Do you listen to your gut or to your logic? Which one is right?

The first time I remember learning to trust my gut was when I attended a camp the summer between Jr. High and High School. There was a counselor at the camp that always made me feel uncomfortable. Each time my gut kicked, my brain tried to explain what I was feeling.

  1. “Chery you have an overactive imagination.”
  2. “You’re acting childish. He is a counselor at a church camp…. Something must be wrong with your thinking.”

The next summer that same counselor was back, and once again he made me really uncomfortable.

  • And once again my brain argued with my gut.

Before the summer ended, that counselor was removed from his position for reasons that were bigger than making campers feel uncomfortable. To this day, when my gut kicks I think of that situation and I wonder…

Think about the last time you dealt with one of these situations:  

  • Which school to attend.
  • To stay or to go?
  • Who to partner with.
  • Who to hire.
  • Where to spend your time.
  • Who you allow your children to spend time with.
  • Which charitable organizations to support.
  • Which political candidate to support.

I recently asked a series of questions about listening to your gut on Social Media.

  1. Do you always listen to your gut?
    1. 28% Most of the time
    2. 24% YES
    3. 48% NO (And included comments like, “And I should.”)
  2. Have you ever regretted not listening to your gut?
    1. 100% YES! And included comments like “9 cases out of 10
  3. Has your gut ever been wrong?
    1. 44% YES
    2. 56% NO

I find it interesting that the answers to number 1 and number 3 leaned toward the importance of listening to your gut, and the answer to number 2 was 100% regret about not listening to their gut at some point.  

The longer I focus on this subject the more aware I’ve become that if my gut kicks I need to pause and ask myself.  

  1. Have I prayed about it?
  2. How are my past experiences feeding this?  Is it possible that my gut knows something my brain doesn’t or am I imagining things? (In other words: What ‘s driving me… Fear or Wisdom? Click the link to read more!)
  3. Have I talked with close family and friends about it?

If my gut continues to kick – I’ve learned that a wisdom I don’t always understand resides there and I need to listen. And I wonder if St. Paul knew we needed to learn to listen to our guts when he told us to put on the full armor of God starting with the belt of truth buckled around our gut because that is where truth resides.


image credit:  iStock

President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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8 thoughts on “Do you listen to your gut or to your logic? Which one is right?

  1. Love your article, Chery and find it most fascinating that people know they should trust their guts, but don’t always. We want logic to guide us but it is our innate feelings and thoughts about a situation that usually reveal the truth. I empathized with you as you described your camp experience. That must have been difficult knowing you felt to honestly about someone.

    I once worked with someone who I didn’t feel good about the first time we met and I should have just walked away. Instead I collaborated with her. Although we created a good presentation, I was never at my best, always second guessing the product.

    Thanks Chery for an insightful post!

    • Thank you Terri!

      Camp was tough but it was a forever learning. (And like most of the people I surveyed – not one I always listened to. Even with that lesson. But one I am learning to tune into a lot more often.)

      I had a similar experience with another consultant that wanted to create a working alliance although my gut didn’t kick at first, it did more and more and more and eventually I listened.

  2. I always want to rely on logic. I’ll research and google until I’m about to go blind and realize finally I have DATA but no answers other than the ones inside of me. Some decisions just can’t be made on data alone.

    Clearly your gut is loud and you’re definitely listening.

    Thanks for getting me thinking!


    • LOL Alli – about research and google until you are about to go blind!

      It is crazy – the more I listen to my gut the louder it speaks!

  3. Chery, I don’t see this as an OR scenario–either gut or logic. It’s both. We just have to fine tune our instincts and awareness to know which one to listen to depending upon the circumstances.

    • Great point Jane! When we value and use our whole selves we will always be much more effective than when we use a a fraction of our wisdom and gifts.

  4. Really important post. I’m with Jane, I think it’s a head, heart and gut combo. But in the end of if my gut is reacting that strongly, I really pay attention.