1. Your gut tells you you’re unique, doesn’t it? You bring all sorts of good things to the table, and you know it. Whether you’re alone, on a team, or among co-workers, your gut has ways of forcing you to push your strengths ahead of your limitations, but you don’t always.
In our heads we think, “I could do this, but…” or “I’m good at that, but…”
To me, the way we naturally order these sentiments is proof that our guts are the ones kicking our abilities –not our shortcomings– upfront. Self-confidence comes into play, yes, which is also something we must sharpen and build, but it all starts with your gut.
2. Worry about self confidence or where your hesitations come from later. Yes, you have limitations, so get to know the bastards, but in moments of opportunity and chance, trust that your gut knows what it’s doing by putting things in order of their importance.
3. People will criticize you: do not join them. Constructive criticism usually comes from a good place, like when others see you’ve hammered a nail only halfway in and believe they can help. This often takes time and patient explanation. So how do you instantly separate the wheat (constructive input) from the chaff (negative nattering)?
a) If you’re focused on your strengths, rather than your limitations, you’ll see others’ contributions for what they are, and
b) Your gut will always tell you who to blow off. If your brain knows you’re about to tap your fingers before you physically do it, couldn’t such prescience also be true of your gut?
4. Sharpen your instincts. Travel alone or take up a solo creative endeavor, the more expressive the better. Activities like these result in the healthiest form of self-attention that exists, because they’re centered around personal growth, making mistakes, and feeling fulfilled (rather than simply gratified). Think about how you instinctively respond when someone who lives in that headspace enters a room. Their presence can be intimidating. Join them! Standing tall has more to do with learning and trying again (and again) than it does with put-on expertise or pay-offs.
5. Fear of failure is nothing more than the part of your gut that lives outside your body: embrace it. Go for it. Your gut isn’t already just talking to its counterpart, it’s conspiring with fear to seduce you into trying. Put simply, fear is your gut’s mating call, and your gut wants you to try.
6. Your gut will always tell you to be yourself, and that’s good advice — despite the fact that we live in a world that says the opposite, making us aspire to everything that cheapens and separates us. We all know people who’ve lost their sense of self and who seem to go along with the version of themselves they believe is expected. Don’t do that! Your gut doesn’t want you to look to your left, then to your right, in order to know what your own opinion is.
7. If your gut tells you not to do it, don’t. Sure, this is the most obvious one of all, but it includes the lesser considered, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Here’s where a resonant rapport with your intuition can bring the most satisfaction — or the most cringe-worthy of consequences.
8. Finally, forget comparing yourself to others. At all costs, avoid using other people’s success, gridlock, or good luck as a measure of who you are. I know, I know: we hear this all the time — and we probably fully agree — but do we live by it? If no one has ever suggested you write down things you alone have achieved, journeys you’ve been on, ethical challenges you’ve overcome, or anything you earned, won, or done (including raising a child), you should try it. Your gut will be really happy that you’re talking directly to it.
Make 2015 the best it can be by shoving aside everything but what your gut has to say.