11/19/2012 04:27 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2013

Honoring What Is Brings Confidence, Success and Deeper Connection to Self

Today Jane, one of our team members, interviewed a potential new employee for our team. The candidate's resume was perfect, she presented well, interviewed extremely well, gave all the right answers, but something just didn't seem quite right.

Because the candidate interviewed so well, and since her credentials were so perfect for the job, Jane cleared her for the next step in the interview process. But her supervisor came back with the same feedback -- resume was great, the candidate interviewed well, but something just didn't seem right to him either.

Jane and her supervisor sat down and talked about the candidate and her credentials and tried to figure out what was bothering them about her candidacy. Neither one of them could isolate their specific concerns at the time.

I suggested that when something doesn't feel right, it doesn't entirely matter if you can't figure out why. You just need to honor the fact that something doesn't feel right and don't force the situation. So they decided to put her resume aside for a while and interview a few other candidates in the meantime.

During that interval, the perfect candidate did appear. Later, both Jane and her supervisor were able to see that the first candidate wouldn't have been a good fit with the rest of the team. Jane was relieved that she'd made a good decision. Sometimes it takes a while for those hidden reasons to reveal themselves; we won't always know why they aren't readily available. But there is always a good reason.

It takes discipline to honor our gut, but the rewards are worth it. Rushing into a short-term, seemingly-easy fix with long-term problems brings more grief than benefit. When we don't have proof for what we sense, most of us are apt to discount our gut. And that's a mistake.

Heather found this out when she had to navigate her way out of an emotionally-abusive relationship with what turned out to be a cheating boyfriend. Later, she confided to me that she had picked up on numerous signals throughout the relationship that something wasn't right. When she wrote those off as her imagination, people began outright telling her what they knew about him and his infidelity.

Humans are the only ones who go out of their way to ignore their instinct. We could learn something from the animal kingdom. They honor their instinct as sacred and simply follow it, which usually keeps them safe and alive.

We all have innate smoke alarms, signals that go off in our head and gut that tell us when something isn't right. Rarely are those signs wrong, and we would all do well to pay attention to them more quickly.

The more we honor our intuition, the more strongly we're connected to our innate sense of direction, the part of us who knows the right next step to take. The more distinctly we hear our inner voice, the more powerfully we know who we are and why we're here. The more we discount and suffocate that voice, the less we see of our selves, the more lost we become. It's always easier to simply honor what is than to go through the torturous effort of pretending "what could have been."

Honoring your intuition is a practice, and it's easy to begin. Start right now. Then make a commitment to honor it in all things big and small. The more you practice, the more quickly you'll become an expert.

For more by Melissa Van Rossum, click here.

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