We have deep instincts that allow us to make decisions quickly-unfortunately, most of us have abandoned these initial “male instincts” or “female intuition” in place of more reasonable modes of thought: we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, we’ll see how the new product does this quarter, etc.
Try an experiment. For a single week at work or in your personal life, surrender to your primal instinct. If you’re a guy, stop worrying about “offending” the other people in your life and take action when a virile gut instinct overcomes you-it is important to be assertive from time to time, or you will end up in exactly the same place five years from now.
If you’re a woman, follow that intuition in the back of your mind. I have had female colleagues say things like, “I knew he was going to be bad news” or “I knew this advertising campaign would underperform” and my response is generally: “Why didn’t you act on this knowledge?!”
Instincts are so crucial, yet we often ignore them. Birds and other small animals generally avoid natural disasters and “know” before an earthquake strikes a populated area-this is because they follow instincts and use all of the information available to them.
They don’t know anything about “reason” or giving people “the benefit of the doubt”-animals simply do what they feel is right, given the information available at the time.
Here are some tips for following your male instinct or female intuition this week:
Act on things that are “quantifiable”
Don’t make a decision on a project that will take six months to come to a conclusion. Instead, use your gut instinct on something that you will know the results of within a matter of days-either a short-term advertising campaign, new date, checking out a new night club or business venue, etc. You want to test your intuition to see if it can be trusted on a more regular basis.
Don’t tell others about your experiment
You may face ridicule from peers, and possibly even reprimand from a boss, if they knew you were making your business decisions based on a “hunch” this week. So don’t tell them! This is your own private experiment-intuition is a fairly intimate thing anyway; you need not tell others what you are up to.
Keep a notebook
I like to keep a notebook whenever I am actively working on improving or testing my intuition. I keep track of which “gut instincts” have come through for me and which have yet to yield results-in addition to any possible failures or oversights due to my intuitive hunches. It is important to keep track of successes AND failures so you will be able to accurately gauge how effective intuitive ability can be in your life. Of course, if the failures outweigh the positive results, consider leaving this untapped ability alone for a while. You don’t want to lose your job or jeopardize any of your relationships.