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Go with Your Gut


3. Learn what intuition really feels like.
Intuition by definition is quick-and-ready insight, but it's different from the knee-jerk reactions we often have out of fear, anger, or sadness. Say a new acquaintance asks you to go with her for coffee and you immediately decline. That's probably not your intuition saying, "You don't really like her," but rather your fear asking, "What if she doesn't like you?" The next time you're in this situation, buy yourself some time by checking your schedule or just taking a rain check. Then, ask your intuition if this person could become a new friend.

4. Don't dismiss your logical side.
"I never tell people to simply rely on intuition," says Robinson. "We have our rational sides for a reason." Trust your instincts, but get the facts too. For example, if you're thinking of moving and feel you'd be happy in a certain town, research the school system and home prices to confirm your enthusiasm.

5. Trust yourself.
This is harder than it sounds! After all, who are we to think we already have all the answers? But 62 percent of successful CEOs surveyed say that they make decisions based on intuition. Make a list of the times you went with your gut -- and were right! -- and refer to it anytime you feel unsure. The more you practice identifying, listening to, and acting on your intuition, the more you'll trust your instincts in the future, which is the first step to building the life you truly want.

Originally published on January 1, 2007

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