- Leona LaForce
"We're ready to believe you"
This week I encountered a situation where my gut told me something was amiss, but I wasn’t sure of how far to respond to the feeling. Was this something I could sort of keep an eye on? Did it need strong decisive action? Should I run like hell? I couldn’t tell. I knew someone in business wasn’t 100% ethical or 100% willing to do the right thing by me, but I didn’t know exactly how badly that could affect me. If I dissolved the business relationship, I would potentially lose out on something wonderful.
Who ya gonna call when you’re just not sure of what to do? (GHOSTBUSTERS, of course) ;)
I am a great huge enormous believer in listening to your gut, your intuition when it comes to being aware of whether you’re in a bad situation or not, being lied to or not, being manipulated or not, but sometimes the next step isn’t all that clear, and sometimes we think we should know what to do. For a long time I either didn’t ask for advice, or I asked the wrong people. Or maybe I didn’t even ask for advice. I just sort of told people difficult situations I was in and got a random response. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but random people (including your loved ones) often feel compelled to give advice and it doesn’t seem to matter if you’ve asked for it, or if they are qualified to give it.
How do you know from whom to get help? In my situation this week it had to do with contracts and real estate. I asked someone who would have expertise. I asked an attorney and I asked two real estate agents. All three people listened to me and all three agreed that my gut feeling had merit. Now I can trust their advice. They listened to me. They validated my intuition. Now I can trust their advice. This is an important progression. They also need to know what they’re talking about, of course, but being a professional doesn't automatically qualify them.
Let’s talk about domestic violence hotlines. There are many people who think those lines are reserved for only drastic emergencies. Someone is about to be in a lot of trouble, and they need rescuing. Not so. These hotlines should be attended by individuals with at least some level of training regarding DV and be able to provide resources, answer questions. If you want to know from someone who will listen to try to determine if what you’re experiencing is actually abuse, call them. Listen, Susie at the gym may be abused too, and not ready to admit it. She may dismiss your concerns immediately and tell you that you shouldn’t worry. Remember, they listen to you, they validate you, and they have expertise. But if a DV hotline doesn’t follow that formula, you don’t have to trust their advice just because they are "supposed" to know.
When my gut tells me something is not right, I want the best advice possible. Sometimes this could be reading reviews (yelp) about a business, a doctor, you’re not sure about. No one has to accept input from another person just because they are related by blood or even best friends. Or because the advice giver just can’t hold themselves back.
When I say trust yourself, I am not saying you can’t trust others. You don’t have to know everything. You can ask for help, and many times that would be the best option. Your gut still is the one to tell you if the advice you're getting is what you feel comfortable following. Listen to your gut, get advice if you want to from someone who listens, validates, and has some sort of expertise, and then listen to your gut again. You can do it. You have it all within you. <3