Trust our own opinions and feelings – “Just be yourself”

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” ― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

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Jan 12, 2016
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What Does It Mean To “Just Be Yourself”

Every great master, every thousands of year old teachings or new-age-self-help-book repeats in one way or another, this message: Just Be Yourself. Sounds simple, but how do we actually it?

Steve Jobs was an American pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s.

“Your time is limited; don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, KBE is an English businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies

“I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.” Sir Richard Branson

Both of these men believe in following your gut instinct / feeling and intuition but what are these?

Definition of gut instinct: an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or idea based on facts

Definition of intuition: a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

Why we're right to trust our gut instincts: Scientists discover first decision IS the right one (Daily Mail)

According to a study by Canada's University of Alberta, when it comes to working out where the future lies your unconscious mind is both smarter than you think and can be a great motivator.

'In the past few years, we recognised that some of [Sigmund] Freud's ideas on the unconscious mind were, in fact, correct and that a lot of our decision-making and a lot of our feelings are based on things that we're not really aware of,' said Moore, who is an assistant professor in the Alberta School of Business.

Moore's research focused on longer-term goals, such as getting in shape or undertaking educational pursuits. The unconscious identifies and responds positively to objects and triggers in the environment that support the goal.

Another study by Professor Marius Usher of Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences has shown that forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants made the right call up to 90 percent of the time.

On a computer screen, participants were shown sequences of pairs of numbers in quick succession. All numbers that appeared on the right of the screen and all on the left were considered a group; each group represented returns on the stock market.

Participants were asked to choose which of the two groups of numbers had the highest average.

Because the numbers changed so quickly - two to four pairs every second - the participants were unable to memorise the numbers or do proper mathematical calculations.

To determine the highest average of either group, they had to rely on intuitive arithmetic.

Their accuracy increased when more data was presented.

When shown six pairs of numbers the participants chose accurately 65 percent of the time.

But when they were shown 24 pairs, the accuracy rate grew to about 90 percent.

'Intuitively, the human brain has the capacity to take in many pieces of information and decide on an overall value,' said Prof Usher.

'Gut reactions can be trusted to make a quality decision.'

Why you SHOULD go with your gut: Instinct is better at detecting lies than our conscious mind by SARAH GRIFFITHS

A psychological scientist from the University of California found humans are very poor lie detectors unless they used 'automatic associations'

Experiment participants were only able to detect liars 43% of the time and fared better when using their ‘gut’ instinct

People may have an intuitive sense, outside of conscious awareness, that detects when someone is lying - although what this is, is not understood

Ever had a funny feeling that someone was not being totally honest with you?

That gut instinct is probably worth following as it is better at spotting liars than our conscious mind, said researchers.

Automatic associations can be more helpful as logical awareness may hinder our ability to detect fraud.

What does a gut instinct look and feel like?

For me, it’s a sensation I have in literally in my gut. I can feel something in the area of my stomach.

In any given situation, no matter how complicated it might seem, You can reduce it finally to a Yes or No.

I feel warmth, an opening and a softening of my gut area when the answer is YES.

I feel a contraction, a heaviness, a kind of closing and shrinking when the answer is NO.

Sometimes the feeling is not very physical but it’s a strong Yes or No that comes within seconds of considering a given offer, path, meeting, whatever.

We are all individual and people have different ways of tuning into their inner voice; what is yours? (Let me know)

Like most of us I have asked people for their opinion in the past and sometimes still do. In my experience I ask for advice so people can reinforce what I already wanted or know.

By doing so, I discount, disbelief that my own internal voice was not enough.

The more we trust that first instinct the more we strengthen the power to hear our internal guidance system. If you’re listening to someone else the more you can’t here yourself; by practicing the experience of listening to yourself the more you can hear. The more we ask for opinions from others the more we dilute the connection with our inner guide. Practice not asking for advice for a week and see how it feels. It may feel scary so perhaps start with small decisions….

Trust our own opinions and feelings – “Just be yourself”

Go to the profile of Nicola Vanlint

Nicola Vanlint

Psychotherapist / CBT Counsellor / Wellbeing Radio Presenter

Who am I? A constellation of events and experiences which have formed who I am today, just like everybody else. I have experienced emotional imbalance in different forms during my life, one of which was the horror of panic attacks. These encounters lead me to expand my self-awareness, firstly through attending therapy, then through various workshops and years later attaining a qualification in counselling. I have a passion for acquiring and sharing knowledge of how to gain and maintain our psychological wellbeing and increase mental health appreciation. I am far from a journalist, in fact I am dyslexic, which I did not discover until the age of twenty eight. I have learnt to accept and embrace my imperfections. Join me on a voyage of self-awareness and psychological wellbeing, where your thoughts and feelings are very welcome!

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