Business, Life, Self Help

How to Listen to Your Gut (In Life + In Business)

I was recently inspired to write in a new light; more personal, more story-sharing, & more intimate.  I’m not talking “tell you in depth about the kind of birth control I use or what toothpaste I like,” but more about the peculiar, special way that my story has become my story.  I’ve been probed by YOU, my close friends, and coworkers to go into DE-TAIL. So, here I go.

I’ve never been one to get super spiritual, not because there is a lack of faith or belief in a higher power, but mainly because I know that if I hotted and totted about Jesus every moment, people would KNOW it was inauthentic and I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.  There are so many other ways to spread the Word of God without being a walking, talking Bible. (And sometimes more effective ways?!) Anyhow, I wanted to preface this with… this is not an article about my holy walk with the Lord. This is my story and this is the truth about my journey, so I’m here to share it.

I believe (and I mean I really believe) that God gives us ALL a few specific gifts (yes, all of us).  This isn’t like –you are naturally good at singing and he isn’t– “kind of gifts.” I’m talking about inherent gifts in our nature. Channeling these gifts has been the essential, real, 100% raw way I’ve accomplished anything like I have this year. So, I want you to know what (I believe) they are and hopefully help YOU discover how to hone in on your own.

So let’s get started. And although “the gut, the itch, the flow, the pressure, and the free” sounds like a cross between yoga and birthing practice, it’s not!

 THE GUT

You know when something just smells fishy, it doesn’t feel right, or things don’t add up? You know, the millions of times you haven’t listened to that voice and then POOF, you “were” right? I believe you should start listening to that thing.  Be it God, be it a menstrual cycle coming in hot, be it a bad shrimp salad… listen to it.  If you feel like someone is leading you astray, get out.  If you feel like this show you’re watching is making you think weird thoughts and it may give you nightmares, stop watching it.  If you sense something is going on in your relationship, speak up.  Don’t leave that little voice in the back of your head to die, whimper, or gasp. Give it air.  Give it room to think.  Then, take some action.

::: life application? :::

When I went to my last interview to be a financial advisor, I remember having to literally lift my cheeks (with great dismay) to smile the biggest, fakest, dumbest smile.  I did not want that job.  I knew it was “the right job” with “the right career” in a “booming industry.”  Those external voices were my rulebook makers.  The second I was honest with myself (I mean, me crying nightly and my stomach hurting every time I had to go back the next day should’ve been enough), I was freed.  The second I could admit to myself that managing money was not my gift and it was like fitting a round peg in a square hole, I was truly freed.  This was the first step, the most crucial moment, the most essential part of my success story (if you could even call it that).

Listen. To. Your. Gut.

THE ITCH

What is that thing you’ve been itching to do?  I feel like the gut moment is immediate, but an itch is kind of a “3-6 month” game.  Man, I’ve really been itching to go to X restaurant OR hey, my husband and I are thinking about going off birth control or babe, let’s go hiking this weekend.  It’s the kind of thing you can suppress for a long time and it’s not going to KILL you (like the gut, you know?) but it’s still equally as essential in getting where you want to go.  I truly believe that responding to that “nudge” is HIGHLY important in your long term game. This is the step that requires planning, stepping out of your comfort zone, taking risks, etc.  It’s actually harder to follow a hunch… than to follow your gut instinct!

::: life application? :::

You guys know how much I adore Trevor, despite the ridiculous banter we host on social media.. right? I love him.  However, this is his struggle point.  He has an amazing gut. If something isn’t right, he’s out.  BUT, those “itches”… he has a really hard time making moves.  I don’t want to go into specifics about his private struggles, but there are things he has talked about doing since I MET HIM, that he just can’t get himself to do.  It isn’t anything life or death (on the surface), but I know it’s all eating him alive inside.  This may mean some new things for us in the future; like a new place to live, new jobs, a different environment, etc. but I’ve accepted that for me to Love him fully, I need to be willing to MOVE with that nudge he’s feeling. 

Scratch. That. Itch.

THE FLOW

Is there something that is just MESSING UP YOUR FLOW? Causing you angst? Bringing you down? Giving you writer’s block? Making you hate the X, Y, and Z you used to love? Maybe it’s time for a change.  It may be a change of heart, body, state, or soul… but it’s ALL about flow.  It is SO easy to get complacent and think everything has flow… when it does NOT, you know, sometimes you have to search for the things that aren’t allowing you to roll with the motions.  It’s not like a gut or an itch!  There are larger, bigger picture things that are just not guiding you where you want to go. I say, be strategic.  Think.  Adjust.

::: life application? :::

As a creative who is always on the go, I have to constantly step back and evaluate where I think my time is best spent.  Analyzing the things that consume me and pursuing the things that give me life has GOT to be the best mantra.  If something isn’t flowing, sometimes the flood gates just need to be closed at Gate A and opened up elsewhere.

Find. Your. Flow.

THE PRESSURE

There are two kinds of pressure. The kind that stops the bleeding… and the kind that bursts a vessel. Learning to identify which one aligns with which burden is half the battle.  Pressure at work? Maybe it’s challenging you and fine tuning you into the best “whatever” you can be.  Maybe it’s giving you grey hairs? You are the only one who can really sit down and iron it out.  I am reminded that there is a difference between suffering and seemingly needless suffering (S/O to a philosophy minor).  I’m sure there are thousands of hours in medical school that feel like the worst moments, but with the end in mind—they know it’s all going to be worth it. BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t be in your LAST YEAR OF RESIDENCY and say, you know what, I actually hate this and quit.  I mean, the debt would suck… but your life is MUCH more important than debt.  Your sanity is much more important than staying in a life-sucking*sexless* godless*unfruitful relationship.  Your time is worth more than hating 8 hours every moment you sit in that office chair.

::: life application? :::

My life has been altered with “almost” the same amount of crazy change that would come with having a dog, child, moving across the country, etc. SERIOUSLY. I went from making money “ish” with tons of sales pressure whilst living at my parents to being POORER THAN POOR and half tied to a terrible job to being 100% in ownership of every breath and every cent.  My one tip for those starting their own business or side career would be, learn to work well under pressure… but learn to KNOW when the pressure ain’t the good kind.

Apply or Release.

THE FREE

I literally just took a huge, deep breath and sighed when I saw that word; free.  What a trip.  We spend so much time trapped behind, in, under, and between.  How much time of your time is actually YOUR TIME?  How much is truly a choice? How much feels like a curse? There is nothing like the waves of modernity to make us cringe when we see a beach, magazine, and margarita. WHAT? ME? RELAX? HOW? But who will answer those emails? The ultimate goal is to be at peace.  The ultimate goal is to have that desired balance. The ultimate goal is to be free. That’s why we are creatives and we think crazy thoughts (like we might be good enough to make a living doing it). That’s why we work so hard to get Christmas morning off with our kids. That’s why we do what we do… we want to be free.

::: life application? :::

As I transition into this new world with new freedoms and different restraints, I’m challenged to find meaning in something other than suffering.  You know how it feels when you do something by accident? It feels different from making a choice, a deliberate mistake.  My life is now mine, and that is the biggest challenge.  What will I do with it?

Get to freedom.

Okay, so there it is. Those are some real, honest, vitals that make the world tick.

How will YOU listen to your gut?

How will YOU feed that itch?

How will YOU find your flow?

How will you succome or resist the pressure?

How will you be set free?

Some things to think about.

It’s 11:05PM and I’m writing this from an airport bar.

Time to sign off.

Xo

Chelsea

 

You Might Also Like