I’ve read a lot of self-development books over the past few years, and there has been a really interesting common theme in many of them – the idea of trusting your gut and your intuition. This surprised me because it had always seemed like something that was a little more out of left field, something that people who believed in otherworldly things (like me!) would spend time focused on, and not necessarily best-selling authors. I’ve always believed in this idea that when you feel like a situation is wrong, or really, really right, you should trust what your body is telling you (even if you don’t quite understand why), but I never really knew how to put it into practice.

Recently, I have really been trying to figure this all out, and consequently, have been making a point of listening to my intuition. Even more than just listening, I’ve also been taking note of when something really doesn’t feel right and I ignore that pull in my gut, and consequently things go horribly awry. This has happened to me several times over the past six months or so, and in fact, it happened to me again last week. The crazy thing is that you’d think that after a few experiences of realizing just how right your intuitions are, you’d take the hint and start listening, but it’s definitely a real practice in self-belief and deep soul-searching to get to a place where you start trusting yourself that deeply.

I recorded a podcast a few weeks ago with a woman going through a challenging time, and almost immediately after we finished taping, I had a strong feeling that I just couldn’t shake. It was this feeling deep in my gut that I shouldn’t use the recording on my website. I had no idea why I felt this way, I mean her story was different from anything I’d done before, but I felt like it would resonate with women and that it deserved space on operationpassion.com, but something just didn’t feel right. I told myself that she had taken the time to share her story, and that it took courage and bravery to do so, so how could I disappoint her by saying I wouldn’t be posting it? I talked myself out of the intuition I was feeling, and went ahead and posted it as normal last week, and ignored the deep sense of foreboding I still felt.

Flash forward to one day after loading the podcast to my website, my social media feeds and iTunes, and I received a message from the woman I’d interviewed asking me to please remove the recording from everywhere I’d posted it. She gave me her reasons, which I will keep private, and I respectfully, immediately removed her episode from everywhere I’d posted it. It was a very disappointing experience because there is a lot of time and energy that goes into producing these episodes, but at the same time it was also a very strong reminder of just how real this website is, and that we’re talking to real women who have gone through very challenging experiences, and who deserve the utmost care and respect.

My disappointment quickly turned into a learning moment, where I was able to take stock of myself and the fact that instead of trusting my intuition and my gut on this from the get go, I had allowed my fear of hurting someone else steer me away from what I knew was right at my core. This is something I now realize I’ve been doing my entire life, whether it was in relation to work, making plans, relationships I’ve been in, etc. etc. – basically, instead of listening to the way I feel about something and making decisions from a position of power, I instead pull how my decisions will affect others into the equation, and make choices from a place of fear and powerlessness. It was a real full circle moment for me.

What I love most about my journey into self-discovery, is that I’m constantly learning. I’m constantly seeing room for improvement in the choices I make, and the way I live my life. I’m happy, I’m fulfilled, I’m living in joy, but I am also still making mistakes, and that’s totally okay! Life is meant to be a great adventure, not a perfectly straight and narrow experience, and that means that we need to spend time making mistakes, learning from them, and seeking the best way to live in happiness. So trust your gut, and forgive yourself your mistakes – after all, we’re only human. XO