We’re often told to “trust your gut” but what does that mean? How can we know when to trust our intuition to keep us safe and when to question our gut reactions to things?

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Ronni: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Hey, so I have a question for you. Have you ever heard of the phrase Trust your Gut?

Brittany: I have.

Ronni: What do you think that means? Do you think it means like, literally your gut as in your intestines?

Brittany: You know what’s funny, actually, I think it could mean both things, Ronni, because.

Ronni: I mean, good point.

Brittany: As a big like, keto health person, I’m always like, alright, you know, if I ate something, does that make my stomach feel bad? That I’m gonna trust my gut as far as diet? So I’m gonna twist that on you. I know that’s not the answer you were looking for, but that, but yeah, it means trust your intuition, that little part inside of you that says, Hey, maybe this isn’t a good idea, or, Hey, maybe I should do this instead. So that’s what trust your gut means, in my opinion.

Ronni: Well, actually, I like that you brought it up literally too, because you’re right. You know, if we eat something and then, our stomach is kinda like, eh, that didn’t really sit well with us. You know, you learn how to know what foods are good for your body to eat and not, so, you know what, I think that’s great. I’m glad you threw that in there. But yes, trust your gut, both literally and figuratively. But I was gonna talk more about the, you know, figuratively, which is the intuition. So, which is, as you mentioned, when you kinda have that inner sense of feeling as though something is, right or wrong or just, you know, kind of knowing something, even if you don’t have concrete proof of it. But it’s that sense that people have.   Would you say that you, some people are pretty good at being able to, you know, trust their gut and other people don’t really know what that means? Would you say that you’re someone who has a good sense of trusting yourself, or are you someone who tends to be better at, needing to see other evidence before you can feel as though you believe something?

Brittany: I think I’ve had to train myself to learn how to trust my gut. I don’t think I used to be able to do that. But I think it’s taken a lot of time to just trusting myself. I think that’s come with getting older where I’ve learned from my mistakes or I learned, you know, what is and what is not a good or bad idea. So, yeah. So I think it’s something, I think I am very good at trusting my gut now, but I think that even when you do trust your gut, it’s sometimes, very easy to let other emotions get in the way. But I think I’m pretty good at it now.

Ronni: Yeah. What about you? I agree with the idea of kind of training yourself. I feel one, for myself, one big example is when I first became a mom and had kids, and of course when you first have kids, you wanna do everything right. You know, parents always wanna take care of their kids, but when you have a new baby, it’s a little bit, you know, it’s overwhelming and you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing and you’re second guessing yourself. And so you go and read and books or you go online and ask other moms, what do I do with my baby when they’re crying like this? And I remember in the early days, it was very stressful because I always felt like, oh, I’m not doing this right. I’m not feeding them right or at the right intervals or laying them down the right way, or, I’m only supposed to, do these activities at this time. And you start overthinking everything. And it took a while before I realized that no, as a mom, I have to be able to tune into my inner gut, my mom, my mother’s instinct, and working with my own child. And instead of listening to what ev all the advice everyone was giving me, I, no, some of the advice was good. So let me rephrase that. It was good to listen to all their advice, but instead of feeling as though I had to obey or follow all their advice, I realized that what mattered was when I could focus and think about my mother’s instinct, my own child, I was able to make the best decisions. And so I feel as though that really helped me, a lot to understand. But like you said, I think you have to train yourself. To be able to, you know, go with your gut. But kind of along the same lines, do you think that going with your gut is always the best idea? Do you think that there are some times in which we shouldn’t automatically, you know, trusting our gut or listen to it?

Brittany: Yeah, and I think we’ve probably talked about this in a few past episodes. I’m not, I can’t, I No, no. Not that, what I was about to say. Just about like thinking over feeling. And I think sometimes our gut goes, like, wants to go with our feelings sometimes. I think we should be careful about it because feelings are always gonna cloud our judgment, and that doesn’t mean feelings are bad. It’s so good. If you didn’t have feelings, I’d be worried. Right. That’s a little bit weird. But, sometimes our feelings can cloud our judgment because instead of thinking about what’s the right thing to do, we think of like, what’ll make us happy. For example, it might sound great for me to eat cookies every night for dinner, but, and that’s what I wanna do. But like, I need vegetables too. Right? So it’s kind of like that, like what you want, what, what sounds good or fun in, in the short term might be better than, or it might seem more fun than the other thing. So that’s kind of what I mean by that is sometimes you’ve gotta put your feelings aside and think, okay, what is the rational safety?

Ronni: Although in that case, you would be trusting your literal gut

Brittany: I was gonna say analogy where I could say trusting your gut. So funny.

