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The impact of instinct: Why trusting your gut unlocks potential

When was the last time you acted off of instinct?

I’m talking about following through on a gut check, actually doing what you’ve said you’ve always wanted to do, and simply satisfied a desire within?

As children, dreaming came easy. If someone were to ask what you wanted to do a couple of decades ago, without hesitation, you would have rattled off fireman, doctor or some other occupation.

Now that we’re older with responsibilities and obligations it seems that we’ve not only lost our ability to dream but the basic fundamentals of navigation.

We went from being able to speak about what our dreams were at the drop of a hat to not expressing them at all. When did reading ourselves become so complicated? When did knowing what we wanted to become so blurred?

I think it’s because we’ve become disconnected with our instinct.

When we were young and unknowing, all that mattered was what we wanted — what the ticking inside of our chest told us to go after. But with age came knowledge and, for a lot of us, that meant life telling us our wants were too big or that we’re undeserving.

In result, no one is listening to their instincts. People have numbed the pulse to their heart. Ignored their passions and have decided that the life they want to live is the one they can count on. Yet, they wonder why they can’t achieve their potential.

It comes a time in life when we have to make the decision to either live the life that’s laid out before us or roll the dice on the opportunities that make us happy. While it may seem hard and may not make sense, that’s what risk and instinct are all about.

That’s what it’s going to take to live the life you always wanted.

Just do it

The first and probably hardest part to following your instinct is just doing it.

The impulses, passions, and motives that we feel pulsating through our bodies don’t just come from anywhere. They shouldn’t be dismissed as mere rushes of creativity. Whether it be an urge to help your community, the idea to start a book club or learn to code, these bursts of inspiration should respect and taken seriously because you never know where it might lead or how big it might get.

Instead of honoring a desire, we second-guest our ability to do it, then rationalize ourselves out of the running before the race even begins. That’s why it’s those who control their overthinking are the ones with clearest minds and who make the best decisions.

Instinct is a nothing to lose mentality

The second key to trusting your instinct is adopting the idea that no matter what, nothing supersedes chasing your passion. It’s important to think this way because if we deem something more important, we’ll never go far in fear of leaving it behind.

That’s why we must approach our dreams as if we have nothing to lose, so in the event that you do or you might, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.¬†We have to make a decision that our biggest dreams are ours, no matter what.

We hear about success stories of individuals living out of cars between auditions and checks, like Tyler Perry, and standing out in the rain for hours at a chance for a conversation, like J.Cole. These individuals attacked their dreams with reckless abandon.

Cole didn’t care if Jay-Z dissed him (he did) all he knew was that he wanted to rap — he had nothing to lose. Tyler Perry didn’t care if he didn’t have a roof over his head; that didn’t stop him from still auditioning — he had nothing, quite literally, to lose.

Maybe some of us have too much. Maybe we need to make less or be a tad bit more marginalized to go after what we want because too many of us won’t risk losing average for the chance at something greater.

You deserve it

The last reason we should trust your gut and the unction deep inside calling us for greater because we deserve it.

A lot of times, for whatever reason, we feel guilty for the things we want or having the dreams we have or wanting to leave and go to the places we want to go. We may talk a big game, but when it comes down to it, we never take that leap when the opportunities come.

Well, we’ll never reach our potential until we find ourselves worthy of it.

We have to tell ourselves that we deserve greatness, capable of accomplishing big things and should be in the rooms we deserve to be in. We can’t expect anyone else to see something we can’t see in ourselves.

For many of us, we abandon our instincts because we think they’re foolish, but in reality, they’re beckoning.

As cheesy and cliche as it is, trust your heart. No matter how uncertain, follow your gut — and watch you reach levels you’ve been trying your entire life to reach.