How often have you ignored that gut feeling that screams "turn and RUN" to only later wish you had listened to your intuition? I'm guilty of not honoring what my instincts are screaming at me. I tell myself things like "Get out of your comfort zone" or "Keep going; it'll get better." But the truth is that we often need to listen to that nagging sensation we don't understand fully.
In this edition of Unraveled, I will share a book that has helped me immensely, the science behind our gut feelings, and why having the confidence and courage to trust that tiny voice deep within is so powerful.
Let's dive in…
If you are unfamiliar with Jamie Kern Lima, she is a damn human powerhouse. Her road to success wasn't always glamorous from bagging groceries at Safeway to getting fired from Denny's in 2004 to 100-hour work weeks and rejections galore. She founded IT Cosmetics in 2008 and sold live on QVC for over 1,000 shows. By 2015, the company had more than $182 million in net sales and was acquired by L'Oréal for $1.2 billion in 2016. A big thing worth noting here is that this was an eleven-year journey. Her story is incredible, and if you need some massive inspiration, listen to it on Audible or give it a read (link listed below). My copy is plum full of highlights and underlines!
In her book "Believe It" she says:
To venture into unmapped territory, sometimes we have to take the experts off the pedestal we've created in our minds for them, and put our intuition onto one. We have to listen to that small, clear voice inside of us telling us what to do. And then have the confidence and courage to do it.
Holy crap that is so powerful! Can I get an amen to these words? I read them often as I try to empower myself to push forward and trust my own strength. But it is more than a simple gut feeling, our bodies are magnificently created to help us out.
Despite popular belief, there's a deep neurological basis for intuition. Scientists call the stomach the "second brain" for a reason. There's a vast neural network of 100 million neurons lining your entire digestive tract. That's more neurons than are found in the spinal cord, which points to the gut's incredible processing abilities.1
So often, we want to be strong or dismiss the gut feelings that creep in. As we get older, we start to discern through emotional intelligence what feelings are temporary feelings versus viable concerns that will serve ourselves and others.
How can we discern gut feelings from fear?
In a Harvard Business Review article, Melody Wilding says that "Fear tends to be accompanied by bodily sensations of constricting or minimizing. You may feel tense, panicky, or desperate. Fear has a pushing energy as if you're trying to force something, or selecting an option because you want to avoid a threat, rejection, or punishment. Fear also tends to be dominated by self-critical thoughts that urges you to hide, conform, or compromise yourself. Intuition on the other hand has pulling energy, as if your choice is moving you toward your best interest, even if that means pursuing a risk or moving more slowly than others."
This begs the even bigger question here, my friends. How often do we compromise and conform to the expectations or standards that other people (or our organization) have set for us and fully disregard our powerful intuition?
Trusting your intuition
History has a great way of teaching us. Forbes gives us some fantastic examples. Albert Einstein went against the ordinary presumptions of physics. There was a bomb near Winston Churchill while dining at 10 Downing Street in London. Before a second could land at his exact location, he told everyone to evacuate. His intuition saved everyone. During the decline of demand for his cars and high worker turnover in 1914, Henry Ford doubled his employee's wages. He went against others' recommendations by doing so. Within a year, turnover turned around, and demand was back because Ford's workers could finally afford Ford cars! The list goes on and on about people that trusted what they thought could be right, and so many people today benefit from those decisions. I don't know about you, but I'm glad they did.
Is your intuition telling you something right now or nudging you to be courageous?
I know mine is. It's why I've started writing my book, it's why I left corporate America to serve at a different level and to be honest, I am not one hundred percent sure what the future will hold for me or my business, but I do know that I'm trusting that gut feeling that I can serve at a higher level and bless a hell of a lot of people.
So, as we continue to unravel together, let's remember to trust or intuition and discern between fear and valid gut feelings. Together we can make a massive impact. Let's do it!