Advertising
Advertising

When to Throw Logic Out the Window and Listen to Your Gut Instincts

When to Throw Logic Out the Window and Listen to Your Gut Instincts

It’s true that the majority of the time we live inside our heads. That’s not necessarily bad; logic is a human feature that has helped our species to survive and evolve throughout the ages. It is also true, however, that there is another force that has equally contributed to our well-being, and that is our gut instinct.

Instinct is no metaphysical ‘joojoo’ and has nothing to do with a sixth sense. Instinct is in fact good connection with our bodies. The body is a wise and efficient machine and when we are in need or when we mentally or physically suffer, it is there to communicate with, warn and protect us. Those body signals are what we call gut instincts.

Advertising

However, we have learned to be more ‘brainy,’ fighting with the turmoil inside our heads, and hence have grown distant from our instinct. It is that negligence of the body’s signals – or their misreading – that is the source of illnesses, stress, or even losing purpose and motivation in life. And it’s for this reason that it is worth re-establishing our relationship with our gut, and in some cases following that as our main lead instead of our racing thoughts.

Here are some key times when you should listen to your gut instincts:

Advertising

1. Your health and well-being.

No doctor, no examination and no medical institution can know better if something is wrong with your body, than your body itself. If some health issue feels like it might require more attention, go and have it checked! Respectively, if something feels normal for you, regardless of what other people’s experience might say, treat it as such. Your body does know better!

Of course, instinct and logic are synergetic forces, and to make the best of a situation very often you have to apply both. So if others see a problem that does not seem to worry you, they might rightly insist you go and inform your doctor about it. Conversely, you shouldn’t fall in the trap of developing an anxiety with every little symptom your body may exhibit, believing there is something wrong with you. Having a good connection with the mind and body is the best lead for your well-being.

Advertising

2. Your diet and nutrition.

The same principle applies for your diet. Dark chocolate or a green smoothie might be the healthy snack option, but sometimes your body might request a donut and that’s what you should go for. Your occasional indulgence in a donut might sound like a ‘bad habit,’ but it might actually work in reducing your stress levels and keep you motivated to stick to a healthy diet the rest of the time. When it comes to diet, developing a relationship of trust with your body is essential in order to be properly nourished, happy and fit. And constantly listening to your gut on what you really want/need is the way to go with it. Once again, be careful to apply some logic every now and again and make sure you don’t use your body’s signals as an excuse to live on comfort food.

3. Coming closer to your truth and making decisions.

The only right option is the one that makes you the happiest you you can be. And guess who is good at knowing what makes you happy. Exactly. You are! So if you are prone to being indecisive or if you are about to make some decisions – ranging from minor everyday ones to the life changing – and you don’t know the best way to go about them, your answer is to listen to what your gut has to say.

Advertising

Stop giving that poor head a pain by overanalyzing and going through things again and again. Does your choice make you smile on the inside and out? Do you have butterflies in your stomach thinking about it? Then your body approves: go for it! Reason should be your protector during this process, but do make sure your gut instincts are your lead!

Featured photo credit: Girl with Bubble/ Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

5 Ways To Enjoy Your Day To The Fullest Even If It Is A Monday! When to Throw Logic Out the Window and Listen to Your Gut Instincts 4 Life Lessons Ronda’s Success Can Teach Us 7 Types of People You Should Connect With On LinkedIn 10 Ways To Sleep On The Plane Comfortably

Trending in Communication

1 How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often 2 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 3 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track 4 8 Ways to Change Your Self-Sabotaging Behaviors 5 Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Advertising

Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

Advertising

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Advertising

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

Advertising

6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

More Self-Care Tips

Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

Read Next