It’s what they say about the big decisions in life: “you’ll just know.” But I can’t be the only one who has found themselves at a crossroad with no instinctive sensation guiding me in the right direction. “Not knowing” has been a source of a lot of stress for me, maybe because I was always taught that I would. I still don’t have it figured out, but here is what I found it important to know for when you don’t “just know.”
1. The idea of “not knowing” says just as much as “just knowing” does. If you really and honestly do not feel any particular way toward something, it means less to you than you think it does, and that’s what you should take into consideration.
2. Understand what a gut feeling is (I didn’t for the longest time). The phrase derives from a literal sense: listen to your subconscious by feeling how your body reacts without you being aware of there being something to react to. That is the key of these instinctual feelings: you have to listen to them when you don’t know, and if you don’t feel anything, you have to keep going.
3. “Just knowing” is what you experience before you give it enough time to let reason take over. Trying to over think why you don’t just know is counter-productive to what you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes you just have to ease away from it and let it take you where it wants.
4. The truth is that our gut reactions are usually spot-on but our “logic” and reasoning are what will confuse us. So if you’re between your feelings telling you one thing, and your mind telling you another (within reason) listen to your gut.
5. Have a little more faith in what your brain can pick up on without you realizing. Body language, verbal or social cues that seem “off” usually are for one reason or another. We are creatures who cling to our egos, and we want to think that the mind is superior and should be able to logically work us through anything we tell it to. But this isn’t the case, because at any given time, we are subconsciously aware of things that our minds have picked up but stored away. What our minds tell our bodies in these cases is what we have to listen to.
6. Your gut is not your heart, although they are very similar. To follow your heart is to follow what you love, to follow happiness, and to do what you feel to be right. Your gut is that initial reaction you have before you have a chance to decide whether it’s good or bad or wrong or right– your gut tells you instead. Your heart is what you need to learn to mediate with your mind. Your gut is not.