After a Disappointment, It's Hard to Follow Your Intuition
You’ve probably gotten upset with your intuition on many occasions after it leads you to a dead end. If you take that a step further, you might realize that your mistrust has a lot to do with the disappointments you’ve experienced during your life.
When things in your social life don’t go the way you plan, one thing is clear: sometimes you can’t predict everything. Sometimes you are wrong, and sometimes you are right without even meaning to be. Being right isn’t always positive, either.
How often is your intuition spot on? I knew it! I told you so! When what actually happens in your life backs up what your intuition tells you, you feel satisfied. Satisfied with your quick (and free) compass. After all, we can predict some things. Not everything is random and not all is lost.
When our intuition fails, we feel helpless
Try to imagine for a moment what it feels like when your intuition is wrong. It missed the mark, it tried and failed. You ask yourself, what happened here? You were walking along so sure and confident and suddenly you’re on the ground. How is that possible?
When your intuition fails, part of you feels helpless. With a finicky compass that can’t tell north from south, this unpredictable world becomes unsafe to navigate. Especially if you are looking for authentic relationships in which honesty rules. Relationships where the other person is not the means to an end, but the end in and of himself. You are looking for a way to relate to other people that is true and genuine.
Here’s where you receive a disappointing blow. Reality hits hard and smacks away our naivete. But don’t feel naive for trusting in that part of you that reasons without telling you how. Don’t think you are dumb because you’ll trust it again. Just remember that disappointments exist. They are part of the rules of the game. Part of you and the strategies you use to make decisions. No, they will never be perfect.
The idea of a just world is a bias you should be aware of
You can’t predict the future because you almost never have all the information. On the other hand, you have limited resources that are taxed when there is a lot of information and possibilities. Finally, when you imagine or interpret reality, a series of filters and biases are activated in our minds. One of those filters if related to our tendency to believe that we live in a just world. We believe this especially when we feel lucky, and we perceive the world to be much fairer than it actually is.
“People have a need to believe that their environment is a just and orderly place where people usually get what they deserve.”
-Melvin J. Lerner-
We believe, or we want to believe, that good things happen to good people. Likewise, we want to believe that bad things only happen to bad people. As if the world obeyed some kind of karma or silent justice and we all get what we deserve. However, this thought that has so much influence on our minds and doesn’t often come true. It is a law with many exceptions.
Sometimes, life bares its teeth and reminds you what it is: unpredictable. Or, at least, less predictable than it would be if an axiom like “the world is just” worked all the time. As a result, no intuition is capable of predicting certain results. You trust that someone will be fair with you and behave according to his values. You put your faith in him and then suffer a big disappointment.
Trust means taking risks. That’s why it requires so much courage
Life is not like it was supposed to be. Or at least not in the moment that it catches you completely off guard. You are unprepared, your defenses are done. Just when you start to trust again, life slaps you in the face. Your heart is broken. Your dreams fall apart before your eyes.
You blink a few times, and you realize that what was stable is now unstable. What was grey is now black and the white turned grey. It’s as if you stepped onto a boat in the middle of a storm. In these moments, when it’s difficult to plant your feet on the ground and keep working, you need courage.
We are talking about the student who studies so hard and fails anyway. The victim of intimate partner abuse, the daughter who watches her mother die, the man who stays still when doctors tell him his daughter’s heart stopped beating. We are talking about a city that suffers a terrorist attack at the hands of those who believe that life is second in the hierarchy.
We can’t predict everything
Intuition comes into play when it is able to recognize patterns. That’s why it is easier to predict the behavior of people we know. Intuition can produce very unpleasant feelings, but also very nice ones. It can also act as an inner voice that tells us to run when we need to, or stop what we are doing.
So, if you feel unexpectedly and painfully betrayed by life, don’t blame your intuition. The simple fact is that we just can’t foresee everything. We don’t live in a just world where all the cards are on the table.
But, you can build a fair world for yourself by being authentic and genuine. When someone is authentic, they are trustworthy and predictable. You always know what you are dealing with. It’s your choice (and only yours) if you want to trust or walk away. In conclusion, don’t blame your intuition for your failure. The mistake is part of the nature of intuition, just as much as it is part of yours.