Learning to trust your gut
Important lessons from summer camp
What should I do? It is a question I hear from campers all the time. Although I’m their counselor, I don’t like to make decisions for them. When I feel it is needed, I give them suggestions or advice. Most of the time, though, I tell them they should trust their gut. No, that doesn’t mean you should listen to the rumblings in your stomach. It means you should follow your instincts. It is that little voice in your head telling you what to do. Here is why it is important to trust your gut.
You Know Yourself Best
I may know what is the best decision for me, but that might not be the best choice for you. For example, maybe you are interested in dance. You want to know if you should sign up for hip hop or tap dance. Personally, I’d be more interested in tap dance but maybe hip hop would fit your personality better. I don’t know as much as you do about your ability and wishes. You know yourself better than anyone else and you need to trust yourself to make the right decision.
Your Gut Knows More Than You Think
Most people think trusting your gut is just following your feelings. The truth is that past experiences shape your gut decisions. When you follow your instincts you are actually taking into account everything you have already done and judging how it turned out. For instance, maybe you took a hip hop dance lesson before. The experience of that lesson provides you with information about choosing your next dance activity. Following your gut is actually an educated decision.
Your Gut Won’t Steer You Wrong
Very rarely will a gut decision end up as a disaster. Because your instincts are based upon past behavior, it will most likely nudge you toward a good choice. In addition, most of the decisions we make don’t have super serious consequences. For example, maybe you follow your gut and sign up for tap dance. After being taught a lesson, you find out you don’t like it. Is it the end of the world? No, you just found out that tap dance is not for you. Next time you will do something different.
What Do I Do if My Gut Is Confused?
Sometimes, we are faced with difficult choices. In those cases, your instincts may not be pulling you in a clear direction. When you are confused, it is never a bad idea to ask someone you trust for help. Other people, especially adults, may know what to do because they have had more experience. Let’s look at the following situation as an example:
You see a friend of yours take a kid’s hat. Another person you know is getting blamed for it. Do you say anything? Your gut is unsure. You don’t want someone else to get in trouble but you also don’t want to tell on a friend. That might be a good time to talk to an adult, like a parent or a counselor, who has more life experience. When your instincts are unclear, it is always a good idea to seek some advice.
Camp is a great place to learn to trust your gut. There are so many decisions to make that you get a lot of practice. The more you do it, the more educated your instincts will become. So next time you need to make a decision, go with your gut.