Everyone, to some degree, uses their gut instincts to make decisions. The way you think determines how much you use them. However, most lifestyle experts and coaches believe “going with your gut” in decision making is worth it more than it is a risk.
When you think of your brain as a computer, you realize it takes an enormous amount of information every day. That is both conscious and subconscious information. It will absorb factual data, but will also note an unusual gesture the person presenting the data makes.
We may not think about all these subconscious clues, but our brain stores them. This stored information contributes to creating our gut feelings.
There are several thinking styles where intuition plays a role:
- Social thinkers are more emotionally based and focus on relationships. They are highly intuitive and are generally correct.
- Conceptual thinkers just know the answer. However, they can’t tell you how they know. It’s similar to knowing the answer to a math problem but not being able to tell how you arrived at the answer. They have connected the dots and understand it so they are satisfied.
- Analytical thinkers always want logic and analysis. They long for information to make a decision. However, when they do go with their gut, they are typically correct because their gut uses all data and logic stored in the brain and filtered it out.
- Structural thinkers are all about dates and times. They instinctively know how long something will take to complete or how long to plan for travel time to an appointment. They are excellent at administration and planning out the day.
Now that you understand how people think, you should understand how people behave regarding their intuition. After all, having it and using it are two different things.
Behavioral preferences are broken out into three basic spectrums that are expressiveness, assertiveness, and flexibility. Each of those groups is broken into the low end and high end of the spectrum.
Those on the low end of the expressiveness may not talk because they need to process their gut feeling before sharing it. Those on the opposite end will willingly speak their mind but tend to not put a lot of stock in their gut feeling. The fear is they won’t be taken seriously.
In the assertiveness group, those in the low end are peacekeepers so they will ignore their gut feelings. Those in the high end of the spectrum will make their case, but don’t have a problem allowing others to speak and will even ask the quieter ones for their opinion. They want to see all sides before determining their view is correct.
Those on the low end of the flexibility spectrum focus on the path to follow once they get a gut feeling. They rarely change their mind from their gut feeling and require a lot of evidence to do so.
The high-end of the flexibility spectrum consists of those is over accommodating and tends to second-guess their intuition.
Everyone can tune their gut feelings to become more accurate. The secret is practicing using them. That requires creating life experiences where you are absorbing information. The more you live and interact with others, the better you will become at having accurate gut feelings, and the more you will learn to listen to them.