It’s so hard to know when you’ve finally found the right person…house…lifestyle… dream...story…character. Basically, every thing works against you having confidence in it when you finally do stumble into the perfect thing or person.
You’ll hear things like - “Oh, sure. I’ve heard that before.” Or maybe, “What kind of crazy thing are you up to now?” And the worst part is – some of these terrible words are rolling around inside your own brain. Nobody even has to do a number on you because your own internal judge is busy doing it for him or her.
So, I’ve come to know – after a good many years – that my instincts are almost unerringly correct – IF I actually listen to them. IF I don’t over-analyze them, thereby changing the initial thought or feeling until it is practically unrecognizable. When I take it into myself and begin to believe it immediately, the idea or connection or whatever it is has a good chance of survival.
I’m paraphrasing here, liberally, but Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Blink and in it he said something like – 95% of the time our first instinct is the right one. (My apologies to Mr. Gladwell) Well, not only is Gladwell brilliant, one of the only non-fiction writers I can read and enjoy, but this particular phenomena he points out is one we need to embrace. We often don’t trust our instincts, because it’s been bred out of us.
We don’t need our instincts like we used to – in order to survive the wilderness, lack of food and water, getting eaten by some larger being. And we have families – who have often systematically beaten our natural inclinations out of us (figuratively and sometimes physically). All of this makes it hard for us to trust ourselves. To believe that what feels right probably is right.
Writers constantly battle with the internal judge whose voice is overwhelmingly negative. So, just to get the words on the page, we have to learn to shut that holy terror down. We may be a little more adept at believing than the average bear, but we still need a boost and that’s why I’m writing this piece.
If you – and I – can keep believing in ourselves, in our natural instincts, the tree will bear fruit. The message is simple – believe.