Gut Instincts

      16 Comments on Gut Instincts

Sometimes they don’t make much sense.

Sometimes they don’t make any sense.

But when something is sitting so strongly telling you to do (or not do) something, it’s hard to ignore it.

When you listen, it’s suddenly like you can breathe again.

It’s like suddenly things start to feel right, even if they don’t make any sense.


This is what happened.

I applied for a Personal Training job at one of our larger, local gyms.  I was emailed a day or two later for an interview the next day.  Immediately after my interview, I was asked to come back the next day for a practical interview, which did not go very well.  Despite my performance the day before, I was still offered a job and asked to come in a few hours later to sign initial paperwork and begin the background check.  So I did.


It all happened so fast.  So fast that I could hardly recognize what my gut was telling me or at least so fast that I was able to ignore my gut.  Though it still kept coming back to the surface.  But the question was what and why?


I have no idea.

But in my 25 years, I have learned just how strong of a gut instinct I have and that it’s something I can’t ignore.  It’s what told me I was losing The Lumineers a week before I actually did.  It’s what told me something was wrong last year when my Dr kept hoping to push off the eventual surgery.  It’s what has proved to me over and over again that I need to listen and follow.


So I did.

And Monday morning, I called up the gym and turned down the position.  I had a sudden rush of relief; that for whatever reason, this was the right decision.


This wasn’t just nerves.  Everyone I talked to about it prior thought it was nerves, but it wasn’t nerves and I knew that.  Nerves came when I had to call; nerves came with the unknown of what’s ahead of me now.  But for whatever reason, my gut instincts said to turn it down; so I did.  And now I feel relief.  Don’t ask me to explain it; it’s real.

When have you listened to your gut instinct as crazy as it may have been?

Do you consider your gut instinct strong?

16 thoughts on “Gut Instincts

  1. Mike

    I recently backed out of a dodgy job offer from a Huge Corporation. It was a temporary job, which would have ended within six months when I reached the “1000 hour” annual limit.. I wasn’t certain why the company contacted me, since my background covered maybe 75% of the skills they needed.

    Just the same, I had 7 separate phone interviews with 7 different people at the company in a single afternoon, set up by HR. I was never invited to meet anyone, even though I lived within walking distance of their office. A conditional job offer arrived the next day.

    I accepted the offer warily (my gut told me that something was “off”), and I was quickly drawn into the corporation’s creepily Kafka-esque, pre-employment “background screening.”

    Over the next few days, I was bombarded with HR emails, voicemail messages, and ever-more-complex online forms, which had to be submitted within 24 hours. My “gut” began to go into overdrive.

    While I have nothing to hide, I then discovered that I was required to submit to drug testing and fingerprinting (even though the job didn’t involve working with money, heavy machinery, sensitive data, or kids). There was also immediate pressure to quickly name my “start date” (even though my lengthy background check had barely begun, and they had no idea if I would even pass).

    Things never reached that stage. In the midst of the bombardment, I received yet another HR email, instructing me to submit my 1040s, W-2s, and other tax materials from the past 5 years before the background screening could move forward.

    This, for a temporary hourly-wage job (which would end in six months or less).

    In the past, I’d taken jobs that didn’t thrill me and survived. This one wasn’t a scam. The company and job offer were legitimate. But at this point, my gut (and stress level) shot into the stratosphere. “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”

    I called the HR person and told her that I was no longer interested. In fact, I had to leave a voice message. I never did meet anyone face to face. But my gut was screaming at me to back off fast, far too loudly to ignore.

  2. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

    Okay I’m just reading this post now (your e-mail said that you had decided to not accept the position and I was like whaaa?). I know it’s hard to explain sometimes and people will definitely question what you are thinking, but if you don’t feel good about a situation, it’s probably for the best to not pursue it. Having bad feelings and nerves are two completely different things. I knew I should go to Blend, but after I signed up I was pannicked because I have a slight fear of traveling by myself and large groups of people. Although I felt SO NERVOUS I still KNEW I should be going. All that to say, I know what you mean by those two feelings being different. 😉

    It will be okay! We are young!! 🙂

  3. Maria

    I love this! It rings very true for so many situations for myself as well, but more than often, I ignore the feeling and when looking back, I realize “Wow, my gut was definitely telling me not to do that”. I think it’s important that we all slow down and, like you, really listen to what our intuition is telling us.

    My instinct was telling me to actually quit my job this week and afterwards, I felt like a million dollars, so I knew it was the right decision. Now, I just need to trust it again when I am going through the process of job interviews as well. Trying not to over think things and just simply going by my gut reaction will be key in choosing the right career path.

    1. admin Post author

      Good for you! Funny thing is, I was working a job a few years ago and decided to quit because despite the fact it was in my field, I felt like making my part-time (retail) job into a full-time thing was better in the long run. I was offered more money to stay but still turned it down. Less than a year later, the only remaining assistant was offered more money when she was debating leaving. A few months later, she was laid off. It would have been me a lot sooner than that…

  4. Cait's Plate

    I agree – you HAVE to trust your gut. If something just isn’t sitting right with you, it’s probably best to listen! I think you were SO brave to do that!

  5. Dalice

    My boy and I were just talking about this last night, this idea of trusting or ignoring your gut feelings; it is definitely a skill that must be learned and exercised regularly, but with caution.
    I think a large part of the reasons why we push past our gut instincts into situations that are subconscious is digging its heels in the ground to keep us out of, it is in an effort to stave off the future wondering of “what if.” We think, if i just ignore my gut and jump in, at least I won’t have to wonder later what would have happened. But sometimes not knowing and allowing yourself to stay safe/happy/whatever is a better alternative.
    Kudos to you for holding out for a better job option! Wait until it feels right and don’t force yourself into a spot that doesn’t fit.

    P.S. This is the start of me commenting again and the end of lazily lurking 🙂

  6. Karey @ Nutty About Health

    I completely understand what you’re talking about & am so glad you followed your gut! I did have a similar experience with a job I’d applied & interviewed for, which I ended up turning down since it didn’t feel right. In the long run, I felt it wasn’t at all what I wanted & that I’d be very unhappy. I also felt like I didn’t “jive” w/the people there. It’s just a feeling, there wasn’t anything really that happened, but I did feel better when I told them I was no longer interested in the position. I also have this gut feeling about another job I’ve been wanting to apply which had a couple people quitting… makes me a bit uneasy & raises a few red flags. My gut says to stay away… just not sure I want to, it’d be such a good fit for me. Darn that gut. 😉

    1. admin Post author

      It was definitely a difficult decision but thankfully, I’ve had a few people tell me who used to work for the company/know people who did who said it’s not a great company to work for. All it’s done is reassure me I made the right decision.

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