Learning To Trust Your Gut


Learning To Trust Your GutI can’t tell you how many times I’ve ignored a gut feeling about something, only to realize later that my intuition had been spot on. It’s a terrible feeling, knowing you ignored your intuition and, in a way, betrayed yourself. Every time it happens, I vow to never do it again, but a different and new situation arises, I’m caught off guard, and I don’t know the rules. And I think that surely someone else, the expert, knows better than I do.

Over time, I’ve gotten better at trusting myself, but this has not come easy.

I was not raised to trust my gut and follow my intuition. In my home, little girls were taught to be seen and not heard, to follow directions, and not ask any questions. We were not to speak unless we were spoken to, so we learned to trust the words of others above our own internal knowing. And it takes a long time to undo that habit, but the good news is it can be done, and it becomes easier over time.

I’ve had to work hard at this. I’ve had to take chances. I‘ve had to make decisions even though there is no guarantee that things will work out or that I am making the “right” choice. I’ve had to realize that sometimes there is no right or wrong, only what is good and appropriate for me. I’ve had to accept the gray areas in life and let go of wanting everything to be black and white. I’ve had to go ahead and do the right thing for me even if it sometimes breaks my heart. I’ve had to do things that terrify me. I’ve had to read between the lines, to accept things in myself and others that I would rather not accept. I’ve had to learn to be compassionate with myself and others when I would rather scold or condemn. I’ve learned to live with uncertainty and with complicated feelings and emotions.

As we do these things over the course of our lives, we gain experience and wisdom. Trusting ourselves gets easier. Thankfully, now in my forties, this is starting to come naturally to me.

My ultimate goal is to be so sure of myself, so utterly confident in my intuition and my ability to read a situation, that I take immediate action when I feel something to be true in my gut. I want to trust myself enough to build my life around this knowledge. I want to believe so completely in it that I don’t question and agonize over doing what I already know I have to do, but just act swiftly and surely. Not because an “expert” told me to, or because more experienced friends say it’s the right thing to do, or because my spouse or mother or sister think it’s best for me. But simply because I just know it is the right thing for ME and I trust that knowing without question.

The big risk is that if it turns out I do the wrong thing, I’m entirely responsible. There is no one else to turn to or deflect to or blame. It’s all on me. But it’s also all on me when I’m right. And this reinforces my confidence in my intuition and leads me to follow it more readily the next time.

Every time I trust myself, I take a step in the right direction. Every time I choose my own internal knowing over the opinions and advice of others, I’m one step closer to living in integrity and total alignment with my truest self.

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Haley McManigal
Hi there! I’m Haley, a middle-aged-momma to Lukas and Laney, and wife to Dan. I’ve lived in East Tennessee my whole life, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. After moving all over Knox County and surrounding areas, my family has settled in Hardin Valley where we intend to stay at least until the kids graduate from high school. My son was born in 2017, changing my life forever, and my daughter completed our family in 2020. I work as an architect and project manager at a global design firm. I think it’s pretty cool that I get to meet with people from all over the world from my home office on a daily basis. I am happiest when I’m able to strike just the right balance between home and work life. But my family is my greatest treasure and my most fulfilling role in life so far is Mommy. My favorite things are reading, writing, cooking, exploring, and making things. I don’t have much free time these days but when I’m able to squeeze in a few of these activities it really pays off. I love being a part of Knoxville Moms and I cherish the opportunity to share this journey of motherhood here with you!


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