Should you trust your instincts?
You really have no choice then to trust your instincts. Instinct is a part of who you are. The bigger questions is: do you trust your intuition? Instinct and intuition are not the same thing.
Ever notice that intuitive decision making happens instantaneously?
When I’m at work, I’m a news photographer, something amazing often happens.
When I arrive at a crime scene, if there is a group of people watching the action, something tells me instantaneously who I should talk to. And this person usually turns out to be a witness, or a victim, and always gives me a great story.
I don’t know how or why this works, but it does.
The key is trusting the very first thing that comes to mind when I need to make a decision. Just using logic, gets me trapped in the labyrinth of my mind, which would block the intuitive energy that spontaneously arises.
So if it takes a long time to make a decision, then this is not intuition, this is your logical, analytical mind trying to reason.
Logic just makes comparisons, associations with past stored memories, or patterns, and if anything, logic is more in line with instinct.
But instinct arises from patterns, that do not need to be learned or experienced. Some think humans have evolved beyond instinct.
Others think that behaviours such as cooperation, sexual behaviour, and child rearing are seen as ‘evolved psychological mechanisms’ with an instinctive basis.
Instinct vs Intuition!
People often confuse instinct and intuition. For me human instinct comes from automated patterns, combined with past experience. This combination is ingrained in your mind.
Relying on instinct to make a decision is definitely quicker than just using logic, because it is a kind of built in wisdom. Instinct should be trusted above logic. It will tell you to make a wise choice, not just an associative one.
Intuition, on the other hand, is something that happens immediately, which allows you to make perfect and instant decisions. It’s quite mysterious.
Here’s something I found on the psychology of intuition. It’s very interesting the way science looks at decision making through intuition.
Science and intuition
There is a model in science, which explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options, called the (RPD).
When under pressure, when lacking in time, and stakes are high, and the situation is changing in real time, people use their base of experience to identify similar situations, and intuitively choose feasible solutions.
Sounds like a normal day at work to me.
Anyway, I can apply this knowledge to my example of arriving to a stressful and hectic crime scene.
There, I am under a time pressure to get the story as quickly as I can, in order to get it on air; now combine this with the changing parameters of the situation, and the unknowing of exactly what is happening. It makes total sense to me why my intuition is thus activated, and becomes incredibly helpful in making instant decisions.
So instinct is something that warns you of potential danger by recognizing patterns, whereas intuition allows you to instantly make the correct decision in order to succeed under high pressure.
Both of these things combined are part of what I believe is an acute survival mechanism.
Thus, the RPD model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern-matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action.
The analysis is based on logic and instinct. It’s a mental simulation based on past experience, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action. Combine the two and intuition and instinct will work together for the right outcome.
Instinct vs intuition. Trust your instincts and your intuition
Instinct is often misinterpreted as intuition. Yes, instinct is reliable, but dependent on past knowledge, patterns, and occurrences in a specific area.
Example: if a child has done something wrong and tells a lie, instinct will tell an experienced parent the truth behind the tears, based on similar past experience and patterns.
So intuition, on the other hand, is often nonverbal communication, which means an intuitive parent will be able to read nonverbal facial cues, before the truth is told, and instantly realize the child is not telling the truth.
Trust your instincts, it is important. It’s not a competition, as in instinct vs intuition; instead, instinct complements intuition, or the other way around.
The biggest difference is that with instinct there is no training involved. Instinct is simply to amalgamation of who you are, based on what’s been ingrained in your mind.
But intuition, on the other hand, needs to be brought to the surface, so to speak, nurtured, accepted and trained. Yes, trust your instincts, and train your intuition. And this is where you can start: Click Here