When I was young and naive, I said and did things based on how I was feeling in the moment, and as I got older, I learned that even though feelings are important, they’re not reliable.
Before I put this piece together, I Googled gut feeling and a majority of the search results consisted of articles listing reasons why you should always follow your gut.
Except that the gut feeling that so many people use to make choices can be very misleading and it can lead you to make unwise decisions, ones that may affect your life greatly.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t follow that gut feeling you have and what you should try to do instead, so you can train yourself to not make choices based on it.
#1. It’s a feeling and feelings can’t be trusted.
Feelings are important but it is not smart to be making decisions based on emotions, because they come and they go.
Closing a door or entering an open one based on whether it makes you happy or not, will not provide a realistic view of what you’ll be facing or experiencing.
Acknowledge and embrace that you have the ability to have emotions and experience feelings, but monitor yourself or have a trusted friend or adult help you to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Make a pros and cons list when you find yourself making any kind of choice. It can help you to distinguish the facts from feelings and keep you from making decisions on impulse.
#2. Logic trumps feelings.
When you’re overwhelmed with emotions, it’s really hard to think straight and think rationally, which is why it’s wise to make decisions after you’ve calmed down.
The reality is much more important for us to dwell in, in comparison to dwelling in how you’re feeling in the moment.
Whether you’re happy, sad or angry, you can control your feelings by thinking logically and realistically, and though it may be difficult, it is not impossible.
The next time you find yourself wanting to say or do something because of how you’re feeling, take time to cool off or calm down before making a decision.
#3. More often than not, our gut feelings end up being wrong.
Though I’ve had gut feelings that turned out to be the truth, more times than not, the result was the exact opposite, proving me wrong.
Your gut feelings about anything, whether it be on your relationship, your career or your overall life, may not give you the smart consistent outcome.
Even if you do find your gut feelings to be accurate and positive on a consistent basis, please proceed with caution. Just because it feels right, doesn’t mean that it is.
Get your facts straight before jumping to conclusions. If it deals with a relationship, communicate your concerns. If it deals with other areas, do your research before deciding to pursue it.
#4. Usually gut feelings are founded in fear and anxiety.
When I’ve had gut feelings, it’s always been when I’m in a bad state and it stemmed from being scared and worrying excessively.
Usually when you’re scared or anxious, it plants unwanted and many times, false thoughts into your mind, causing your imagination to run wild. When your brain senses that you’re in danger, your body responds by either fighting or fleeing/flighting.
But as mentioned before, you can tame and control these thoughts with reality and facts, but that can only happen after you’ve come down from the initial shock, grief or any other emotional high.
If you’re in an unsafe environment, relocate yourself to somewhere safe and public. If that’s not the case, vent or talk out your worries and/or fears to a trusted adult or friend, or make a pros and cons list before making a decision.
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