So, are gut feelings foolproof? Unfortunately, no, it’s not that simple.
But as you start to listen to your gut and intuition more closely, you’ll be able to better distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.
“You can’t remember everything you have experienced in life, but you do store all this wisdom,” Swart explains. “Gut feelings are pattern recognition systems designed to keep you safe and well, but sometimes they can hold you back from thriving based on old fears.”
Allan echoes this point, telling mbg, “the main danger of giving full reign to your gut feelings is you could be projecting.”
She offers this example: Say you were cheated on in the past and you’re convinced your newest partner is a cheater, too. “You might be right—but it could also be projection from the previous trauma that you haven’t processed, and you’re just slapping it on the next person that comes.”
Or, alternatively, you could be projecting your fantasy or idealization onto someone you’re just meeting because you really want to find love. What you think is your intuition telling you “they’re the one,” could just be another projection.
With that in mind, pairing your gut with the logical mind, or getting some outside perspective from a friend, can help.
“Journaling can hone intuition by [helping you see] repeated patterns when you trusted your gut versus went with logic,” Swart adds.