“Gut Feel” is Real!

Have you ever had a “gut feeling” about something? You know, when you’re about to do something and your gut says “somethings not right, I shouldn’t do this.” Or you have funny feeling that something is “off” but you can’t put your finger on it? We often write this off as a feeling and don’t regard our “gut feel” as real data.  

A while back a client of mine interviewed several candidates for a senior position in her company. After interviewing several candidates, she narrowed it down to two people.  One of them was actually a stronger candidate in experience and technical knowledge.  This person had been working in this type of position for over ten years, had strong industry experience, and was given a good referral from an associate.  The weird thing was though, this person just didn’t seem like they were the right fit.  Something about them felt “off” she said to me.  “What exactly feels off?” I inquired.  “Well, I know he has all the experience, but it feels like he is not being completely honest and I don’t know why.”    We once again weighed the pros and cons of each candidate, did some further background checks, and everything on paper looked fine, and everything in the background verification checked out.  In the end, my client chose to hire the person with the superior skills and background even though she was still a bit hesitant.  Within the first few weeks, my client noticed this person didn’t seem fully “engaged” Three months in, the employee walked into her office and gave his resignation, explaining that he actually didn’t want to work for this type of company, and that the commute was too far. As we talked about it afterwards she remembered that “sense” that there was something off, and that she didn’t think he was being completely honest.  Her “sense” or gut feel was right.

So how does this happen? Research indicates that “gut feel” is in fact related to brain function, and is valid information to weigh when considering our decisions or choices. Dr. Deepok Chopra is a neuroendocrinologist (i.e. MD specializing in the study of brain chemistry) and for years he has studied the connection between our consciousness and physical body. What he and his colleagues have found is that our gut is actually its own nervous system, and potentially more powerful than our central nervous system.  Not only can every cell in our bodies think, they also have a strong memory to tap into to help you make decisions.

He even states: “If you say “I have a gut feeling about such and such” you’re not speaking metaphorically, you’re speaking literally.  Your gut makes the same chemicals that your brain makes when it thinks.”

As I work with clients I often will get a gut sense about an issue or problem, and will ask about it, even when the topic has not been brought up.  What I’ve noticed is that there is usually merit to what my gut is telling me – if I am willing to listen.  Over time “gut feel” is starting to have more influence on how I make decisions, and the funny thing is, it feels easier. More congruent.

As I have encouraged my clients to “listen to their guts” more, I’m seeing the result is a greater sense of clarity and confidence. It’s almost like they are starting to feel like their whole system is aligned with the decisions they are making, and not just their critical brain.

Do you listen to your gut? Maybe start paying more attention to it and see if it helps you have more clarity and confidence in your decisions.  You too may just find that decisions start to get easier.

Wishing you much success.



  1. Grant

    I am definitely a left brainer, leaning more to the logical analytical, and wish I could take back the many decisions I have made because I allowed my brain to override my gut. Great blog! Wish you well and prosperous. Grant

    • Vicki Suiter

      Hi Grant – how great to hear you say this! Thanks for sharing your insights. Vicki