By Stephanie Weese, CFO, MSBO Board Member, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, Livingston ESA
Trusting your gut instinct is one of your most valuable assets. Professionally and personally, it can lead you down the right path and help you make better decisions. At times, however, it may seem easier to trust what people are telling you over your own intuition. How many times have you had your instincts tell you something was not right, but you ignored it and it turns out that your gut was correct?
One of the benefits of trusting your gut instinct is that it is unique to you. No one else has had the same life experiences or perspective as you. Your intuition is based on your own personal history and can help guide you towards the best decisions for your own individual life. Listening to your intuition can help you avoid making mistakes or entering situations that are not right for you.
When you trust others, you are relying on their opinions and beliefs, which may not necessarily align with your own. They may be looking out for their best interests, and just telling you what you want to hear. They may also not have a strong moral compass that guides them to tell the truth. Instead, they will hint at the truth hoping that you will “catch on”. Their ideas may be based on their own biases, and what worked for them may not be the best option for you. While it is valuable to seek advice from others, it is important to listen to your instincts in these types of situations.
Trusting your intuition can also lead to greater self-confidence. When you learn to trust yourself and your own decision-making skills, you become more self-assured in all aspects of life. This can have a positive impact on your career, personal relationships, and overall well-being. Once you begin trusting yourself, you can control various situations and know if the person you are interacting with is someone that you should trust.
It is very easy to fall into believing what someone is telling you when you have known them for a long time. They could be a trusted leader, or someone that you call a friend. Just because they are a trusted leader, or someone you consider a friend, it does not mean that you should ignore your gut instinct. If red flags are going off in your head, or if you are questioning the meaning of a conversation, listen, pause and take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself could mean asking for clarity or removing yourself from the situation.
We have all had situations where we did not listen to our inner voice, or gut instinct. My hope for everyone reading this is that you do what you need to do to take care of and protect you. Surround yourself with trusted colleagues and friends. I am lucky to say that I have many trusted colleagues, and I am thankful for each one.
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