Ronni: Well, So I was thinking, I was trying to think of some ways in which, you know, trusting your gut and going with your gut is not always a good idea. And, you know, you brought up emotion or desire. Sometimes we desire something that is not good for us. You like, you know, cookies. But I think there’s also times, times, for example, say if you’re solving a math problem, I used to teach math, so I, you know, I default to thinking of math examples. But you know, you can’t look at a problem and say, oh, my gut tells me it’s, it’s this. Now that doesn’t mean that you might not be close. I mean, that’s why you have an estimation. So, you know, you might be like, oh, I think all these numbers add added up. My gut tells me it’s close to 150, and you could be right because you know, estimated, but it’s, you can’t tell your teacher that, or your parents, if your pa if you’re homeschooling, you can’t be like, oh, the answer’s one 50. You have to be able to like, prove it. So, you know, sometimes that’s not a good idea. Or if you’re working with anything that requires, you know, a precise measurement, you know, you’re building a chicken coop or something, you can’t say, oh yeah, I think I need to cut this at, at two and a half feet. I mean, you haven’t actually measured, oh, or another good example is let’s say, you know, you’re at court, right? And, you’re on a jury. You can’t just look at the defendant and say, oh yeah, they’re guilty. I’m gonna vote them guilty without having heard any of the evidence. So, you know, I do think there are times in which it is good too even though you might have a gut reaction to, you know, kind of take a step back mentally and say, wait, why am I thinking that? And so I think that there are some reasons that it might not be good, but when would you say that you think it is a good idea to go with our, you know, our gut response to something?

Brittany: Yeah, I think when we, if there’s anything, a decision where maybe we’ll be in danger or maybe, we have to make a decision about maybe like who to hang out with and we have a bad feeling about certain friends or about certain situations. I think in that case, it’s always better to go with your gut and what your gut is telling you because maybe you’re having, again, that intuition, that word that’s telling you like, maybe something’s not right here. Or maybe it’s somebody’s telling you something that just doesn’t seem like it checks out like something’s wrong and you think, should I trust this person? And then you’re like, you know, maybe I should trust what my gut is telling me.

Ronni: Yeah. I think that in situations where you can’t know everything, you know, for example, you were talking about choosing your friends and sometimes you might be in a new social group and you might be hanging out with new people, and you have to kind of make a quick decision of, okay, who looks, who seems as they are good people to hang out with and that aren’t going to, you know, make bad choices. And so you have very limited information. You know, you haven’t, you don’t know the life story of all these people in this group. And so I think that’s when our gut, you know, we really have to trust our gut the most because yeah. Something about our intuition is able to, I think is able to pick up on things that we might not be able to provide proof for you, something within us can pick up. Like, oh, this person feels untrustworthy, or walking this way to school or to the store feels unsafe, or something like that.

Brittany: That, yeah, I definitely had those feelings before, right? I just think, and I don’t even really know why, I just think, you know, I feel like I need to go this way today and I’ll never actually know if my intuition is right. Right. Unless I hear like a police report that’s like a big car accident or something. But sometimes you just have to trust that that was the right decision.

Ronni: Yeah. I think, especially in terms of, I know we were talking about this in the earlier podcast, but especially when it comes down to knowing what information we’re told is true or not, you know, there’s so much information, that we’re being bombarded with constantly, and a lot of it is conflicting. We hear the media telling us that this is happening or this is one way, but then you hear a different media source telling you it’s this way. Or you might even talk to, one neighbor and they’re telling you, this is how the world is. Another neighbor tells you, this is how the world isn’t. I know. How do you know? And I think, being able to go back to your own sense of intuition of, oh, this might, this is, I feel like this is wrong. An official source is telling this to me, but I feel as though this still might be wrong.

Brittany: No, I think that’s right. I think that was something that was probably really missing. And, during the pandemic, right?

Ronni: Oh yeah. I can only, oh my, yeah, the pandemic was a big one for sure. If early on more people had, you know, tried to connect with their intuition instead and ask questions, you know, maybe the world would’ve ended up just a little bit different.

Brittany: Well, and I think fear played a big part in that. That’s where I talk about like, making sure your emotions aren’t clouding too much. Cause I think maybe some people who normally would have, have trusted their gut on some things were just so scared of the unknown during the pandemic that they just kind of resorted to that and thought, okay, I’m gonna find an authority figure and I’m gonna trust them, you know.

Ronni: Yeah. Good point. I think that’s why, definitely. As you mentioned earlier for our readers, I would suggest as you are going through life and you encounter any situation, for some reason, you’re feeling as though something is scary or you feel as though the information that you’re being told seems to contradict, you know, something that’s a deeply held belief of yours or of your families. And even if it is someone in authority, you know, even if you hear a teacher telling you something that, you know, that’s not, it just doesn’t seem right, you know, to not necessarily go with someone just because they’re an authority, but to, you know, question it. And so I think that even though we can’t trust our gut, you know, our, our gut is not providing proof. It is just a feeling we’re making subjective decisions. But I do feel as though it’s really important to learn how to kind tap into your intuition so that you can trust your gut to help keep you safe in situations.

Brittany: Absolutely. I think that’s a a great place to end it too, guys. Yeah. So please don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share this podcast with your friends. We love having you as listeners. And until next time, Ronni, we’ll talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you soon.