Have you ever had a gut feeling about a situation or a person and that feeling ended up being right? It doesn’t matter if it’s so strong that you removed yourself nearly immediately or it had taken a year or two, you left with the knowledge that something in you had given you a warning. I asked that question with confidence that the majority of us would say yes, and that it was correct nearly every single time. Yet we hear the advice ‘out there’ and even directly that we should give a person or a situation another chance if things don’t work out or feel right the first time.
The first example I can think of when this advice is often given to give something a second chance is in dating situations. But I can honestly say that I know I’m attracted to man within seconds of meeting him. I may need several, several more seconds to see that I’m not so attracted to him after all, but there’s no point of putting out the time to test prolonged attraction if the initial attraction and vibe isn’t there in the first place.
I’m confident in that, and I’m learning to also be just as confident when it’s regarding other relationships or situations. Because even in those my gut feelings were correct. I believe our senses pick up much more than our brain can analyze right away, so these instinctual feelings are pretty dead on as a navigational tool.
A recent example is in that I had volunteered for a local arts council. I wanted to meet the people involved in the local art community and I felt this was a great way to meet them. Not all the local artists were involved, just the ones who also thrived in a council/board setting. I’m not that kind of person and I quickly began to feel like a fish out of water and dreading going to the meetings. I had mildly felt it was off when I started but they were so friendly and I thought I’d just keep giving it a chance.
There was no point, I learned. My initial gut instincts were right, it just wasn’t for me and I became increasingly unhappy there. I’ve recently removed myself and felt a burden was lifted off of me. I’m so much more happy creating quietly on my own and just personally meeting the other artists during the more active summer months.
I have stronger examples from my life but this council one is a nice, light and recent one that I’ve experienced. They were welcoming people but I felt life was grey when I was around the council meetings and activities. I could see it was something they truly enjoyed, but it wasn’t for me and my type of personality, and that should have been enough. I’m learning that I could have happily recognized the first day that it wasn’t really me and be done with it. Instead I let it continue for months, uselessly trying to feel different about it.
I’m learning it’s okay to not be involved in events or people that I don’t jive with when it’s not necessary to do so. I’m learning that it doesn’t have to be a failure of them or me, it just isn’t a thing that needs to be prolonged. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary and an immediate removal isn’t possible, but it would still be beneficial to recognize the incongruity early as it would help to make better decisions on how to move forward. Everyone involved in things are always stronger when the other people involved in the same thing are bringing a happy energy to it. And sometimes it isn’t even permanent, it’s sometimes just a matter of bad timing, although I admit I have found this to rarely be the case.
It’s just a matter of finding your people. Turns out artsy council people are not my people, artsy non-council people are. And it’s all good.
I hope to continue practicing this in life so that I may avoid more important situations that aren’t good for my well-being or just will mute who I am in a depressing way.
I no longer need to justify to myself why I feel a certain way about a person or situation, as if my instinct is mistaken. It never has been wrong in the past so it feels wise to express more gratitude for this inborn safety-net by relying on it with trust. I believe it’s a trait given to us by God to help us navigate ourselves through this life.