Should you trust your intuition?

Following your gut isn’t always following your heart

There are decisions to make. Everyday. All the time. Whether it’s which restaurant to pick for dinner or whether to move to another country. We are making hundreds of decisions daily.

In our culture, there is this brain and heart dilemma. Should I follow what my brain is telling me — considering all the facts, analyzing the situation thoroughly and choosing the best option or maybe it’s better if I follow my heart — my intuition, this mysterious power that guides me through life?

Most of the advice I found on the internet, but also got from close ones is to follow my heart. And it’s solid advice. I have chosen to follow my mind before and have succeeded in things, but they didn’t make me happy. That was the biggest reason for me to stop trusting my mind so much. So what that I can decide what is the most optimal option, so what if I force myself to do that, so what if things happen and I achieve something if it’s not something that I truly wanted. It’s not giving me the satisfaction, except maybe a small pat on the back — you were right.

So I started to trust my heart and based my decisions on what I wanted and not what I thought was best. The problem started when I kept trusting my intuition and was going in circles. Going with what I felt was right got me to safe places, which I knew were good for me.

The analogy that I found to describe it is with our body. Intuitively, when told to stand on one foot, people will always stay on the same one. When asked to cross their arms, always the same one will be one top. To weave their hands? The same thumb on top. Do any sport connected with the board? One leg preference, either regular or goofy.

Intuition guides us to things we know. It does feel “right” to cross our arms the way we always do it. Doing it another way around is counter-intuitive, while it’s actually better for us. Yoga taught me, it’s better to have balance. In everything. But in order to do this, one has to be aware of the patterns and be willing to break them. Even with food. We know it’s not healthy to eat sweets and drink alcohol, but intuitively, we crave them. And it’s not only applicable to physical patterns.

Ok, but back to the reference — what do I do? My heart wants me to be healthy and balanced, but following my intuition isn’t really getting me there. The fact that something “feels right”, doesn’t mean it actually is the best option. I don’t really feel comfortable, but with my mind, I can convince myself it’s better for me to do things another way around to develop different muscles. Ok. So should I trust my mind instead of intuition? So mind wins in the following heart? It doesn’t make much sense.

To be honest, I don’t think there is an answer to the brain and heart dilemma, but mainly, because, at least for me, the heart doesn’t guide the way but sets up a goal. I can follow what my heart wants, but the path will always be curvy and full of obstacles. Some of them will require my analytic mind to overcome, some I can pass trusting my intuition, but some might need my full attention and understanding of my patterns so I can consciously choose a counterintuitive way. As ridiculous as our culture made it sound — stepping outside of my comfort zone. Stepping outside the patterns I know and follow on autopilot, to really make decisions that are best for me. Even if it’s just crossing my arms.

But you know, it’s not only about the arms, right?

Works in Tech 💻 into art, culture and psychology. IG & Quora @alaisontime

Works in Tech 💻 into art, culture and psychology. IG & Quora @alaisontime