Intuition in Business - Trusting Your Gut
I've heard this my whole life. But it's only been in the last year I really pay attention and recognize when something is coming from my gut (aka my intuition). Growing up, I was always known as the sensitive kid. Sensitive on all levels -- scratchy clothing drives me mad, my ears are super sensitive to loud sounds or specific low tones, I'm sensitive to how people are feeling around me, and am highly sensitive to smells. From the time I was a kid to now, I've always been intuitive but there were times in my life when I ignored it or let my cognitive mind take over too much. I've never fully shut it off but I know I've used it more in the last 2 years than I have in probably any other time in my life.
Without risking going off on a New Age deep end, I want to share with you how I know when something is my intuition. It's helped me in business and in life and I'm hoping it might help you as well.
When something isn't right: I get a feeling of pressure just below my rib cage - upper stomach area- that feels heavy. For example, when I was prepping for Shark Tank, I had to present my pitch to producers before I presented to the Sharks and all week long, I had that heavy pit feeling. The time comes to pitch (what had been my script originally but then was heavily edited by producers), I bombed it. REALLY BOMBED IT. I couldn't even remember what I was supposed to say...about my own company?!?!. Talk about embarrassing! Now coming from background in public speaking and even teaching public speaking, I knew it had nothing to do with being nervous about presenting. That pit in my stomach was my intuition telling me that I needed to go against producer's directives and say what I knew I wanted to convey to the Sharks in my own way, my own voice. So I told producers I was re-writing it (which wasn't exactly supported). Two days later, the doors swung open to cameras, lights, Sharks, and a nervous production team. I pitched my heart out NOT using what we'd worked on for weeks, but what I came up with in the one day between pre-pitching and filming. I'm confident the only reason I got offered two deals was because I stayed true to what my intuition was telling me. To be honest, be real, and speak from the heart. And ya know what? That pit I had in my stomach was non-existent the day I pitched to the Sharks. Sure I was nervous, but I was confident. Big difference.
Since then, I've learned a lot about the body's energy systems (think Eastern medicine) and the very place I felt that heavy, pit in the stomach feeling was a place called the Solar Plexus. Here's the description for it...
"The Solar Plexus Chakra, located above the navel and below the sternum, is the home of the ego. Your own inner confidence, your will, your self-esteem, and your voice are all traced from the energy of this bold yellow chakra center. Manipura is the Sanskrit word associated with this chakra, and translated it means “lustrous gem.” It is this shining aspect of your personality that allows you to step forward and say ‘I can do it’ in any situation. The way you view yourself as a capable and praiseworthy person is a reflection of this resilient chakra center. In a way, the energy springing from the Solar Plexus Chakra is like sunshine, lighting your way in the world and empowering you to make yourself heard."
It was clear from the way my body was reacting, I didn't feel confident in what I was being told to say in the first pitch but it's hard to go against authority so I pressed on. The defining moment when I bombed what should have been a piece of cake was the push I needed to listen to my intuition which was screaming all along. It's the same place you feel that kick in the gut feeling when you're told really horrible news. It affects the energy of your body significantly.
Learning to acknowledge what that feeling is when I have it about deals, partnerships, investment opportunities, and people in general has made all the difference in the world. If something lingers in your mind to where you feel paralyzed to act and/or you feel that heaviness in your solar plexus, take a good hard look at what you're about to do. Even if it goes against what everyone else is telling you to do, your intuition is telling you what is right for you.
Religion has nothing to do with this. While I'm the first to admit that I very much believe in the afterlife, spirit energy, and a higher power, this is more about learning how the body reacts in times of stress and uncertainty. And that, I've found, has EVERYTHING to do with making good decisions. Decisions that are right for you as an individual or a business.