What would you say if I asked you whether you make most of your decisions with your gut (intuition) or your brain (analytic thinking)? The majority of people instinctively reply with “my brain”, which ironically is an answer triggered mostly by their gut instinct given the speed of the response.
In the psychological literature, intuition is often explained as one of two general modes of thinking. Intuitive thinking is described as automatic, fast and subconscious. Analytic thinking on the other hand is slow, logical, conscious and deliberate. However, while intuition is seen as sloppy and inaccurate, analytic thinking can be detrimental as well. Studies have shown that overthinking can seriously hinder our decision-making process.
What does this mean for you and the decisions you’ve made so far? How did you decide what school to go to? College or apprenticeship? University degree or not? Go abroad for an internship or not? Decisions, decisions. It seems all we ever do is make decisions. All day, every day and even once a decision is made there’s often doubt about whether the decision we made was the right one in the first place. And if it wasn’t, should we admit this to ourselves and make a new decision or best stick to our guns and see it through?
I for one am a firm believer that no matter what others might say about your decision making or -changing habits, you should always go with what feels or sounds right for you. You are the one who has to live with the consequences and you are the one who has to learn from every decision made. And if it helps in any way you should know that even an analytic genius like Albert Einstein valued intuition. He understood that emotions are actually not dumb responses that always need to be ignored or even corrected by the brain but they are appraisals of what you have just experienced or thought of. They are a way of processing experiences and helping you learn from them.
So maybe it’s time we accept that intuitive and analytic thinking should occur together and start trusting our own judgement more. What do you think? Let us know what type of decision maker you are and how this is working out for you!
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