Nowadays, rationality and science are looked up to, with “wishy-washy,” unscientific “feelings” being shunned. This is absolutely not bad at all, and science and rationality are the compasses by which we should trace our lives. Still, sometimes, this love of rationality and this scorn of the emotional can produce holes in our judgment that could be solved by trusting our senses and our feelings. This is the case of our “intuition,” which gets shunned and looked down on because we can’t exactly explain it with science and logic. Which does us a disservice because our intuition is frequently right.
Always Trust Your Gut Feeling
However, how would you feel if I told you that your intuition is actually rational and logical, and you should take it into account? Indeed, when you get a “gut feeling,” it is because a set of guidelines that your brain follows. Your mind is exceptionally well structured and organized. It hates not knowing stuff and not being able to recognize patterns. So subconsciously, it studies every situation you are in great detail and remembers it. Your brain creates a “mental model”: the “memory” of little details that created feelings on you in a particular set of situations. For example, if every time you go outside of your home, your trip on the same stone. So eventually, your mind will make you subconsciously remember this stone and not only make you avoid it. But it will give you a wrong, anxious feeling, so you avoid tripping again.
So, when your “inner voice” tells you that a person is untrustful or a situation is dangerous, it is not “wishy-washy feelings” that is causing this. Your subconscious mind is remembering details of several similar cases that you went through in the past and warn you that this situation is likely to end up badly, too.
First Thought Best Thought
To take advantage of mental models, of course, you need to help your brain “map” as many details and situations as possible. So do your best to trust your gut feeling: it is trying to tell you something. The more often you trust your gut, the more likely it will be able to create good mental models, and the more reliable it will become. So whenever possible, get exposed to a lot of different situations and try to listen to what your feelings and intuition are trying to tell you. If your inner voice tells you that you are dealing with someone sketchy, be wary, and relax if your gut tells you someone is friendly.
However, while often, you should follow your gut feeling, some people might have trouble with this. Those with anxiety or other panic disorders might have a hyperactive inner voice that keeps warning them about everything. These people need to be extra careful because they run the risk of misjudging people due to their brains being much more aware than usual. To start solving this, if you have anxiety, try your best to leave your comfort zone gently, and try to keep a calm demeanor so your gut can help you deal with your hyperactive mind.