Thursday, September 2, 2010

Need the Right Answer? Trust Your Gut, Literally

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to welcome Alexia as a guest blogger this week.

Alexia Vernon is a career and leadership speaker, certified coach, and author of the forthcoming book Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career. She'll be leading The Audacity to Speak, a weekend public speaking bootcamp for women in NYC, September 24-25, 2010.

Whenever I look back on important choices I’ve made in my life, I recognize that each one was motivated by a message my body sent me. I just needed to be on the lookout for it.

The clearest example of this was making the choice to leave New York City. This month marks one year since I relocated to Las Vegas. When the idea popped up, I pretty instantly knew based on the messages I was receiving from my body that it was the right thing to do. If I had relied on logic I would have told myself "you'll never get a book published if you leave Manhattan" or "your business will stagnate if you move to the city with the nation’s highest unemployment rate." Fortunately, my gut knew better!

It’s taken a bit of practice to learn how to decode what my body's telling me, but I now recognize that my “gut response” truly resides in my gut. My stomach hurts, I get a little nauseous, etc. For a long time, I interpreted these responses as a sign that I was on the wrong track and did whatever I could to avoid them. As I’ve learned through the years, however, when my gut doesn’t get activated in a big decision it means I’m not asking myself to step outside of my comfort zone and into the unknown. It means I’m considering making a choice to play my life safe and small. And when I do this, I create a glass ceiling to my success and happiness.

So now, each time I’m on the precipice of a major change or weighing whether or not to launch a new service or product, I give myself some time to hang out with my tummy and listen to what she has to say. We scarf down some cupcakes, drink a pot of ginger tea and meditate with some lavender essential oil. And above all else, I remind myself that the less I force her to give me an answer and let her do her thing, the better I hear when she’s ready to speak.

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