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Follow your instincts by Malcolm Levene

Malcolm Levene says our gut feeling is often right


Is it worth paying attention to intuition? A challenging question for many. It certainly continues to be so for me. In saying that, when I allow myself to listen to my intuition, it invariably serves me well. Whenever I don’t pay attention to those gut feelings, I tend to miss out on the kind of wisdom that’s neither intellectual or reasoned. Having spent many years working in the corporate arena, I’ve become accustomed to logic, structure and evidence-based reasoning. However, because I continue to trust those intuitive moments, I am as attuned as ever I was.

Having been in many scenarios that defy logic and have little or no structure, it’s my intuition that has enabled me to gauge situations more accurately. That is to say, with little or no logic, no practical reasoning, I’ve made decisions accurately. Authentic intuition feels like the soft lapping of the tide coming in. It’s gently reminding us that it’s still there. Not, as some think, a great noisy wave, which in my experience usually emerges from a surge of emotion. Intuitive thinking evokes a kind of ‘where did that come from?’ inner response.

When we ignore those gut feelings, we do ourselves a great disservice. That’s because we are ignoring what I describe as our right brain to guide us. I feel as though I’ve mentioned this before, but this time I want to emphasise how important our intuition is. A while ago, whilst coaching a CEO of a huge international recruitment consultancy, I asked, ’What encourages you to say yes, to a potential high level employee?’ The CEO replied, ‘It’s the light behind their eyes.’

Hearing this from this chap was an unusual response, in that he’s very left brained: structured, ordered, intellectual and organised. So I did some research, and what I discovered was that when we genuinely smile our eyes light up. Sometimes, the answers are right in front of us – check yourself in the mirror when you smile. You will notice the light behind your eyes. And the bonus… when we smile we release dopamine, known as the happiness hormone.

When I talk about the relevance of intuition in business, it takes a while for some of the attendees to get it, so to speak. Most of what I teach is practical, down to earth, but I do season my presentations with a tad of the esoteric. It’s what differentiates me from other presenters and coaches. I have a raft of evidence, both personally and in business that testifies to the validity of intuition. As you might imagine, my corporate clients are not prepared to listen to anything that can’t be backed up by robust authoritative evidence.

Important to remember, in-tuition, as I describe it is a combination of experiences, successes, wisdom, failures and a reminder that not everything can be rationally explained. Albert Einstein said, ”The only real valuable thing is intuition”. I totally agree.


Start the process by following these instincts:


1. Notice a strong feeling that just won’t dissolve           


2.  Acknowledge the now well-known fact that logic isn’t our only guide


3.  Know that if it genuinely doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t


 4. Don’t over-think, it’ll throw you off balance


5. As with most self-development tools, it takes patience, practice and persistence to learn anything new  



Malcolm Levene will speak at London Metropolitan University on 24 September from 6-8.30pm. The Best You readers can save 10% on ticket prices. Visit malcolmlevene.com

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