Instinct: How important is it?

I wouldn’t dismiss that inner voice too readily. Here’s why. MARCIA GRIFFIN

Marcia Griffin

By Marcia Griffin

Recently we had an extremely windy day in Melbourne, and unfortunately it was also a day when I had meetings all over the city. And so I was a first-hand witness to trees toppling over and a feeling of some danger.

I had to park my car for a quick meeting and as I was getting out I had a look to see if there were any trees close by. I was reasonably close to one, and I had a quick thought – perhaps I should park further away – but being in a hurry, I kept going.

When I returned, the state emergency services people were clearing a fallen tree. Their comment was: “You were very lucky – you only had leaves on your car, you could have lost your car.” I thought to myself that I should have listened to my instincts!

And over my life I have had that idea enough times to be more aware of these instinctive thoughts, but still sometimes I am too busy, or I think I am too busy, to take note.

Many years ago when I was hitchhiking through Europe I had an instinctive feeling about someone and through following this instinct probably saved my life, so I should be very cognisant of my instincts.

But every now and then things just slip through, and I know that had I listened more intently to that thing called “instinct” the outcome would have been better.

I have given this a lot of thought over my life – listening to the inner voice – this inner voice seems to come from past experiences, which when you think of it is the most valuable learning you can have.

So how can we use and tune in to our instincts? Here are some thoughts:

  • Accept that there is something called instinct.
  • It’s usually the first thought you have when a situation arises.
  • Tune in to these inner thoughts.
  • Stop.
  • Take time to think about the consequences of not listening to your instinctive reaction; for me, it could have been total destruction of my car.
  • Train your self to listen to yourself, and take note.
  • Instinct can be very helpful in assessing people, but remember that sometimes people are really different to your first feeling about them. Just keep your instinctive thought in mind, and then let them prove who they really are.
  • Instinct can help you face up to new challenges by enabling you to use your past experience in perhaps a similar situation, but it is generally not a very visible response, so you have to stay tuned in.

I do know that my instincts have been powerful enough to be of great assistance at various times in my life. I also know that I have let being too busy or allowing someone to persuade me away from my instincts at times to be to my detriment.


To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.

High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.

High Heeled Success (Kerr Publishing) is available directly from Marcia ([email protected]) or Domain Books



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