A silent voice inside your head. An indescribable urge. A strange urge. Your gut feeling can communicate with you in many ways. Almost all of us have experienced a strange sensation in certain situations. But what is your gut instinct trying to tell you? And why should you listen to it? Let’s take a look.
“Trust your hunches. Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Joyce Brothers
In order to fulfill your spiritual purpose in this life, you’ve got to walk the path less traveled.
And to walk the path less traveled, you have to embrace your inner wolf.
It is your inner lone wolf that will guard, guide, and protect you with courage, integrity, and intelligence.
But here’s the thing: in order to embrace your inner wolf, you’ve got to listen to your gut instinct.
The problem is that our gut instincts are often polluted by fears, prejudice, and mental clutter.
In this article, I want to share with you the seven gut instincts you should never ignore. You’ll also learn how to differentiate the voice of fear from the voice of primal wisdom.
What is Gut Instinct?
“Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.” – John Sterling
Your gut instinct is the physical reaction you have to the world around and inside of you.
When you experience an overwhelming “gut feeling,” your body is carrying out a primal response to subconscious information. The ultimate purpose of your gut instinct is to protect you. As your gut instinct is the most ancient and primal “sixth sense” you have, it is the one you can rely upon the most.
One example of your gut instinct in action would be deciding to spontaneously avoid walking down a road at night because something “feels off.” That feeling is your gut instinct warning you that danger is afoot. You may then glimpse an intimidating gang of men down the street as you hurry by – your gut instinct has just saved you from potentially being robbed, beaten up, raped, or worse.
How Does Gut Instinct Work? (and Why You’re an Animal)
“Instinct is the direct connection with truth.” – Laurette Taylor
Put simply, your body is like the television screen on which your subconscious (the radio waves) transmits its information. When you can learn to read your body, you can learn to accurately tune in to your gut instinct.
We human beings like to believe ourselves to be separate from animals. Yes, we might be more sophisticated. But at our core, we are still animals – human animals. Our primal impulses and evolutionary origins don’t just disappear because we sit and read the newspaper each morning or wipe our asses with lavender-scented toilet paper.
As noted by anthropologist Clifford Geertz:
… man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.
Rather than get hoity-toity about the fact that we’re only really advanced animals, why not embrace it? By honoring the wisdom of the subconscious mind and its impact on the body to produce ‘gut instinct’ we can save ourselves from a lot of suffering. (This has been proven by the way.)
What’s the Difference Between Gut Instinct and Intuition?
Gut instinct and intuition are often used synonymously. And, yes, they are interconnected. But they aren’t quite the same.
So what’s the difference?
Put simply, gut instinct is your primal wisdom. Intuition is your spiritual wisdom. We need both if we are to walk our spiritual paths with courage and intelligence.
Intuition is very cerebral – it is a calm and clear sense of “knowing.” On the other hand, gut instinct is very visceral and physical – you feel it in your body.
Intuition can be expressed through the body, and the gut instinct can be expressed through intuitive knowing. But generally, both are clearly discernable and strikingly different in their experience.
Also, gut instinct is much more emotional and reactive (as it is wired in the primal brain), whereas intuition is more neutral and calm.
“The truth of your instincts is the root of your foundation.” – Sanford Meisner
Examples of Gut Instinct
Some call it a “hunch,” others an “inkling,” but in this article, we’ll refer to it as the gut instinct. Here are some examples that are taken from the animal kingdom and human (animal) behavior of gut instinct: