Mental health, emotional wellbeing & personal development

Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts

Do you trust your instincts or are you easily manipulated by others? Trusting your instincts is massively underrated. We all have self doubt and it’s easy to ignore your gut feeling. I know that if I had trusted my instincts more often in the past, I would’ve saved myself a lot of hassle and heartache.

When it’s important to trust your instincts

New territory/experiences

When you buy a car, there may be a lot that you don’t understand. You have to rely on the expertise and knowledge of someone else. Whilst this is something you can’t do without, you can still trust your instincts regarding the person selling you the car. Do they seem overky enthusiastic? Shifty? Examine their body language. Body language refers to all the non verbal cues that someone engages in when they communicate. Research suggests that body language makes up between 50-70% of all communication. It’s vital to observe body language, and to an extent this is something we all do naturally. Again – when you do this you are relying on your instincts.

Relationships

When you are getting to know someone, you tend to rely on your instincts more as you form an opinion about someone. Think about how you observe someone’s facial expressions. A facial expression can say so much without any words.

The expression on a person’s face can even help determine if we trust or believe what the individual is saying. One study found that the most trustworthy facial expression involved a slight raise of the eyebrows and a slight smile. This expression, the researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness and confidence.

I haven’t always trusted my instincts. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back I can now see where my instincts were telling me to stoppursuing a relationship. My need for love and acceptance overtook my instincts and I continued along the path to self destruction and heartbreak. It can be hard to trust your instincts because sometime’s they aren’t accurate. We dismiss that inner feeling telling us something isn’t right. We tell ourselves not to be silly and that everything will work out fine.

Think back to your past experiences when your gut instinct was trying to tell you something about someone or a situation and you ignored the message. What happened? Intuition isn’t based on science and it’s more in line with a sense of knowing, an innate sense that we are all born with.

Finding direction

Trust yourself when it comes to navigating your future direction. Don’t allow yourself to be unnecessarily influenced by others. Look within when you decide what’s important to you and what will make you happy. When we ignore our instincts and end up doing things to please others, we veer off our true path to happiness.

Stay true to yourself and your values when you decide which direction to go in. If you trust your instincts, you will be far more likely to end up finding your “true north”. Your “true north” is where you are meant to be to self-actualise. Self actualisation involves using all your skills, talents and strengths to the best of your ability.  This can only happen when you give up other people’s opinions in favour of your own. It’s great to get advice but then weigh that all up with what your intuition is telling you.

Questions to ask yourself

Am I doing this for me or for someone else?

Is this in line with my values? (examples: love, family, honesty, kindness, ambition, self care, self respect, helping others)

Am I doing this out of fear or lack of something?

Am I doing this because I feel vulnerable?

Am I doing this because I don’t feel good enough?

The above questions can help you to identify when you are acting against your intuition. Fear, lack of self belief or feeling vulnerable can motivate us to do things that aren’t in line with our instincts.

It can be difficult to tune in to your instincts. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Instincts provide you with further information. Trust your instincts and grow more confident in your ability to make decisions and navigate life.

Mandy X

PS, you may not always want to follow your instincts but they are there to protect you!

Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash