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Why You Should Trust Your Instincts

The Chase Which Leads Nowhere

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” 

― Hermann Hesse

I’ve always been someone who is very logical. I would weigh the pros and cons of everything before making a decision. Sometimes I led with my feelings, but most of the time it was based on being rational. At least what “rational” meant when it came to what society taught me.

And usually, I made the safe choice and the choice which was the easiest. I followed what everyone else was doing because that was the most logical choice, and I did what was expected of me.

Unfortunately, I failed to listen to that little voice inside my head. I didn’t trust my instincts. My intuition. My “gut”.

I didn’t listen to myself.

But I’ve now become a big believer in trusting your gut. Your instincts. And I think maybe you should believe in it too.

Photo by John Karlo Mendoza on Unsplash

For years, I chased things. Money, prestige, a fancy and respected job title. I was chasing other people to get ahead of them and be more “successful”. I fell in line with what others chased. I was in this big race to get ahead of everyone else no matter what.

And it led me down a path to nowhere.

Because no matter what I get or where I finish in the race, it means nothing. The prize is still death whether I’m leading or I’m in last. That’s how it ends. You don’t get a do-over, you don’t get to rewind parts you regret. It’s a one-shot deal.

The problem was the entrance fee for this race was expensive. Because it cost me my happiness. This chase I was on led me down a path of being miserable with my life and myself. And all I could do was look forward to that death which was inevitable.

“Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

So I started racing only against myself — and trusting myself more. Trusting that “gut” feeling.

Because I think it’s underrated.

I’ve stopped chasing money and what society deems “success.” Now, I want to chase contentment and being fulfilled. I want to chase the excitement of life I’ve missed out on for so many years. I want incredible relationships and happiness. 

I want the chase to lead somewhere.

But I’ve also learned the safe choice is not always the best choice. Especially when your happiness is involved.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

I’ve written a lot about purpose, meaning, and pursuing your dreams and goals. But many of us are looking elsewhere for that. We look to others to determine what those things are and what they mean. We follow what is expected.

Instead, we need to be looking into ourselves. We need to trust our intuition and our instincts more.

You know deep down what is best for you. Even if it goes against what everyone else is doing, it’s important that you trust that feeling.

You know what to do, don’t you? But fear is holding you back, isn’t it? And you don’t trust yourself enough to chase something different from what everyone else is chasing.

To run in the opposite direction.

But let’s be clear, you are an expert in one thing — yourself. Trust yourself that the decisions you make will work out. No matter how old you are, your experiences tell you something.

“We can make detours with our mind but we can’t distract the truth from our heart.” 
― Nikki Rowe

Listening to yourself and trusting your instincts doesn’t mean you make a snap decision. But when we start to over-analyze everything, we worry and come up with all kinds of what-if scenarios. We get scared and take the safe route. The route which everyone before us has taken.

We’ve also become so reliant on data and “numbers” to tell us what to do, we forget about what WE want to do. We take the human element out of our choices. Our emotions and feelings are overridden by percentages.

There is a reason for that feeling you have. It’s innate in our bodies, in our minds. And that feeling is trying to tell you something.

It’s important you listen to that feeling too.

So listen to yourself and have faith in yourself. Trust your instincts and pay attention to all the options around you instead of getting locked in a race you can’t win. Chase what you want. 

But just make sure that chase is leading somewhere. And only you get to decide where.

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