Women are familiar with intuition. We often just know things without any background support information. Sometimes we visualize an outcome, sometimes we hear what seems to be a silent answer to a question, sometimes we physically feel the correct thing to do and sometimes we just know without knowing how we know.
Intuition is also called gut feelings and the good news is that men, teens and kids can use gut feelings just as women do, to be safer and make good choices. Since women are the biggest cheerleaders for the safety of their loved ones, let’s make sure we are clear about how gut feelings work and how to use them to our advantage.
About Gut Feelings
- Survival instincts we were born with
- Their job is to keep us alive
- They are personal to each individual
- No need to compare as they may be opposite of someone else’s gut feelings
- What may be safe for you may not be for your friend, co-worker and vice versa
- They are either good or bad (indifferent can be put in the good category)
- You have them about every person, place and situation in your life
- The key is to listen, feel, see and follow them when they are strongest
- Following them always is a great idea but rarely done
Examples of Gut Feelings
- You meet someone for the first time and like them instantly
- You meet someone for the first time and dislike them without knowing why
- Someone tells you something and you have a feeling it is untrue
- You have a decision to make and although info points to one choice, you feel the other is best
- You know something is going to turn out a certain way without evidence to support it
- You get a creepy feeling about someone and know they are unsafe for you to be near
Acknowledging Your Gut Feelings
You may not have realized that you always have gut feelings about everything in your life. To prove this, think of someone you love and notice the first feeling or sense you have about that person. Next, think of someone who is dis-empowering or weakens you and notice what you feel, hear or sense. Although these feelings may come from already knowing these people, this exercise demonstrates how opposite gut feelings feel.
A vital part of living safely emotionally is knowing what and who strengthens you and what or who weakens you. Obviously, you cannot live your best life by immersing yourself in that which weakens you. Gut feelings are the perfect way to determine where you should be, what you should be doing and who you should allow in your life. My article on the #4 Personal Safety Secret for Women on Personal Boundaries is a must read if this interests you.
How Using Gut Feelings Creates Your Safer Future
By acknowledging gut feelings and realizing how often you have them, yours will become finely tuned. This is the absolute best way to live safer but you have to also follow them!
Example: You and your daughter are walking into the grocery store. A woman in the store prompts a bad gut feeling in you and you can tell that your daughter is uncomfortable as well. The woman asks you a question. Do you ignore your bad gut feeling so as not to offend her and answer her question against your better judgment? Remember, although she may not be an axe murdered, your gut feelings are survival instincts you were born with! Besides, if someone gives you the creeps, if anyone should be offended, it should be you.
So what should you do? Pretend you did not hear the question or excuse yourself and walk away quickly, pretend to get a phone call, etc. Your safety and that of your daughter are most important, period.
It could be that you answer the woman’s question and nothing bad happens. That’s great, but what about next time? What did you just demonstrate for your daughter to model later? Probably that it is important to be polite at any cost and that other people are more important than you are. These are subliminal messages, for the most part, but crucial to personal safety. Consider that this situation was a quiz, preparing you or your daughter for a bigger test in the future. Will you pass? Will she?
Why We Often Ignore Our Gut Feelings
The above example illustrates the very reason we so often put ourselves into dangerous situations emotionally and physically by ignoring our gut feelings. We, as women, are taught to always be polite and help others. That’s great but we make ourselves so vulnerable that we have no protection at all! We become so concerned that people won’t like us or that we will offend someone that we gloss over our survival instincts in favor of our delicate self-esteem.