Do you ever get a gut feeling about somebody you meet for the first time? Or perhaps that you shouldn’t travel on a certain day or that you should go see somebody? And have you found that when you have followed these gut feelings, they turn out to be right?

Or perhaps you don’t follow yours at all?

What is a Gut Feeling?

Some people refer to a gut feeling as intuition or a hunch or just a plain ‘feeling’ that something is or isn’t right.

For me, my gut feeling comes in the form of a small electric shock inside my head and this is usually doubled-up with a picture or a couple of words. Other people will have their own way of receiving theirs.

Following My Gut Feeling

With people, who I have studied for almost 51 years now (since age 4), I just seem to ‘know’ their character when I first meet them. Why? because I have learned to listen to and trust, my gut feelings.

I remember a time a few a years ago sat outside a cafe one evening having this discussion with a female friend. She didn’t believe that I could detect characteristics just by looking at someone or from shaking their hand.

As I was trying to convince her otherwise, two guys and a lady sat at a table not far from where we sipped our drinks. One of the chaps sat with his back to us. “See the guy with his back to us” I said quietly, “He has a very short temper and is a nasty type of guy” I exclaimed.

My friend laughed. “Well you can say that but how are we to know? You can’t exactly go over and ask!” she joked.

Ten minutes later another guy appeared and joined the group I had observed. Another two minutes passed and they got up and walked across the road. A big argument erupted. The guy who I said was short-tempered and quick to anger became violent towards the other man.

I was right.

My friend was astonished and shocked at how I knew this from only seeing the back of his head! But I knew why, my gut feeling had told me.

I could give you many, many more examples of how my gut feelings have been right with people.  When I am coaching my clients I use this skill to great effect. My gut feelings will kick in and tell me what questions to ask and when. Or an area of expertise they should perhaps look into as a vocation.

Gut Feelings are Not ‘Fake News’ They are Real

Your gut feelings are real. New research has shown that there are more neural pathways from the brain to the gut than anywhere else. In fact, if you like numbers, there are billions of these pathways.

It is referred to as the enteric nervous system (ENS); a neural super network allowing signals to flow from the brain to the gut and vice versa. Such is the power of this neural network that scientists are referring to the gut as the ‘second brain’!

Your Gut Feelings are Just Your Unconscious Mind Telling You Things

When that violent guy sat down at the table at the cafe, I had perhaps seen his face. He more than likely caught my peripheral vision before he approached the table and my unconscious mind would have seen his walk, his facial expression, maybe even the pent up anger on his face.

Yes, the unconscious mind will ‘see’ all this in a nano second. Your unconscious mind is powerful.

Your gut feelings will never let you down when you learn how to recognise them

This information was then sent to my inner filing cabinet and compared with a similar face that I had met who was also short-tempered or violent. A match would have been made and this would have been sent down my super neural highway (ENS) and into my ‘second brain’.

My conscious mind would then receive the message, this guy is violent, in the form of a gut feeling!

You see how it works?

I have blogged before on the lesser known powers of your subconscious mind that you might find intriguing here.

You Still Have to Deal in Facts, Don’t You?

I have always believed in following my gut feelings, even at work. However, owners and senior directors like to have the facts. When I was coaching entrepreneurs I couldn’t tell them I knew something based on a ‘gut feeling’. I would have to produce evidence or facts.

Always get the facts; not the assumed facts, the apparent facts or the hoped for facts; but the facts (Brian Tracy I think said that)

It used to be a pet peeve at one time having to find the facts when I knew I was right! I remember walking into an office to consult to a great guy who was losing money but wasn’t sure where. Within a split second of entering his engine room I knew, through my gut feelings, that 3 of his four staff were doing bogus orders through multiple duplications.

Unfortunately, I had to find the evidence and proof which took about 2 days before I could tell him. But I was right.

We Don’t Want to Listen Sometimes

We live in the age of information, an age where we are relying more and more on technology to provide answers for us in the shape of facts. Now, we are even relying on technology to make suggestions for us in the form of Siri and, ‘if you liked that you might like this…’

There are other times we don’t want to listen to our gut feelings. Like when a partner or business associate is being deceitful and we would rather not know the truth.

All of these things are drowning out the ability to listen to our gut feelings.

Those people who do listen to and trust their gut feelings, will probably be revered and sought-after like some kind of mystic in the future!

Follow Your Gut…

So trust your gut feelings. It is not mumbo-jumbo but real science. It is your brain or rather your ‘second brain’ speaking to you.

Maybe your gut feelings are telling you to take action, start something new or make a move. However you get your gut feelings, learn to listen to them and most importantly, trust them.

When you learn to listen more acutely you will be able to follow them more closely.

With me, my gut feelings and people are never wrong.