Don’t Go with Your Gut


Everyone has an inner voice, intuition, or feelings that something is right or wrong. Your gut could be wrong. Don’t trust it.

Ask the poker player who went all-in and lost. What about the manager who felt great about hiring a job applicant that didn’t work out. Have you ever felt you were driving in the right direction when you were lost?

One of the worst things the gut tells extroverts is keep talking.

Evaluate your gut when:

  1. You feel like you’re contributing more than your teammates.
  2. Topics are outside your expertise.
  3. Assigning blame.
  4. You haven’t taken time for self-reflection.


I talked with Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., about when to trust our gut. She said, for those who take time to self-reflect, listen to your gut when it comes to values and passions. She emphasized the importance of self-reflection.


“Where our intuitions fail us is actually on the opposite problem, that is, evaluating where we go wrong… In general we are way too hard on ourselves. We tend to think that we are the problem.”

Dr. Halvorson went on to say, “I’m a big advocate for people being much more self-compassionate than we are… The people who are not horribly self-critical are actually more successful… The lack of self-compassion comes from some of these bad intuitions we have about our failures.”


You need more input when it comes to evaluating failures. Don’t go with your gut. Get feedback.

Evaluating your gut:

Explore issues that don’t feel right. Don’t assume something’s wrong. Say, “This doesn’t feel right to me. Tell me more.”

When something feels right ask, “Am I missing something? or What could go wrong?”

Dr. Halverson in her own words on intuition (3:57):

Check out Dr. Halverson’s new book: Focus (Highly recommended)

How do you know when to go with your gut?

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