Intuition: Just a gut feeling?

Did you know that our brain is processing 400 billion bits of information at any time, but we are only aware of about 2000?  Our brain is continuously filtering information.  You are seeing, hearing, feeling, and smelling far more information than you are aware of.  Think about the room that you are in right now!  Are you aware of the floor, the walls, the ceiling?  Yet, they are there.  The temperature of the room, smell, the sounds?   It’s amazing how many sounds there are even in a quiet room if you stop to listen.  Are you aware of your body, where your feet are?  I could go on, but I think you get the point.

We notice what we pay attention to. If we paid attention to absolutely everything, we would probably go mad!

Every emotion has a physical reaction.  Our body and our feelings are intrinsically linked.  Just by thinking of something we can create a physical reaction.  For example if you think of food that you really hate, you will have a reaction in your body.  For example, you may screw up your face, your shoulders might go up, and you could even have a shiver going down your spine.  We cannot help but communicate.  We are continuously giving out clues about our internal thinking.  Our eyes glance in a direction, our hands will often touch the part of the brain that we are using when we are thinking.  Our face reveals our emotions by micro expression.  Some people are oblivious to any expressions, if you consider people on the Autistic spectrum and yet other people can read every nuance.  Our ability to pick up on information varies from person to person, just because you are not consciously aware of it, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened.

So there are billions of pieces of data that our senses are picking up that we are not aware of on a conscious level.  At the same time, we are sending out unconscious signals all the time about our inner state.

Have you found that sometimes you know things, but can’t rationally say how or why?  Gut feelings are when we are picking up information that we may not be aware of.  It is knowing without being aware of knowing.  We are thinking with our body rather than our head.  If you get a strong feeling about something, that you cannot logically work out why, trust the feeling.  You are probably picking up something subconsciously.  The more you become an expert in a particular area, the stronger your intuition will be in that area.  People successful in business tend to trust their instincts about people and projects.

Have you any stories about how you trusted your gut feeling, even though rationally it didn’t seem to be the right thing to do?  I would love to hear them.

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Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media Coach & Trainer inspiring, educating and empowering Business Owners to use Social Media more strategically. She is also the author of How to Twitter for Business Success. For more information visit or to find out about her courses that she runs in Guildford visit

WCG - 20th January 2011

Hi there, Very inspiring piece Nicky.
I have found that if it’s a first time event, knowing without evidence is most likely as you described it – your subconscience picking up on minute signs your conscience would normally miss. However, if it is a second time around for an event, previous experience of being right plays a huge role in your decision to ‘trust your gut’ and possibly without enough of those signs from your subconcious.
I hope that makes sense. Without divulging my exact situation: I found in a previous situation I was spot on, but I only found out after the fact. I should have trusted my intuition but didn’t and kicked myself because of it. Recently, experience has played a part in me believing my intuition was correct, but it may have been me incorrectly puting two and two together.
Learning when to trust your intuition is the key.

    Nicky Kriel - 20th January 2011

    Hi Wendy, thank you for leaving a comment. I think I will have to write a blog about listening to your inner voices!

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