Last year, I had the opportunity to study acting at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. It was a two-week intensive course, and it was such a valuable experience, not just as an actor, but also as a human being.
As a general rule, I second-guess myself all the time (those of you who know me, know this to be true). While doing an acting exercise, one of our instructors told me to stop second-guessing myself, and simply follow my instincts. He told us that our instincts are almost always right. This tidbit instantly made my acting so much better (not Oscar-winning, but better than it was), and things clicked better than they had before. I developed a newfound confidence as an actor.
I began using this advice as words of wisdom for my daily life. I found that our inherent intuition is one of the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal as human beings. For you Scandal fans, this might make more sense if I were to label it as "following your gut".
I've learned that we will inevitably feel something when we face situations head on, whether it be excitement, fear, uneasiness, or sadness. These initial feelings, like my instructor taught me, are almost always right. When you meet someone who makes you feel uneasy, the odds are high that they're not the kind of person you want to associate with on a regular basis. When you're giddy and excited about a job opening, the chances are this is one in which you should pursue.
The real problems come when you disregard your instincts or second-guess yourself.
Take me for example. Several years ago, I was in a relationship that ended poorly, and I was left heartbroken. Several months later, there was a chance of us getting back together. My instincts told me that it was a bad idea, so I followed them and deiced to stay uninvolved. For a while I stuck by this choice, and all was well. Fast forward a year, and life posed another opportunity for us to re-involve ourselves. This time, I went against my instincts and pursued my ex anyway. BAD IDEA. Our involvement came to a screeching halt and I was left feeling worse than I had the first time we broke up. Needless to say, we're no longer involved in each other's lives.
If I had stuck to my initial instincts that told me the situation I was about to get into was not a good choice, I might have saved myself some anguish. But, I've learned a lot from that situation, chiefly, to always trust to my instincts.
Now, your instincts can be wrong. Sometimes other things, such as emotions or even logic, can skew your intuition. That's why the best advice I can give is to trust your instincts, but don't blindly follow them. When you feel something, stop and take stock and ask yourself why you might feel the way you're feeling.
When you're looking to pursue a relationship, why are your instincts telling you that it's not the best idea? When you're buying a new shirt, why are your instincts questioning your fashion sense? Your intuition is in charge of every decision you make, no matter how minute it might seem at the time. Some of the minutest decisions you make can end up impacting you the most.
Lately, I've been following my instincts, and trusting my gut, and I have been happy and confident with the choices I've been making. It's made me less anxious, and has opened my eyes to the power that I possess as an individual.
Your instincts are looking out for your best interest. Let them do their job, and don't simply dismiss them. They're always telling you something, so listen to them.