How to Listen to Your Gut?
You have probably heard that advice one too many times before. This is obviously one of the many things easier said than done. What I often ask myself is something along the lines: “What the heck does that mean?” or “My gut is not talking to me at all”! But all in all, there is something so fundamentally true to that statement that we should not overlook it, just because our “gut” is sometimes confused.
The more you check in with Mr. or Mrs. Gut, the easier it will become to listen to them. If it is dead silent (not necessarily a bad sign) it could be translated to “Not too sure about this one, please come again”. Eventually, if you will keep trying to listen and to follow your dreams, it will talk to you. Loud and clear.
Here are three signs how your gut might try to tell you that you are onto something:
1. The idea keeps percolating in your head
Your idea stays with you for a long period of time and you will get back to it over and over again. You will probably start feeling very excited when thinking about your idea and you will start reading about it, researching, daydreaming and talking to other people about it.
2. You see ways to achieve your goal
Another dead-on sign that you are onto something would be that you can see how you can achieve your dream. Or, you see yourself taking the necessary steps towards it.
In the case of landing one of my jobs, I did not hesitate to write my application. I was that excited about this opportunity, it almost wrote itself. I thought of easy ways to keep myself in the mind of my future employer, following up with them at the right moments, without being afraid of being cumbersome.
When I had the idea about starting this blog, I had mentally made a list of things that would need to happen for this dream to become a reality. I knew I was able to create a website and maintain it, I had an idea what to write about, I knew what I needed to learn more about and I had a pretty good idea how to find all that information.
So after percolating this idea for about six weeks, researching the topic and the technical side of things and seeing myself doing each individual task, I took the leap of faith and purchased a domain and started setting it up. I am still freaked out about it. In a very good kind of way, believe me.
3. You start telling people
You might find yourself telling people about your plan. Maybe in parts or maybe the whole idea, but you might find yourself telling your friends and/or family about bits and pieces of it just to test out your idea and hear what they might think about it. Will they be supportive of your idea? Or will they share their experience of having gone through something similar? Will they give you good ideas on how to tweak things?
Whatever you do, whatever your signs will be, your gut will tell you when you are onto something. Just trust it.
One more thing:
Don’t underestimate the power of talking about your dream.
You might be shy about it, not sure if you ready to share it with the “world”. I certainly was. What I just recently learned is the following: You need to tell people about your big dream. Or the one you are currently working on. You might be surprised on who shares in your dream, who can help you get started and who can connect you with people who are already living the dream.
If I had not opened up about wanting to get back horseback riding, I would not have had the opportunity to go with my daughter’s daycare provider. I would not have learned about the co-worker whose family owns horses might be interested in leasing one out. I would not have connected with a woman who used to train horses while both of us enjoyed a Zumba class and I would not have been told by a stranger I met walking to hold onto my dream and fulfill it.
Granted this stranger turned out to be a woman who walked her two Icelandic Horses *love* on a local trail while I was out walking the baby in the stroller. Nevertheless, I think of her often and she is an inspiration to me. So go out and talk in whatever form feels comfortable to you. Good luck.