After my class on honing intuition last week, a participant asked me the following question—

In my work-life, I’m having trouble finding any intuition. I don’t like my job very much, but my gut isn’t telling me what to do about it. (Or, if my gut is speaking, I am avoiding it because it’s too scary to listen to.) So I feel like I am making decisions based on logic alone— making long lists of pros and cons, getting stuck thinking and thinking and thinking— rather than integrating my mind and my body. 

If the pros and cons of a decision are tied, should intuition trump logic? Should intuition be THE determining power? 

Here’s my response to her— 

It seems like another way of asking this question is— Should I listen to my gut or my heart or my head? Which is most important? 

The problem is, trying to choose between your gut and heart and head can make you feel stuck in a trap. The truth is, your gut and heart and head are all essential. You need to listen to all of them. 

Intuition is a process of reasoning in which you listen to your full self, not just your thinking-head or your feeling-body. 

If you only consider your gut or your heart or your head, you’ll miss out on a lot of important information. You’re apt to not feel in alignment about the path you choose.

If you work to find a decision that your gut, heart, and head are in alignment with, you will feel a sense of all the lights turning on in your body. Like that carnival game where you hurl a huge hammer down onto a metal button and, if you’re lucky, the ball shoots up to 100. “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!”

Deep down in your gut and heart, you may know that you need to make a change, but you avoid listening because it feels really scary.

You might need to let go of something that’s been important to you or that you’ve invested a lot of yourself in. You might not know how people will respond. The unknown can be scary.

But what can be even scarier is to consider what could happen if you don’t pay attention now. What if you go down a path that is not aligned with what your gut and heart know you need, and you finally wake up ten years from now? The feeling of having missed out on so much of your life, the work it would take at that point to change course— Is the risk of all this worth avoiding the scary stuff now?

So, what do you do if your gut and heart are saying one thing, but your head is coming up with all sorts of reasons not to go down that path?

Our heads are programmed to keep us safe, to think of all the reasons why our guts and our hearts are wrong. I call the part of your mind that comes up with all the what-ifs and yeah-buts the Voice of Doubt. Any time you have a call that will take you into the unknown or asks you to let go of something that’s been important to you, the Voice of Doubt will appear.

To soothe your inner Voice of Doubt, you need to learn how to respond to it with compassion, understand what it needs, and take steps to meet your many needs while also following your heart. (You’ll learn how to soothe your inner Voice of Doubt in the final class in our free series, Getting Clear on What Next.)

Rather than choosing between your gut or heart or head, I invite you to host a conversation between the three. 

Try this now—

Write down a specific question you’re asking about what’s next in your life. Then, ask your gut what it has to say about the questions, and write down what it tells you. Do the same with your heart and your head. 

Once you’ve listened to what each has to say, go back to your gut and heart and head. Ask the same question, and write down what each has to say. You can repeat this inquiry process several times until eventually, you come to a place where either the three are aligned or you have a new question to grapple with.

You can gather more information by doing research, asking people you trust your question, or practicing asking yourself your guiding question every day. (You’ll learn more about how to gather this information from other people in the third class in our series.)

If you keep paying attention, over and over and over again, to your gut and your heart and your head, you’ll be equipped to make wise decisions that take into account the fullness of who you are. 

It takes courage (the ability to speak your heart, even in the face of fear). But, truly, you can do it.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Much love,

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