Tag Archives: conscious

The Consequence Ignoring Your Gut Instinct/Intuition

Written by Karin Kelly Lawrenz

When chatting to clients about intuition, gut instinct or whatever else you want to call that feeling you get of a deep knowing without being able to explain it (especially when doing Core Values)—is that too many people ignore those feelings because they frequently don’t seem logical or rational.

In fact, quite the opposite, they often seem dim, dumb or just plain bizarre.

The result when we dismiss the feeling because we don’t understand it, we frequently regret doing so at a later date. I personally have been subject to that.

The Consequence of Ignoring Your Gut Instinct

A close friend of mine went through with marriage even though her gut told her not to, even as she walked up the aisle. It didn’t end well.

I went away with a male friend for a week years ago. We got on like a house on fire, good company, stunning venue, separate rooms. My instinct/gut was screaming at the top of my voice, “NO NO NO NO Karin, don’t listen to him—don’t do it”. I mean …. what can happen. The end result was an absolute disaster on returning back home and that is putting it mildly. I can go as far as saying that even while there amongst the tranquillity of the mountain, trees and sea in the distance, I felt uneasy all the time. But no …. I Ignored my gut instinct.

I had a friend whose fiancé was killed in a car accident. She was the one who felt uneasy from the get-go about him using the car to travel upcountry and tried to stop him. Many years later she still hasn’t fully let go.

The common theme with all of the above examples is that the gut feeling didn’t really make much sense at a conscious level and thus they were relatively easy to dismiss.

My friend marrying was the right thing to do and expected, I was being taken away on a much-needed getaway complimentary from my friend—I thought to myself “what not—stop being a kloester koek—just do it—stop second-guessing yourself”.

My friend had no control over what she was feeling and tried to relate it to her fiancé, in turn being miles away overseas.

What could possibly go wrong?

It’s Tricky Analysing a Gut Feeling Consciously.

Your gut instincts come from the very old and highly evolved unconscious part of your brain.

Whereas analysis is done at the conscious level (the neo-cortex) which is a few hundred thousand years behind evolutionary speaking and nothing like as efficient at dealing with information.

The best analogy I have ever heard (which I think came from the awesome book, Your Brain at Work) in illustrating the disparity of power, is to think of your conscious mind as being the change in your pocket and your unconscious mind as the US economy.

Have you ever had a feeling that you just know somebody is behind you even though you haven’t heard or seen anything?

Then when you turn round there is indeed somebody sneaking up on you with a large axe?

Ok, hopefully not a large axe, but maybe a friend planning to make you jump?

How did you know?

You will actually find it almost impossible to answer that question because the truth is you don’t know how you knew, you just did.

When anybody comes into close proximity to you there is a slight increase in temperature from their body heat and also the movement of air as they move.

The changes are tiny and imperceptible at a conscious level because your conscious struggles to deal adequately with more than about 4 pieces of information at any one time.

The Limitations of Your Conscious Mind

But your unconscious mind can deal with thousands of things at once and your amygdala, which is the part of your brain on alert for possible threats, has noticed the changes and sends you a warning signal.

Now imagine there really is a mad axeman behind you.

Are you better trying to work out what is giving you a sense of unease, or are you better acting on the uneasy feeling and getting out of the way?

Sitting there thinking, “I have no idea why I’m feeling like this and therefore I may as well ignore the message” is likely to end up with you minus a head.

I know that is a rather absurd and over the top example, but it clearly demonstrates why trying to analyse such situations is rarely helpful.

Gut instinct quote: “Your Unconscious Is Much Smarter Than You Think”

At a conscious level, my friend had no idea her husband was going to be jealous, abusive and controlling because he hadn’t overtly demonstrated that side of his character at that point.

I hadn’t noticed that I didn’t trust my male friend because there was nothing tangible to put my finger on. On the surface, he seemed like a nice guy and said all the right things.

And the friend who lost her fiancé in a horrific car accident consciously or had nothing tangible to go on that he shouldn’t take the car and go up country. She even voiced her gut feeling to him.

But in each situation, there were enough subtle clues to have the amygdala screaming at all of us, “WTH!! Did you see that, did you see that??”

Only the amygdala can’t talk or scream at you and it can’t explain to you the myriad of information it has gathered on your behalf to keep you safe.

All it can do is send a feeling that something isn’t quite right and then hopes to hell you won’t ignore it.

I’m not saying that you should never analyse gut feelings because I’m sure there are occasions when that’s useful, even if I’m struggling to think of any at the moment. Please let me know in the comments if you can come up with a great example.

However, I am saying that ignoring your intuition—gut feeling, because you cannot make sense of it analytically, is akin to ignoring the, “Don’t feed the Lions” sign at the zoo because you personally have never seen anybody eaten by a Lion.

What’s your take, do you listen to your intuition or rationalise the mickey out of it?

I’m also curious to know if you have ever ignored a really strong gut feeling and severely regretted it afterwards.

Karin Kelly
Transformation Coach: Author


Written by Vanessa Anderson

I am overdue on a few articles – this seems to be how I roll on any number of things these days. On this one, in particular, though I have a valid reason (so they all say!).

I wanted it to be light and positive and truth be told, I just wasn’t feeling any of those things. This probably echoes true for many people these days. If it resonates with you, then I want to reassure you and encourage you to honour your feelings, they have a message or a lesson to share. Sometimes the journey they take us on is painful and hard to bear, remember to breathe.

When the world outside our consciousness feels too heavy to bear, from pain or anxiety and even through anger, we tend to hold our breath as if awaiting on external forces to reset the situation. In that moment, without conscious thought we are actually holding on, holding in, and holding fast to the very thing that is holding us back.

Our connection has been brutally severed over time, sped up through recent events and I am convinced that the heavy feeling we are experiencing has its root cause wrapped tightly around the disconnect, isolation and dissent that has been allowed to flourish lately.

In a time before…I won’t set the date but let’s put it at the time before humanity cultivated crops and settled cattle. A great civilization is under construction. There are many hands and innovation is in its infancy. It falls on the backs of many to lift, carry and with great care place the cornerstones of humanity’s future. Under that care, a hand slips and the bedrock breaks, a crumbling remnant falls on the shoulders of one person and they struggle to keep their balance and hold the line. They become separated, disconnected and for a fleeting moment they feel alone – the weight of eternity on their shoulders. Under that weight they cannot see the impact of the disaster on the others, they are unaware that others too have faltered, broken apart still cradling their burdens – weighted further by their sense of responsibility to the whole.

This is where we are now at – seemingly alone – still trying to cradle the greater share of the burden because of our responsibility to the whole. This is why the world seems heavy, too much to bear and why the light feels so dim.

I believe… in helping hands.

If you are a fan of fantasy, then perhaps you know of the movie The Labyrinth. If so, you know all about helping hands – they are found in some of the least likely of places – all you have to do is ask and believe.

I implore you to believe.

Underneath the masks and the fear is isolation and disconnection.

We are a whole in disconnect, particles of light slowly dimming in the swirling outer whorls of a momentum not of our creation. We still feel the responsibility to carry the burden of the whole, feeling isolated. But and it’s a big BUT – there are others, there always have been, we have independently grown resilient and stronger.

It is no wonder, no fault and no mistake that we are who we are and where we are right now. We must simply decide and move forward with clarity and confidence.

I believe, like neurons rewiring and reconnecting, we are reaching out, finding help in unlikely places. We are made of light, we sparkle and shine, we glow when we are loved, connected and in balance, our foothold may have been shaken but in unity we find a sure grasp.

It is time to grow our humanity.