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Laura Berman Fortgang Headshot

Your Inner GPS

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Do you listen to your GPS? You know, that female, honey-laced voice that guides you from point A to point B as you venture through new territory in your vehicle?

There are times when I think I know better than Miss GPS, and sometimes, I do know of routes or nuances that she does not. But when I'm really lost or in a new place I've never been to before, I have no other choice but to trust her, and she does not do me wrong. I find my relationship to my inner GPS, my intuition, to be similar. I sometimes override my intuition, but when I am really clueless, I trust it implicitly. The question is: Why don't I trust it all the time? Do I really think I know better?

I recently got into a fender bender. I questioned if there was any significance to be gleaned from this accident happening because it was not an obvious wake-up call. I was not speeding, texting, putting on makeup, talking on the phone or otherwise distracted and needing life to put me in line. (Not that I usually do those things -- ahem.) However, it did happen because I did not trust my intuition.

I'd had a whole conversation in my head with my inner GPS just before the accident happened. I had a feeling I should stop completely and wait for the construction workers I was passing to telegraph their next step, but I overrode it. As a result, a truck door being opened carelessly into traffic smashed my car up pretty badly. (No one was hurt.)

What about you? How often have you known a person was not to be trusted and you trusted them anyway, only to get burned later? How many times have you gone down paths you knew you should not go down or stayed where you should not have stayed, whether that's literally or figuratively? It's humbling. But not quite humbling enough, or we'd listen to our intuition more often.

Based on listening to clients over the years, I'd say that what makes it hard to trust our intuition is varied. Many question how they can know the difference between intuition and fear. Others trust the voice of experience more than the voice of their intuition. Many trust their minds more than their gut, and even others just can't stand doing something that seems crazy no matter how right it is for them.

I've observed that fear, our rational mind and the voice of experience are usually quite loud, judgmental and jarring in our heads -- full of "buts" and "yeah, ands." It's noisy in there, and the thinking is cyclical, recurring and often disturbing. Intuition, on the other hand, although it can be persistent, it is not as upsetting. You may think you're a little nutty, you may think your gut feeling is outrageous and not logical, but it will usually be quietly firm and appear and reappear as a message and not an alarm. Generally, speaking these descriptions seem to fit many who I have interviewed about their observations of the sensation in their own bodies and the differences between how fear and intuition feel. It's important to know.

I must ask: Is your Inner GPS trying to guide you? If so, what's scary about it? What's wise about it? Which will you choose and what will you do first?

Happy cruisin'.

For more by Laura Berman Fortgang, click here.

For more GPS for the Soul, click here.

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