Use Your Gut to Make the Best Decision

by Erin Canetta

22 September, 2011

We have all experienced running into an image, concept, person, etc. and it seems to reoccur to the point where we ask ourselves, “what is this and why does it keep coming up in my life?” That has recently happened to me with the concept of intuition.  Intuition is defined as the act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes. In recent months, I have read a series of articles in various magazines, caught a speech by Steve Jobs and had conversations where intuition ends up being the center of attention. So I finally stopped and told myself that maybe it’s time I examine my intuition—and not so much in terms of what it will mean but what it has meant in my life so far. In doing so I came to the realization that I have made by best decisions when I’ve gone with “my gut” or intuition.  When my head has gotten involved too much I mess it up.

Here’s an example of time when my head got in the way: When it was time to pick a college, my gut told me to go to the one close by my house that was affordable and good enough. But my head told me to go to an expensive and prestigious university. Almost 15 years and countless student loan payments later, I wish I had trusted my intuition. I’ve since learned that what you mean to your clients in business is less about who you are and more about what you’ve made them mean to you. If you can adopt their business as your own and cherish it the way they do, you’re golden. Where you went to school isn’t even a moments’ thought.

One of my best business decisions was made almost completely on my intuition. When Keith Seiz called me to meet with him and Jason Wood for dinner to discuss the possibility of joining their new company—TAG—my head told me to wait. Coming from a big corporation to a new small business was just too risky for my brain to accept. But my intuition told me to take the leap of faith without the slightest moments pause. That coupled with an already well-earned trust I had in Keith, I allowed myself to take that leap and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I now work everyday with a group that is not based on ego or title but more based on building solid client relationships and we all win in that. I don’t even dread going to work Sunday evening. Actually, with a mischievous toddler in the house I often look forward to it.

My intuition has been right on many other occasions from deciding what house to buy, to when it was time to have a baby and then another baby, calling my dad the night before going away for a couple days just to say “hi” and when I had come back he had passed away, right down to stopping into a small grocery store nearby to check their prices and now it’s my main grocery store and I’m saving $300 a month. I’m finding that I’m forcing myself to stop thinking too much about a decision and allow my gut to guide me once in awhile. On those occasions, my answer is usually resolute and always the best choice.

Maybe this will be your second or third time of running into the concept of intuition in recent days or maybe it’s the first. If nothing else, maybe you can look back and examine when you went with your gut and what the outcome was. I hope it at least gives you the pause to “think” differently if only for a moment and ask your gut a question or two.