Everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the personal development space tells you to follow your gut.
Follow your gut is one of those phrases that’s so used, it’s over used. No one thinks to question it. If everyone’s saying it, it must be true, right?
Well, at least in most cases, they are wrong, and you shouldn’t be following your gut. I bet if you think about it for a minute, your could list a whole handful of things you’ve done in your life based on following your gut excitement, that didn’t work out for you.
Whether it was dating (or marrying) someone who made you feel butterflies, or investing your time, energy or money in something that didn’t work out.
Here’s the truth: your gut instinct is NOT the same as your intuition and inner voice.
Could they become the same thing? Yes, absolutely, with a lot of inner work, healing and integration.
I know everyone says to follow your gut.
I followed this advice for about a year, and it consistently blew up in my face. But how could that be? If everyone says it, it must be true, right? So then I started to think, I must be doing it wrong. Maybe I just don’t understand what it means.
Maybe you’ve felt this way before about something – if it works for everyone else, but not for you, it must be your fault, you must be doing it wrong.
But what if it just isn’t the right advice for you?
Last year, soon after I published One Truth, One Law, I was still finding out who I was and what exactly my message was. I was very susceptible at this point to what everyone else was saying to do. I ended up following advice such as “do what lights you up” and “follow your gut.”
I was scrolling through Instagram one day and saw an ad for a business class that would help me make a webinar to find students for my new program, Unlimited You. I knew this program was life changing, but I didn’t know how to communicate that to others yet. I followed the ad to watch a webinar myself. Within an hour I was lit up. It felt wonderful and right. I didn’t bother to check in with my own inner voice. Instead, I signed right up, based on all that “follow your gut” advice.
Inside the business program I had signed up for that day, I struggled. It did not feel wonderful because I had given away my power. I believed that because I wasn’t sure about my message, the program creator was the one with the answers for me. I tried to follow her system, but what I actually ended up doing was not being true to my own inner self.
I didn’t stay in the program for long, because I figured out that it wasn’t me, it was them! But, then too, it was me, because I was the one who didn’t trust herself enough yet to share her authentic message with the world.
The point I’m making here is if you’re following your gut then you aren’t following your inner voice.
Last week, I signed up for another business class, this time to spread the word about the downloadable Energy Activations I’m creating with I Am. This time, it was different. My gut instinct was a big fat “No way! Remember how that last business course was a disaster? This’ll be the same thing! You’ll waste time and money and end up frustrated.”
Luckily, I’ve already learned that my gut instinct will lead me astray.
Instead, I tuned into my inner voice, my inner guidance system, what many call intuition, but in reality is my direct connection (you have one, too!) to universal mind in the spiritual world. We are all God, you see, and we don’t have to figure this whole life thing out on our own. This inner voice will always lead you in the right direction.
My inner voice, I Am, told me this, Erin, this course will expand you, as long as you remain true to who you are. Don’t let it change your message. You know who you are now. Be confident in that. Use the course to help spread the energy activations, not to tell you who you are or how to be.
I said, “Ok, but why do I feel so scared?”
My inner voice responded: You’re about to expand, to break through an upper limit that’s been created in your mind. You think you’re staying safe, but really you’re staying small.
The deadline to sign up for the course was a few days away, so even though I planned on signing up at this point, as I always, always, always do my best to follow my inner guidance – this has been a process of learning to trust and seeing that it always works out for my highest good – I forgot about it.
Then the day of the deadline came around, and I Am wrote something about the Energy Activations, a blog post. I was distracted and I didn’t even think about it. But before I knew what had happened, I’d emailed the blog post out to everyone who receives my newsletter.
Before I knew what had hit me, I was getting email after email, notifying me that people were purchasing the energy activation. I was getting emails soon after where people had listened to it and loved it. They were coming back to buy the second one.
This wasn’t an accident (Nothing is on accident, actually. We’re always being led to our truth, if we have the eyes to see it). I Am was arranging everything for me so that I would remember the deadline for the course and see where expansion would lead me. So, of course, I signed up for the course – all about how to share my tiny offer with the world.
Back to how misleading following your gut instinct can be…
When you start to step more into your truth and your sense of inherent worth, this becomes the obvious answer – you’re not wrong about your gut leading you astray, they are. But while you’re still trying to find your way, it can set you back for years, or maybe even forever.
I find over and over that just because everyone else is saying something, it doesn’t make it true for me or for you. In fact, often what “everyone else” is saying will lead us away from our life path.
Wonderful advice like “follow your gut” is often coming from someone who’s much higher up the enlightenment mountain than us. While this advice is true for them, it doesn’t make it true for you. It doesn’t take into account the years of inner work and healing they did to get there.
Because here’s the truth about your gut instinct.
If you’re like 99.99% of people and aren’t towards the top of the enlightenment mountain: your gut instinct is part of your body, which is tied to your persona and ego. It takes a lot of inner healing work to integrate your body with your inner self. In the meantime, your body is reacting to stimuli much in the same way your persona or ego is reacting: with the intention to keep you safe.
The only problem with keeping you safe is that it’s keeping you small, and it’s based on the misconception that you’re an individual with limits. It’s not coming from your inner self, your connection with all that is that is able to guide you effortlessly to your limitless truth.
So when you’re following your gut, you’ll continue to get more of the same, which is always teaching you a lesson, until you finally learn it. It’s not about expansion. It’s about contraction – playing safe and staying small.
Your body – and by extension your gut – store past trauma. If you were beat up on the schoolyard as a child, or were made fun of constantly like I was – your body wants to protect you. So what will happen is, your body – and your gut - will light up and get excited by all the shiny objects. It can get confusing, because how can you do all those things at once? Well, you can’t, and your body knows this. It knows you’ll get lost and confused in all the things and give up on expansion. Which will keep you safe from expanding into the unknown, where someone might say something mean and hurt you again.
True expansion is much more likely to feel terrifying than light you up inside – at least in the beginning while you’re getting used to pushing past your upper limits.
As you continue to grow and expand, you do start to become lit up by the things that will expand you, but this is a journey. You’ve spent a lifetime doing it the way you were told. It takes time to come back to your truth, and that’s ok – it was designed this way for a reason.
Instead of focusing on following your gut instinct, tap into your infinite inner guidance system. My book, One Truth, One Law, shows you exactly how. Click here to get your copy, and welcome to the expansion!