Why I’m learning to trust my gut instinct more…
Two years ago I went through some quite significant life changes; I moved to a new house; resigned from my job and I set up a new business with my sister.
When I was packing up my garage to move, I came across a box of papers and bits and pieces that had been there for probably 6 or 7 years without being looked at. I went through it and amongst the junk I found an empty envelope. It was originally addressed to me and I had written another address on the back of it. It was the exact address of where I was moving to!
Having already met the existing occupants of our new place, I had no logical idea why I would have written that address all those years ago. I don’t remember meeting either one of them before, or ever going to that address for any reason previously. The only time I remember going to that address was when we went to view the house. I had no explanation, and it gave me goose bumps. When I’d been looking for a new place a couple of options had fallen through and so this made me feel that this finally was the right house for me and that it would all work out, and it did.
Since that experience, I’ve started to get a lot more interested in finding out about synchronicity and those sort of meaningful co-incidences. I’ve also found that the more aware I am that these co-incidences can happen, the more I experience them happening to me. Like finding new clients for the business, finding a perfect life coach just at the moment I decided I needed one and finding topics for this blog (that’s a bit of a cheat really, I admit it!).
The concept was first introduced by Carl Jung who stated that events are “meaningful co-incidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. A well known example of synchronicity involves the true story of French writer Emile Deschamps. In 1805 he was treated to plum pudding by a Monsieur de Fontgibu. Ten years later, he came across plum pudding in a Paris restaurant, and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him the dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be Monsieur de Fontgibu. In 1832 Emile Deschamps visited a restaurant with a friend and once again is offered plum pudding. He remembered the earlier incident and told his friend that only Monsieur de Fontgibu is missing to make the setting complete. At that moment, he entered the room by mistake!
No one has been able to fully explain synchronicities and the concept has not (yet) been proven scientifically. It may be explained by something called confirmation bias i.e. that the human brain notices and remembers things that confirm our beliefs more than those that do not. However, there is a lot of evidence of some quite amazing synchronistic events having been recorded.
I’ve started making notes of the clues I get or coincidences I notice in a journal. It is actually quite interesting to read back and see the patterns that emerge. I get a sense of themes that appear and this is useful to work through mental blocks I might be facing. You don’t have to take it too seriously, it’s also a lot of fun. You can see what crops up for you when you start paying attention and looking for little signs and co-incidences every day.
Bernard Beitman MD, said in his book “Connecting with Co-incidence” that you are most likely to increase your co-incidences during times of high emotion, transition, need and seeking. On the occasions I’ve experienced co-incidence I would agree that at least one or more of those factors were definitely present.
Beitman’s book explores some of the theories behind co-incidences and he recommends looking for a more conventional explanation first. He also points out that some of the stories recorded lack the necessary investigative details to be able to provide that explanation. He also said that it is possible that some of the stories might be explained more scientifically by people experiencing things in their peripheral vision or from actual encounters in the past that they are not consciously aware of. He also shares how to potentially increase your experience of co-incidences by breaking out of established patterns of behaviour and routines.
In James Redfield’s “The Celestial Prophecy” he says “Knowing our personal mission further enhances the flow of mysterious coincidences as we are guided towards our destinies”. I think for me this is where I’ve found them really helpful in decision making, especially when I have been looking for reassurance that I’m making the right decision. Working in finance has meant I tend to be pretty analytical and will always think important decisions through logically. But sometimes you need more than that, you need your gut to feel it is right too.
Rizvan Virk in his book “Treasure Hunt” talks about a framework to use our left and right brain together to make better decisions. His book refers to following your life’s clues to find the work that you were meant to do in your life or career. This will be different for all of us and this is our “treasure”.
One of the most important aspects of synchronistic co-incidence is what it makes you feel emotionally on a personal subjective level. It causes astonishment or amazement and creates a significance or meaning for you.
This, according to Rizvan Virk, is the first step in identifying useful co-incidences, is it unusual? (i.e. does it provoke astonishment or awe). The second question or step, does it repeat? If it is important then the event or feeling or “clue” will happen more than once. Thirdly, what does it mean to you, what is this clue trying to tell you? The final stage is to take action. Sometimes, steps two and three will be reversed, you’ll understand the meaning and then look for confirmation.
Following the co-incidence clues for confirming important decisions for me sits alongside listening to my gut instinct more. Both in my personal life but also in a business setting. I have always valued listening to the warning bells I get from my body if something doesn’t feel right in a business transaction or interaction. If something makes me feel uneasy or causes tension in my head or shoulders, I have learned not to ignore these feelings but to give them value alongside logic. To take a bit more time over the decision and have a re-think or take a second opinion from a trusted friend or colleague.
Trust your heart and your intuition — Steve Jobs