Trust Your Intuition

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from Fresh Start Success: Reimagine Your Work, Reinvent Your Life, Re-Ignite Your Passion

Do you trust your intuition, or work strictly by the numbers? Most entrepreneurs are data-driven to a point but admit to taking a cue from gut feelings when data alone is inconclusive.

Science has shown that intuition isn’t as mystical as we may have thought. Experts in micro-expressions—small facial movements—have studied the way those movements signal truthfulness, avoidance, and intentions. We’re told that the vast majority of communication happens, not through spoken language, but through our body language. Some people are naturally gifted in picking up on those nonverbal cues and seem to have an uncanny ability to “read” people accurately. To the extent that these elements factor into what we consider “intuition,” there’s a scientific validation for those on-target “hunches.”

Some of what we chalk up to intuition also comes from experience. For example, if you’ve had a bad experience with someone, the next time you encounter a similar situation, you’ll probably hear mental warning bells. That’s the benefit of graduating from the school of hard knocks. Are there other unexplained, perhaps unexplainable, aspects involved in intuition? Who knows? What matters is whether your gut feelings and hunches are right more often than they’re wrong.

As you’re creating your Fresh Start Success, trust your intuition and your due diligence. Numbers alone may steer you toward a career path that just doesn’t sit right with something inside you. Go with your gut. If you’re uneasy with a course of action, that’s a signal to step back and re-evaluate. On some level, you’ve realized there is a problem. Don’t allow people or circumstances to force your hand until you’ve figured out why you felt uneasy. Charting a new course for yourself is full of risks. Consider your intuition to be a form of internal radar to help you watch for hidden dangers and find a safe path.

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