If you’re someone who is new to (for example) NLP, it takes a while to begin trusting your gut feeling; or to tune into it, or to realise that you even have one.
It takes time because you need to let your confidence in yourself and your methods develop, but most of all you need the experience of dealing with young people and to start noticing the patterns in the behaviour and what the clues they give you mean. Some people would say that the funny feeling you get (when you get it) comes from picking up on somebody’s energy or aura. Some believe it comes to them through telepathy or from being a little psychic.
I don’t believe it’s any of those. I think that actually people give off clues, usually via their words, tone or physiology that are almost under the radar, but not quite. Consciously we may have no idea what the clue was. But our unconscious mind does spot the clue and transmits to us an internal message that some would call their gut feeling or instinct. Or in my case, I just say “I feel funny.”
Over the years, I’ve started to pay more attention to what gave me a funny feeling. Obviously depending on the situation, there may be different things.
The very first time I trusted my gut it wasn’t with a client, it was in a safe environment. With my friends in the pub. I was with my two good friends Chris and Matthew. Matthew was going to the bar to buy the drinks (this in itself is an event and a bit like the chances of seeing an albino stag) and he asked Chris and I what we wanted to drink. To be honest, asking the question was a little redundant as he already knew what the answer would be, as we always drank the same thing. However, it was a good thing he did as despite Chris always requesting a vodka-Redbull, this day he paused. It was a tiny pause followed by an “Umm”.
This was enough for my funny feeling to kick in and for me to jump in and say, “He wants pear cider today.”
Poor Chris nearly fell off his chair. He started exclaiming. “How did you know?! How did you know? You’re doing your weird mind ninja tricks on me!”
Then I had to ask myself the question, “How did I know?” The fact I felt a very strong feeling wasn’t really explanation enough. So I rewound the event and considered what clues might have shone out of Chris to give me a strong enough funny feeling that I felt confident to order his drink for him.
When I replayed it in my mind, this was the series of events:
- He paused a millisecond. When Chris is sure he just goes for it. One time on a bus in Las Vegas we ended up in the middle of the Nevada desert because he was so quick and assertive at saying “This is our stop!” that we all followed him off of the bus. It wasn’t our stop at all and I’ve no idea why none of us twigged.
2. He said “Umm” which meant he was considering something.
3. His eyes flicked away from Matthew for a minuscule moment and towards an advert on the inside of the door of the pub. It was an advert for pear cider.
When it comes to working with clients, you’ll start to get funny feelings about why they might be thinking or feeling. But a funny feeling on its own is not enough. Start getting tuned into what’s behind you getting that funny feeling. Is it the way someone said something? Is it how they looked when they said it?
The more you can begin to corroborate your funny feeling with real evidence the more you can begin to trust it.
By Gemma Bailey