Do you ever get a gut feeling that you should do or not do something? Like an instant pang that feels so strong – and then you worry about being too quick to judge so you start to analyse and overthink it until you’re so confused and cannot decide?
I know how you feel. I do this too; I’m sure we all do at times but neuroscience and research has proven that women have a so-called superpower with our intuition and so many of us are NOT using this to our full advantage.
So today I’m going to explain it to you so you can unleash your superpower and make the best and most impactful decisions for your life and your family.
Women’s intuition is REAL – science tells us so. It’s all about our heightened ability to read people’s emotions and expressions, our non-verbal communication skills. But how is this gender-related? Well, studies have revealed that women have a higher level of blood flow in certain areas of the brain and men have enhanced activity in other areas of the brain. While men have been found to show more blood flow in the visual and coordination centres, women may have better peripheral vision. Women showed more activity in the prefrontal cortex (where we do our thinking) as well as in the limbic area which controls emotions, mood anxiety, and depression. We also have more blood flow in the hippocampus which is where our memories are stored and in our insular cortex which suggests we are more inclined to worry too much about what others are thinking. But on the plus side, the heightened activity in that part of the brain also makes us good at interacting with others and reading others which could be why we have these intuitive skills.
Now, of course, it’s not black and white and you will have men and women who defy these averages but it’s also thought that social and evolutionary factors have played a part in the wiring of the male and female brains. You CAN change this through working on your skills and there is no reason a male cannot develop the increased brain activity in those areas that will make him as intuitive as a female for whom it has come more naturally. And, I’m not suggesting we’re a superior gender either, men have many advantageous wirings of the brain that we women have to work harder on; this is just about how we, as women and as mums can make decisions and whether or not we should trust our gut instincts.
So, should we? I think the scientific evidence is pretty strong and 95% of our decisions are made from our emotions, our feelings. Those decisions come to us fast, in the first 5 seconds. It’s only when the other areas of our brains catch up that we start to think, overthink, and analyse and become ditherers!
In a lot of cases, if we do make a poor decision, we will learn from it and become better equipped as a result. Bad decisions are how we learn and grow and only fear gets in the way to stop you and keep you safe, right where you are, no progression, no growth just safe in your comfort zone. But I think we know how to survive well enough these days that we can overpower Mrs fear when she crops up and stands in our path to greatness!
I was asked recently, from a business perspective, whether or not we should trust our gut when making leadership decisions and on the whole, I say yes, we should. Not just in business but in parenting too. Unless you’re signing a legal contract (or getting a tattoo), generally speaking, you have an intuition that is strong so if you listen to it the moment it tells you something, before the overthinking starts, you will most likely find yourself on the ideal path even if it’s a little bit scary.
Life’s for living so go out there and live it, mama – for you, for your children. You were born to be brilliant!
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