If you are like me, you might feel like you have had some practice listening to your gut. 

You may also feel like it is rarely ever wrong, and that is because it is. The gut is a central communication station for how you feel and the stress that surrounds your life and in my experience, it is always right.

What is Gut Intelligence?

Gut intelligence acknowledges that information can be felt and interpreted through the gut. It is the idea that how the body feels and senses can be leveraged as intelligence. 

The brain-gut axis acts as an information superhighway providing continuous status updates so that we are acutely aware of our surroundings (including our own thoughts). It can show us what is good for us and not good. 

When the gut senses something that is good for us, we often feel a sense of relaxation, peace and contentment. Though, it is worth nothing that the gut also exhibits excitement and butterflies at times when something is both good for us and outside of our comfort zone.  When the gut senses something that is not good for us, it displays feelings of stress, tension and upset.  

Why Should You Be Using Your Gut Intelligence in Business?

  Using gut intelligence in business allows you to develop another credible source of intelligence that can work in collaboration with your mind, giving you an even greater sense of clarity, accuracy, and understanding as you make strategic decisions and build your business. Ensure you are not undermining its credibility in making decisions for your business. “Trusting my gut has always let me down”… said no one, ever! 

Some of they key uses of gut intelligence in business that I have employed myself, and continue to teach to my students, are the following:

Navigating

As you move forward on a project, you can use your gut to ‘feel’ into the next step, by considering your options and trusting what feels right to move forward.

Decision-making

If you need to make a decision on which person to hire, or what product to buy, you can use your gut to determine what or who feels right.

Creativity & Problem Solving

Allow yourself to daydream about a problem and imagine as many solutions as possible, use your gut to feel for the direction of the right solution, almost like playing hot or cold.

Gut-check

As we head down a ‘line of thinking’ we will often do a ‘gut check’ to see if we are on the right path.

Why is Gut Intelligence Heightened in Women?

Have you ever heard the phrase “women’s intuition”? Or perhaps, a “a mother knows”? While there may not be a biological difference in female and male guts, or ENSs, societal roles in history have resulted in women practicing the utilization of intuition more often. 

Gender differences through human evolution have led to a pronounced ability in women’s instincts. Historically, women have been the caretaker of children, allowing them to develop strong, accurate instincts to best protect their children from threats, over generations.  While it may not be a medical difference, ‘women’s intuition’ is the decision to exercise an innate human ability that many leave untouched; inactive and under-utilized. 

How Do You Activate Your Gut Intelligence?

Gut intelligence is something that is innate to us all as humans, but it can never hurt to practice using it to ensure it can be trusted. The following is an exercise in activating your gut intelligence. 

Activating Your Gut Intelligence

  1. Bring to mind a choice you need to make (i.e. which program should I create, x, y, or z?).
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Take a few long, slow deep breaths.
  4. Relax your body.
  5. Place your left hand on your upper torso, just below the ribcage and your right hand on your belly.
  6. Bring your awareness to your torso and repeat to yourself “I relax my body, my body is relaxed”(continue repeating until you feel relaxed). 
  7. At this time, you are deeply aware of your gut and you are connected to its wisdom.  Take a deep breath relaxing your torso.
  8. Now visualize the first option ‘x’ and allow yourself to create an experience of ‘x’ as if it were taking place in real-time. 
  9. As you experience the visualization, notice how your body beneath your hands feels and describe what you are feeling.  Is it positive or negative?
  10. Simply allow yourself to experience how you feel and what you might be intuiting.
  11. Note any thoughts, feelings, and whether it felt like a positive experience.

 

Caroline Watters


Sources:

Kristi Klein and Sara Hodges. “Gender Differences, Motivation, and Empathetic Accuracy: When it Pays to Understand,”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 27, no. 6 (2001): 720-730, https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201276007