Always! There is a difference between your gut giving you sage advice and rationalization.
Your head will tell you it’s a good thing to reward yourself with another Starbucks mocha or a pair of shoes. (Those are my examples. Your examples will be different but you get the idea.) That is not following your gut. It’s justifying what you want to do even when it’s not a good idea. We all do it so don’t think you’re beyond it.
It’s easy to tell the difference. Your gut never tells you that you deserve something. It tells you what to do to protect your life. Keep you sane (somewhat). Makes sure you survive.
It resides in that imaginary organ somewhere between your head and heart that gives you a funny feeling. It’s a “Spidey” thing. It keeps you out of trouble if you listen but YOU MUST LISTEN.
Some say it’s pulling from old experiences. Some say it’s from eons of ancestor survivor instincts much like animals have. I think it’s that one good brain cell that’s operating at 100% capacity. (Most of mine are retired. They take multiple breaks and vacations. Early happy hours most days. It’s hard to keep a good crew of brain cells going 24/7.)
Back to my story (which didn’t start yet). I had to make an appointment to have a simple procedure done. No big deal. (No sympathy required but I do accept Starbucks gift cards.) Quick and easy but somewhat uncomfortable. However I get anxious about most things. This is no different.
The drive is almost an hour through bad traffic patterns. When I made the appointment, first available was two months out on a Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Fridays in this doctor’s office are wonderful. If he was around the corner, I would always go on a Friday afternoon. The schedule is light and people are in a good mood. If you have to drive through the worst of the traffic, it’s not a good time. All the bad driving skills come out on Friday afternoons even in the winter.
Despite my “Spidey” sense telling me “no, no, no,” I took it. Next appointment was another couple of weeks out. I wanted it done.
Other than busy, the drive there wasn’t too bad. It did take the full hour but nothing hurt. I kept my anxiety under control (sort of) with drugs and deep breathing exercises. My procedure went well. There is discomfort. It’s not too terrible except that I’m a wuss and like to crawl into the fetal position afterward. Very hard to do when you are the driver.
Coming home the traffic was backed up. I needed cold packs and pain killers but what I had was idiot drivers and clogged roads. I was given a prescription which I didn’t anticipate. That required a stop at a drugstore.
After the staff person called it into my usual pharmacy I realized that I was driving by another one that would shorten my trip. I had a paper prescription and went to fill it. With the newfangled on-line records, it showed that I already had the prescription filled elsewhere. More time to clear that up. Throbbing boo-boo. Traffic backing up.
By the time I walked in the door I wanted ice, juice and to prop my feet up. Had I followed my gut and scheduled a morning appointment, my trip home would have been cut in half. I’m old to make this mistake. Oh yes, I was swollen for the weekend too. Boogers.
Go with your gut. It’s always right.
Do you go with your gut even when it’s not what you want to do?