Knowing what to do in situations where you aren’t 100% sure of what is going on can be something difficult to do. Different thoughts start racing through your head at what seems like the speed of light. “How will this affect me?” “Will I get hurt?” “What if I do the wrong thing and hurt someone?” “What if I choose wrong?”
I think that everyone is born with a conscience, whether it is primarily good or bad is dependent on the person, but I think we have both. When I think of a gut feeling, I think about that feeling you get when you have make a hard decision. I think of the times when it has to be a rapid response to an immediate situation; I think of the time when it builds and builds over a long period of time when you have to make a future decision.
The important question to ask is truly what IS a gut feeling? Where does it come from? A quick google search comes back with the idea that a gut feeling is a combination of emotion and logic at the same time. Whether we realize it or not emotion places a big role in our life behind the scenes. It shapes who we are from the inside out and helps and hurts us everyday.
When we think of logic, we think of times where the situation has a clear pattern or path for us to help us figure out what the next move have to be in order to get it “right.” For example, when doing an equation for math. a + b = c. You see it in class, you do the homework on it, you practice it until it is retained and the path is as clear as day for when you eventually have to take the test on it. In those type of situations you would imagine that being a clear logic problem that your brain can solve. Emotions role in those situation comes in when you first start. You don’t know what you’re doing with that equation yet, so your brain panics a little. When you start to work on it more and more, you become more confident in your abilities and how you can now handle the situation with ease. You start to feel joy from your confidence and get more and more glee building up the more you do it.
This sparked a “look-back” of my life where I thought of specific times where I thought I was only using logic rather than using emotion. I thought back to a time when I was in high school taking physics. I will tell you right now, I was terrible at physics. Looking back I now know it was because I never paid attention, but when it came time for those assignments and tests, I was panicked, anxious, and upset. I didn’t put the work in to learning the material correctly so I was unprepared beyond belief. The tests looked like a different language to me. My gut feeling was that I was going to fail, and let me tell you, it was right.
Gut feelings come up everyday, multiple times a day, in many situations whether you think about it or not. It comes up when driving and you can take multiple ways home and you choose when one will get you there the fastest. When you’re at the grocery store and decide to buy something new to try based on what you do like and what you look for in food. You use your gut feeling to decide if you should spend the $8 on sushi, even though you dislike sushi and have never liked it. There’s just something in you that tries to tell you to go for it, to try it, you never know.
Your mind does sometimes talk you out of situations that it knows are wrong. It knows you had a bad experience and tells your straight up not to do it. Thats the logic part speaking louder than your emotional side, to make sure you don’t spend that $8 on something you would almost absolutely throw away. With time in between these situations and experiences, it becomes easier to let that emotion come in and sway you in that situation. What if it’s changed? What if I have developed a taste for sushi? What if the last sushi I had was bad sushi?
My gut feeling is something I have always relied on and listened to. I have always had a very loud conscience that I choose to listen to more often times than not. The most memorable ones for me, and probably for other people, are ones that involve other people or big life decisions. I think back to the good, the bad, and the ugly all of the time because I like to look at them as learning experiences. That doesn’t mean that I ignore the bad ones, it just means that I’m almost always willing to try something again, even if that means I get hurt.
I’m only 21. I have made mistakes, I still make them, and I know that I will continue to make them in the future. For me work, school, and romantic relationships have been huge for me so far.
When it came time to get a part time job about 2 1/2 years ago, I applied at a handful of places. They were all retail, paying the same, with different types of companies such as general, office, home improvement, etc. I chose my current job because I followed a gut feeling. I interviewed and got offered a couple of different jobs at 3 other places, but chose my job because I felt something pulling me towards it. Now at first I didn’t like it; I’ll be honest there. I was a cashier, who wasn’t used to having to wake up at 5 a.m. for work, and the work I was doing didn’t stimulate my mind or body very much. I was like it was stale to me; been there done that.
I stuck it out for a bit, and a couple of months after starting, they moved me to a new department. My new department, I had to learn about products and how to use them, I got to do more physical work, I got to move around freely in that department. That’s when I really started to like my job, and I still like it to this day. I, like many, love my job for the people I work with. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know them and work with them. I’m glad I went with my gut feeling when it came to my job, because if I didn’t I would have never met any of the people that now mean so much to me.
School was something I jumped around with quite a bit. I started as a journalism major, switched to nursing, switched to polysomnography (the study of sleep), and landed on the paralegal program, which I hope with lead to law school. All of this jumping and taking classes that now mean nothing to me or my degree, left me a little discouraged. That was the price I paid for following my gut feeling way too much; but I learned what I want to be and what I want to do, and for that I’m grateful. I now know that I what I’m doing is something I’m confident about, what I know I want to do, and what I feel that will make me happy in the future.
Like many, I have made huge mistakes in who I have tried to pursue in romantic relation ships. I believe everyone has to make those mistakes in life, because deciding who you want to spend your life with is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I made the mistake of NOT following my gut feeling for 2 1/2 years because I was scared. I was scared of being alone, of never finding someone new, for never finding the person that gave me butterflies every time I looked at them. I stayed in a relationship way past it’s expiration date because I was too chicken to be hurt and to hurt someone else. This ended up hurting him way more than it would have if I had done it at the 8 month mark when I started to feel it rather than at the 2 1/2 year mark.
Because of this mistake, I learned a bit about myself, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be with. This has hurt me, but has made me much stronger for it. I know now that if I feel my gut feeling talking to me about someone, that I should listen to it. That I shouldn’t brush it off as a “bad spell” in the relationship. Sometimes talking it out with the person can help, but at the end of the day it’s up to me to be an adult and choose what’s right for me. I refuse to be stuck, I refuse to let someone take advantage of me, I refuse to be the girl I once was; insecure and blind.
Relationships are some of the most important things in life. Friendship, family, love; all of these help us in so many ways, they hurt us in so many ways, but they define what makes us unique. They help us discover what we believe in, what rules we follow, what we decide to do. They help our gut feeling become stronger and weaker in situations and decision making process.
Making assumptions, learning from our mistakes, decision making – all of these things are shaped by our gut feeling about everything. From looking at someone and deciding right then and there if you’re willing to talk to them, to deciding where to go for dinner, your gut feeling is playing a huge role in your life. Listening to it or ignoring it is the struggle. I think going with your gut can be helpful more times than not. I believe that your gut is saying the things you’re too afraid to say or do. I think it pushes your boundaries beyond belief, but at the end of the day it makes you better for that. “Go with your gut” has, and always will, mean something to me; it means I’m being true to who I am with fears, anxiety, frustration and all.