Intuition and Instinct, Our Friends
By Ellen Zucker
Say the word 'intuition,' and some
cringe. It sounds too new-age, too touchy feely. Its close cousin
instinct sounds animalistic.
Western culture tends to denigrate
information that comes to us through means other than logic, reason
Yet, intuition and instinct can save
us from hassle and heartache, lead us to happiness, even save our
Here's a real life example.
A number of years ago I was driving
in Manhattan on a Saturday night. The light was green. I was
crossing Second Avenue, when out of the corner of my eye I saw
a car approaching the intersection from my left running his red
I had about a quarter of a second
before impact. There was no time for to think, no time for fear.
only time to act.
I gunned the gas.
My car was lifted into the air,
spinning as I was jerked around in a crazy carnival ride.
The impact was on the left side of
the car. I was in the middle of the intersection when I felt the
I saw the driver's side window
dissolve. The impact was so great that when I landed, the car was on
the sidewalk facing into the street. Its back lay just inches
away from the traffic light.
My car was in ruins but the seatbelt
held firm. I walked out with nothing more than a few minor
When I gunned the gas, my car
advanced just enough so the impact of the other vehicle was to the
rear passenger seat; not the driver's seat where I was
That action saved me from, at
minimum, serious physical injury.
It was an action of sheer instinct -
coming from the “right side of the brain.”
From time to time we are all called
to make snap judgments, we have all gotten a bad feeling about a
person, a situation.
We've all uttered the phrase, “I
can't put my finger on it, but …” And more often than not, later on,
our apprehensions are confirmed by events.
That is our intuition talking.
So ... Are you listening?
Your ability to size up people in a
first impression is, in part, the result of your taking in the
person's body language, dress and demeanor on an unconscious
level. Although I think there is more to it than that, the question
of what makes up intuition is beyond the scope of this
Nonetheless, intuition speaks to us
in many ways.
It can be the reaction of your body
to a person or a situation.
You tense up around threatening
You experience an uneasy feeling in
the pit of your stomach when you have to operate in a situation
where something is "not quite right." Sure, it looks fine on
the surface, but there's more to the story than meets the eye.
Intuition works the other way, too.
Some people and places feel easy and comfortable. We feel strong and
recharged around them.
They are good for us. We just accept
it. We feel no need to question.
There are many applications to the
use of intuition in our personal and business lives. We tend do well
in settings and around people that support our abilities and
support us emotionally.
Your intuition can be a divining rod
leading you to those settings. By monitoring your feelings, your
reactions, your energy levels, you can determine whether something
or someone is good for you.
A feeling of uneasiness, queasiness
should serve as a red flag when, say taking on a new client, a new
project, a new partner, a new job. Then it is time to call in
your powers of logic, observation and analysis to ferret out the
reasons why you are feeling this way.
More often than not, your gut will
warn you before you are able to see the landmine.
I suggest looking at intuition and
logic as two complementary ways of processing information. If the
two aren't pointing in the same direction, more likely than
not, you don't have all of the information.
Proceed with caution.
And when they do point the same way,
you can be confident that you on the right track.
Then it's full steam ahead.
Ellen Zucker's site
http://www.selfemployment101.com provides articles and
resources to help the creative sole-proprietor
earn a living and create a life.
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