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Why do you think that is?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were left thinking, "All the logical reasoning points in this direction, but something in my gut is telling me to go the other way."?

We have two ways of making decisions. We can call upon our instinct and go with the gut. Or we can call upon logical reasoning and think through the pros and cons and the consequences and then decide which way to proceed. And of course, these aren't mutually exclusive. Nothing stops us from employing both these methods and then arriving at a decision, although when we do that we are logically considering the effectiveness of our gut call, but I'll let that slide for now to make a different point.

When our instinct and logical reasoning are both in agreement (which happens most of the time), there is no dissonance and we simply proceed with the decision. But when our instinct and our logical reasoning aren't in agreement, that's when we stop to think what we ought to do.

When I find myself in such a situation, I see that as cause to dig deeper on the reasoning front and answer questions that I may not have previously answered. This is the process of self-discovery that you will find counsellors and therapists employ so well.

When you state something that you felt or something that you think, the counsellor asks you why that could be?

"Why do you think that is?"

That's the most powerful question one can employ along their path of self-discovery. Because the answers to that question brings out deep-held beliefs and assumptions that can then be further questioned with another "Why do you think that is?"

And more importantly, this has good practical applications too!

As it turns out, this is the best way to hone our instincts. Every time we find our gut call conflicting with what seems to be the logical option, this line of thinking helps us understand why we have formed that instinct in the first place and whether it needs any modifications.

Of course, we can do this with every gut call we make, irrespective of whether it conflicts with our logical reasoning or not, but that is just a very intensive process and ends up taking a lot of time, only to reinforce most of what we already had honed.

When someone tells you to go with your gut, ask yourself if your instinct is good enough in the first place for you to trust it completely.

And make judgement calls and gut decisions everyday. The more you do it, the more chances you will encounter cases of conflict with logical reasoning, the more you will question your instinct and the better it will get.

Instinct too, as it turns out, benefits greatly from the daily practice.

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