No matter how experienced you may be, either in practicing law or running a business, you’re bound to find yourself in uncharted waters from time to time. You’ll face a difficult decision where it’s nearly impossible to predict the outcome of each options. Or you’ll be presented with an opportunity that looks good on the surface, but you’re unsure how to test it to see if it’s legitimate. When do you rely solely on logic and limited experience, and when should you trust your gut intuition?
Obviously, we can’t provide any foolproof method to know when your instincts are correct—but with a bit of context, you can at least make an educated guess.
Believe it or not, there is a science behind “trusting your gut.” As Psychology Today points out, many times, what we call “intuition” is actually a mental reflex formed through familiar experiences. Quite often, when we get a bad feeling about something, it’s because it carries a familiarity with one or more similar negative experiences we’ve had in the past. We call it intuition because we can’t always rationalize it, but it’s actually our brain skipping over the “logic” part and jumping straight to the conclusion: run away. The point:
Tips for “Trusting Your Gut”
So when should you go with your gut when making decisions about your law firm—and when should you perhaps rely on the wisdom of others? Keep the following tips in mind:
- If it feels eerily familiar—it probably is. Remember, our intuition is often a healthy reflex formed from past experience.
- If it sounds too good to be true—it probably is.
- Pressured or “snap” decisions rarely turn out for the best. If someone is pressuring you to make a course-altering decision with little time for consideration, you’re right to feel uncomfortable. Trust that feeling.
- Trust your own talent and experience. Sometimes we mistake an uneasy feeling for self-doubt when we’re actually more experienced and more capable of making good decisions than we give yourself credit for. Your gut won’t always be right, but in areas of business and law where you do have a good body of experience, your gut is probably right more often than it’s wrong.
If you truly feel like the decisions you’re making are really over your head, and your gut is providing no guidance at all—chances are you don’t have enough accumulated experience in this area to feel like you have honed instincts. In these cases, advice from a coach or mentor can be useful. To learn how we can help, all our offices today at 888-207-2869.