a skip. I’ve learned to feel what a no feels like to me, and to walk away from anything that feels out of alignment.

So my response was definitely out of character.

Instead of politely declining, confident in my sense of self and trusting my instinctive response, I accepted my friend’s offer.

And ofcourse then I was committed.

The first day of the course arrived and I opened the FaceBook live to watch the video. And there was my reaction all over again. This was clearly not my vibe. The way she spoke, the way she was dressed, the language she used…nope, I’m not sure if I can do this…It’s all just too, well… too much.
I continued watching.
And I’ll admit right now that my reason for carrying on was not because I was taken by her message. It was firstly because I trusted my friend’s opinion. And secondly because I didn’t want to let her down now that I’d committed.

So I pushed through.

And realized very quickly that if I was to get any value from this, I better pull myself together and listen. Listen carefully to what this person was really saying. To stop seeing only her botoxed lips and fake nails…but to choose to truly listen.
So I did.
And then I listened a little more.

And then next thing I knew I was completely engrossed.

This strange woman who moments before had completely repelled me, had some really relevant shit to say. Her energy, her insight and above all, her really refreshing perspective had me listening more than 2 hours later…and again the next day and the next until all 5 days were complete.
I’ve had to laugh at myself.

Because through all my “work” in understanding myself and believing this to make me clear in my ideas, my views and my needs, I had failed to see the extent to which this had also made my very judgmental.

In being clear on who I am and what I’m not, it had become too easy to say “that’s not for me”, “that’s not my vibe”, using clarity and discernment not as a guide, but rather as an excuse.
And the result?

I closed myself off from new ideas, new opportunities, new insights…just because they arrived in a form that wasn’t immediately comfortable for me.

I’ve had to put my tail between my legs.

I’ve had to admit that discernment isn’t just about having a clear sense of who you are and what you want. It’s about continuously allowing that to be tested and challenged and expanded upon.

And I’ve had to admit that open-mindedness is just that. Open. To everything. No exceptions. We don’t get to say “I’m open…but only to the things that suit me.” 

So how can we use this to help us with our decision-making?

Well, firstly I think we have to admit that good decision-making is never really based on gut alone.  
Despite everything we’ve been taught to believe in recent years about our intuition and our instincts being the only thing that matters if we want to live in our truth, that’s not entirely true.

We have three brains, and if we use them in a balanced and aligned way, our choices will be better informed.

In this instance my gut brain said “run for your life”. And because it speaks so loudly, I usually let it take the final decision.
But sometimes our gut is biased. And mixed up with emotion and experience and…well, judgment.
But if I listened to the other brains, my head brain was saying “actually, this is a relevant topic and something you can really learn from.”
And my heart brain was saying “trust your friend and show gratitude for including you in her journey”.

By taking into account all three brains, I ended up making a good choice, and one that I wouldn’t have made if I’d trusted my gut alone.

I invite you to give it a try:
Next time you’re faced with a decision, tune into all three brains. Not only the gut reaction, not only the feelings response and not only the rational thoughts.
Get a sense of the information that’s coming from all of three of them.
Ask yourself:
My head says…
My heart says…
My gut says…
And see where you end up…

Hopefully with a little less judgment and a little more learning.