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When to go with your gut, or your head?

By March 19, 2017 No Comments

As a coach I frequently suggest people get out of their head, go with their gut and execute. I say this as we often overthink things, make things complicated when they really aren’t. There are times, however, that we do need to acknowledge which to rely on in certain scenarios. This applies to all aspects of life, as athletes, in the work place and in life in general.

So whats the difference?

Instinct is unconscious and requires no thinking, recall or logic, it happens and you go with it. When your conscious mind catches up you decide whether to continue the strategy. For example. If there is an explosion on your left, you will jump to the right before your conscious mind kicks in. When your conscious mind kicks in you decide if you keep running away (going with your gut), or returning to help those who might be hurt in spite of danger (going with your head).

Going with your gut is based on ancestral instinct to protect us from harm or embedded learning we have previously accepted as the truth.

When we go with our gut we need to be sure that you are not acting on:

  • a fear phobia.
  • an old truth that has since been proven untrue.
  • a limiting belief originating from a earlier life stage which we have not overcome.

Fear Phobia

A Fear phobia causes intense and disabling fear, anxiety, and panic. You recognize that your fear is excessive and unreasonable. You avoid certain situations and places because of your phobia. Your avoidance interferes with your normal routine or causes significant distress.

If you recognise it is unreasonable and effecting you performance and achievement of goals, you can choose to have it treated. Specialist coaches using NLP techniques can help you eradicate the the phobia, well worth doing if it is impacting your performance and sense of achievement!

The bottom line is that if you have a phobia, you need to use your head!

Old Truths

An old truth is were we have been told something for years that it is difficult to ignore even though recent learning show it to be untrue.

Examples are:

  • the need perform all but recovery training above aerobic threshold.
  • training is about going hard or going home if you want to succeed.
  • a successful career is based of hours of effort, as opposed to outcomes achieved.
  • a worthy and respected partner will be totally masculine or feminine in the home.

You will know your old truths and will fine your self looking back over your day and recognise where you have mistakenly fallen back on these.

The bottom line is that where you are carrying old truths you will need to stay in your head until they are fully resolved.

Limiting beliefs

A limiting belief is where just by believing them, we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit. And in doing so we limit our lives. We may have beliefs about rights, duties, abilities, permissions and so on. Limiting beliefs are  about ourselves and our self-identity.

Examples are:

  • I don’t have the time
  • I am not good enough to reach the next level
  • I am a geek, I don’t belong at the front of the pack in the field
  • I am a “Jock, I can mix it with the geeks
  • If I sign up for that and fail, people will laugh at me.

If you accept a limiting belief it will come true even if it is only in your mind. There are four universal fears everyone experiences, and I say EVERYONE. Successful people are the ones who manage these fears best!

  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of not being enough
  • Fear of not belonging
  • Fear of not being loved

You gut will do everything to protect your from these fears, trust your gut on these and you will not achieve the success you deserve. This applies to your career and your sport. Sometime we need to own our space, train to the recent science, not the common beliefs if we want to stand out!

The bottom line is that we need to front up to our fears, look past our tribe and see what successful people do and do that!

Gut or head?

The simple formula is to recognise your fears, limiting beliefs and old truths then override these until you have truly overridden them. Get coaching help as if they exist they will almost be effecting all areas of life.

Trust you get where you have had success, not where your repeatedly fail. If others with more experience give you guidance and recommend where to use your head, lean in and understand why, ignore at your peril. (e.g Start your marathon run easy, don’t try get ahead of your goal time!)

Rant Over:)




Author admin

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