The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.Albert Einstein
Admittedly, trusting intuition over logic does not come naturally to me. I consider myself a logical person and believe that the correct decision always becomes apparent once I gather all the evidence and conduct thorough research.
However, what should we do when we need to make a quick decision, and it is next to impossible to gather all the data? Or what about those times that everything appears perfect on paper, but the winning course of action still doesn’t feel right?
Of course, as a logical person, I gathered the pros and cons of trusting your intuition versus logic. Hope it helps!
Pros of Trusting Your Intuition
- Every day our brains take in massive amounts of data. The human body sends 11 million bits per second to the brain for processing, yet the conscious mind only processes approximately 50 bits per second. That means of all the information we receive, we’re only processing 0.00045%. Unconsciously we are taking in that information, and it comes to our aid when we need it. I believe it comes to us in the form of intuition and gut feelings.
- Have you ever disregarded negative feelings and later regretted your decision? I can think of a few times in my life where I experienced strange sensations, feelings of dread, a heavy chest, and my mind begging me to stop, but I moved forward with my decision anyway because I decided to stick to my well-thought-out plan. For this reason, I think intuition is a gift, and I am working harder to give it more attention as I get older.
- Intuition can also help break you out of your comfort zone. Since you aren’t relying on logic and experience, your intuition often guides you toward new ideas, adventures and brings you to a creative level you may never experience otherwise.
- Learning to trust your intuition can help you make faster decisions while experiencing less anxiety. Those who trust their intuition are also less likely to second guess themselves. Even if evidence arises to the contrary, it won’t matter. You’ve decided to go with your gut instead of relying on logic alone.
- Overall, using your intuition improves your mental well-being. Think about all those times you felt like saying no but said yes anyway to please others. Allow yourself to trust those feelings, skip the party, say no to a solid opportunity, and give yourself grace. Those who trust their intuition are calmer, less uneasy, and ultimately more at peace than those who always side with logic.
Cons of Trusting Your Intuition
I once had a boss repeatedly say g.u.t. (as in a gut feeling) stands for “gave up trying.” I don’t entirely agree with her definition, but to be fair, I would like to explore the cons of trusting your intuition.
- For every example of an excellent gut decision, there is an equal example of a terrible one. However, fantastic gut decisions usually receive more publicity. It is human nature to want to believe in magic.
- Human cognition is subject to all kinds of flaws and biases. What we might think are gut feelings are sometimes incorrect long-held beliefs.
- Fear can be misinterpreted as intuition. Admittedly, comfort zones are just that, comfortable. The fear that arises when we consider leaving our comfort zone can be misidentified as gut feelings. Those feelings could be warning us to stay away from something that could turn out to be extraordinary. When making any significant decision, in addition to data and intuition, consider whether your fear is attempting to disguise itself as a gut feeling.
- Some business problems are incredibly complex. It might feel better to go with your gut, but there are some situations where it makes more sense to dig into the data and truly analyze the problem instead of making a rash decision.
Intuition, combined with logic, is my chosen method for decision making. I don’t think it’s necessary to choose one or the other. What are your thoughts?