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The No Bullshit Guide to Trusting Your Gut

So you did it again. You ended up hanging out with a bunch of people who made you feel uncomfortable, leaving you stuck to count the minutes until you could go home. You got your heart broken by someone who, deep down, you knew wasn’t right for you. You’ve got yourself into a sticky situation, and you don’t know how to get out of it. 

I’m here to tell you that it’s time to start trusting your gut. I know, I know… You hear this advice all the time, and you think to yourself “it’s definitely easier said than done”. However, I will prove to you why your gut is never wrong and why it’s time to start trusting it. 

Do you think they’ll be mad if I decide not to go out tonight? I just don’t have a good feeling about it. I should probably just go though, right? 

Did you notice how I used the word should? Who can answer a question with the word should in it? Realistically, only yourself. When you question your behaviour and your decisions based on what others say, you’re not tapping into your intuition. You’re suggesting that the decision lies with someone else rather than yourself. You had a weird feeling about going out tonight. So why did you? Because you should. Let me re-frame that question one more time: who is in charge of what you should or shouldn’t do? When you start shifting your focus towards yourself and tapping into your intuition, you start to take charge of your emotions. Now, I’m not saying to cancel on all your friends. But realistically, why would you have a bad feeling about going somewhere if it weren’t for good reason? When you realize that your gut never lies, you learn that what you should do is only up to you

Now you might be wondering; “Ok, but how do I know if I’m overthinking things or if my gut is trying to tell me something?”. That’s a fair question. Let’s break it down. Your intuition is something that you experience instinctively. It can manifest as the pit in your stomach, your sweaty palms, or the tension in your shoulders. Your intuition won’t explain why you feel this way, it’ll just signal to your body that something is wrong. To compare, overthinking things is the constant search for the why

Why does this bother me so much? 

Why am I getting in my head? 

Why am I being a damper on everyone’s night? 

Why can’t I just ease up and relax? 

It’s not that big of a deal. It’ll be fine. I’ll just stick it out.

Overthinking and intuition are two completely different things. Overthinking is merely a byproduct of your intuition. When you have a strong intuitive feeling about something, you can choose between two different routes. You can either overthink, or you can rationalize. When you rationalize you’re still trying to determine the why, but you don’t let your emotions affect the logic of things. 

Why do I have a bad feeling about this? Maybe it’s because of what happened last time. I feel like this situation might be a repeat of the past and I don’t want that to happen again. I think I should leave. 

Did you notice how when I rationalized, there weren’t any confusing or overwhelming thoughts that swayed my decision? If I overthink, I let my worries choose my decision, stopping logic and my gut from taking control. 

Woman sitting on a bench
Photo by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

About these worries, how do they influence us to begin with? We can all admit that we each have had a deep-seated fear or worry that is hard to admit. Maybe it’s the fear of failure. Maybe it’s the fear of never finding love. Or maybe it’s a fear that you will never reach your goals. 

Oftentimes, we either overcompensate or suppress these feelings. For example, you’re scared that you might be alone forever and never find the one. Instead of staying single until you find that person, you instantly cling onto someone who you know isn’t right for you. Your gut tells you that it’s not going to work out. Why did you stay then? It’s most likely because you don’t want to live out that fear of never finding love. Staying with someone who you know isn’t right for you is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a bullethole. It won’t fix your problems. If you’re left broken hearted in the end, you realize that your fear never left. As a result, you just dealt with more unnecessary stress, frustration, and sadness from the situation. 

Life would be so much easier if we knew immediately who the right person for us was, but unfortunately that isn’t how it works. Instead, we do have our intuition that can help guide us into deciding who that person isn’t. By recognizing that gut feeling you don’t overlook the red flags while learning to think rationally. I’m not here to say that this process is easy, but I will definitely confirm that it’s possible. If you have a fear of failure and decide to go take the easy route by working a job that you aren’t passionate about, wouldn’t your fear still exist? To change, you should strive for your passions with each fiber of your being. This way, you won’t dread the life you lead because you don’t live your life with the anticipation of failure, but rather the excitement of success. 

Your gut feeling is one of the only ways in which you learn something about yourself without the disillusionment from others. No one can trick your gut feeling or convince it to act otherwise. You might hear the opinions or judgement of others that allow you to think differently, but realistically, that gut feeling you have comes from no one but yourself. Trusting gut feelings has little to do with noticing the nervous sweat or the awkward nail biting, but more so to do with trusting yourself. When you trust your gut, you trust that you know what is right for you. You have the confidence to recognize that you will achieve your goals, you will find the one, and you know where you should and shouldn’t be. It starts from having a mental list of criteria to understand what you deserve, what you believe, and where you want to go. By having a strong sense of self, you realize that your intuition only ignites the power of your own judgement. It is simply there to reaffirm what you already know about yourself, and it will only work in your favour if you choose to believe it. 


Emily Nicaso

Queen's U '24

My name is Emily Nicaso and I am a first-year student at Queen's University. I love the arts and am passionate about espresso and sitcoms.
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