“Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.” -Michael Burke
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Roxette says, “Listen to your heart”
Kaiser Chiefs says, “Listen To Your Head”
The band Stay True says, “Go With Your Gut”
But wait, Jewel says let go of your mind, follow your heart AND intuition
So WTF do you listen to when you are trying to make a big decision in life?
I was in Costa Rica recently and prior to leaving for my trip, a big life decision was upon me. I was using my time away to help me decide what to do.
Struggling with what decision I should make, my head was telling me one thing while my heart was telling me another and my gut was not speaking up.
After explaining all of my hesitations, excitement, confusion, and thoughts swirling around in my head to my friends, I exclaimed, “It’s complicated”.
One of my friends said, “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary.”
I laughed and he said, “No really, life isn’t complicated, everything we encounter is a part of the process. Sure, there can be things that will be more challenging than others, but we should look at every situation as a learning experience, taking us into the next phase of our journey. And always go with your heart, even if you get hurt, you’ll never regret it!”
“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart”. – George Michael
Your heart leads you with love, your mind tries to keep you safe and your gut is the deep down feeling that you just can’t shake!
Think of a decision right now that you are struggling with. If someone told you, you have to make a decision in the next 5 seconds or I’m going to push you off this cliff, what are you going to go with? Your head, your heart or your gut?
Your heart can encourage you to take chances. Without taking chances in life, growth is impossible. However, sometimes when we listen to the heart we are ignoring important facts and irresponsibility can override sensible decisions. The heart can often be naïve, casting off rational thinking.
“Dear Heart, this is what happens when you try to make decisions on your own. Sincerely, Brain”
Your head can anticipate consequences that your heart may downplay or overlook. Yet the mind can also be a cynic, serving up self-doubt and skepticism that may keep you from living a life filled with passion and adventure.
More than hearing someone say go with your heart or head, I hear the phrase, “Trust your gut”. But should you?
Gut instinct or intuition is believed to be this immediate understanding of something that is coming from somewhere deep inside yourself. It’s as if you know something, but you can’t explain how. However, making a big life decision not based on facts but on something inside yourself can be scary.
Heart-Head-Gut conflicts can feel paralyzing. If you wait too long to make a decision what if the opportunity passes? But what if you rush in too soon without weighing all the pro’s and con’s and you overlook vital information?
My opinion, [and really that is all anyone can say about this topic as there is no scientific proof that listening to one of the three is going to be the best outcome] is to listen to all three.
All three might never be in sync, but break it down, make a list!
- Write down your doubts, list them out.
- Write what you know is true about the situation that you are facing. Write down all the facts.
- List the pro’s and con’s of making the choice your heart is telling you to go with and then do the same for the head and the gut.
- Ask yourself some hard questions. “Why is my heart telling me to make this choice? What is causing me to think this way? If I was helping a friend through this, what advice would I give them?
“You know the truth by the way it feels.” -Anonymous
“Trust your gut”
“Follow your heart”
“Use your head”
When you feel stuck in a Heart-Head-Gut conflict, perhaps the answer is not to choose one of the three, but instead take the best each has to offer. You don’t know how everything will turn out, but you will at least be clear on why you made the choice you did.
Remember, You Got This!
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