If It Doesn’t Feel Right, You Should Stop Doing It.

How often have you plowed ahead even when something doesn't feel right? Click through to tips on following your intuition, maintaining your boundaries, and being honest about your needs.
How often have you plowed ahead even when something doesn’t feel right? We’ve all done it. And I imagine we’ve all experienced the negative consequences. Today Dr. Danielle Dowling gives us the remind we all probably need.

“It doesn’t feel right.”
Hold up.
Pause right there.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it: this is a significant place to be.
Powerful even. Definitely worth noting.

Yet we steamroll through these feelings as if they were inconsequential.
Or inconvenient even.

We think we don’t have time for something to “not feel right.”
The job needs to get done;
the task complete;
the relationship hauled forward, already.

Rationalization run amuck,
we feed ourselves very sensible, very logical reasons why we “should.”

It sounds like this…..

I’ll do it to make them happy.
But it’s good money.

It will make me look good.
But it’s a great opportunity.
I should just agree + avoid confrontation.
But I am all they have. If I don’t do it, who will?
But they’re expecting me to and I don’t want to disappoint them.

No. You. Shouldn’t.

Why?
Because it doesn’t feel right.
Bam. That’s it. Nothing more.

All that rationalization can over-complicate the decision making process.

Your gut instincts are one of the most powerful natural resources you have.
They will tell you how you feel long before you can articulate it.
Honor this information.

The truth is, you don’t “have to.” (Really, you don’t)
Just because you think you “should” doesn’t mean you should.

And most times when you do something “for the money”
you suffocate your soul. Which, quite frankly, is a drag + uncomfortable in the long run.

Doing what feels right will always make you feel bright + turned on.
Doing what feels right is simple.
Direct. Uncomplicated.

What feels right will not, however, be instantly popular. Click To Tweet

The world pays attention and you teach us how to treat you.
If you are always caving in to the “shoulds” + consistently abandoning your gut instincts,
you teach us to expect you to fold and we’ll lean on you for “more.”

If you hold your boundaries and do only what feels right;
you give us the opportunity to set our grumbling aside + lean in with admiration + respect.

How often have you gone against your intuition?  What happened?

P.S. Two words that will make you happier, calmer, and more certain.

Photo by Luca Baggio on Unsplash

20 Comments

Lise

Thank you Danielle and Sarah! Funny how sometimes the internet serves up exactly what you need to hear at a given moment. I just said no to a really "good" (in terms of salary and benefits) job offer because it didn't feel right, and I've been second guessing my decision. This post reminded me that I knew it wasn't right for me and I made a good choice listening to myself.

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Anonymous

I second the sentiment about timing! I've been feeling a lot of pressure this week, and this reminder came at the perfect time to make a big decision for me.

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madeleineforbes

The thing I find tricky is knowing when it's my gut instincts telling me not to continue, and when it's actually my fear of change/failure/success telling me it's weird and scary and uncomfortable just because I'm pushing my boundaries. The big question for me is how to distinguish between the two… listening to my instincts while still challenging what I think I can achieve.

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World Traveler In Training

I totally agree, I see so much advice on lifestyle and inspiration blogs telling me to both get out of my comfort zone and to let things go if they're making me unhappy. What I'm struggling with right now is a German class my job put on for us (I'm an American living in Germany) which is such a great opportunity, but I really don't like how the class is taught, or the teacher (she laughs when students make mistakes, doesn't really listen to our questions, and singles me out every time my stomach growls!). So while the class may benefit me in the long run, it's also making me miserable. 🙁

I'd love to see a post about determining what's pushing your boundaries and helping you grow, vs forcing something that's making you unhappy.

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Kam - Campfire Chic

That's really good insight, and I feel the same way…is it the voice inside my head holding me back out of fear or is it my gut instinct that something isn't right? Thanks for helping put that into words.

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madeleineforbes

So glad to hear you guys feel the same way! I guess its just an ongoing process of learning to become more discerning about what's resistance to change, and when it's time to quit. The language class example is a really good one. I'm learning Portuguese at the moment and it is p-a-i-n-f-u-l. Every week I have like a zillion reasons why I should skip the class. But I know in the long run, it'll be totally worth it to be able to communicate in a different language 🙂

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Angie

OMGoodness! I love this! So very true. I find myself saying yes, even when I don't want to. BUT, over the past year, I have learned that I DO have the option to say no. When my anxiety levels rise and my guts hurt, whatever "it" is isn't right, so do something about it! I work on this every.single.day. Thank you!

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@distract_me

I've gone against my intuition and tried to stay in relationships that weren't working. I did this with my first proper boyfriend, my ex-husband, and a guy I was dating. In all three cases, I ended up being extremely unhappy until I was finally brave enough to admit that my gut feeling was right. xx

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Anonymous

Word. I'm separated from my (very kind, sweet, lovely) husband (who nevertheless is not for me). I pushed down the knowledge of not-rightness to satisfy my guilt, my family's desire to see me married to him, my sense of financial security…and I have paid dearly for it. And yet? Here I am, again in a relationship that just doesn't feel right, and I'm dragging my feet about ending it. This lesson. This is my lesson.

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tess

I love this post – it's so true and simple (though not always easy). I love the other comments about distinguishing between something that doesn't feel right because of a fear of failure and when it's your gut telling you it's the wrong thing for you to be doing – and I think the best way to distinguish between the two is to look at *why* you're doing the thing you're doing.

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Tami - Teacher Goes Back To School

once again, the comments are as enlightening as the post itself. i am also facing a "it doesn't feel right" situation right now and am needing to determine if it is my fear talking or just the need to not do it.

i'm also very interested in a post about pushing your boundaries and helping you grow, vs forcing something that's making you unhappy <–totally stole this from above…

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Creole Wisdom

This is a great post.

I have gone against my intuition (who hasn't?) and mostly regretted it. There were times when it taught me some valuable, growing-up-lessons that I needed. Other times when I wish I would of listened to my heart.

I think another important distinction is to trust you intuition but not your feelings. I know the two can get muddled, but I've found that intuition is a constant, quiet and sometimes unique voice (I consider it similar to the Holy Spirit) while feelings can be fleeting, loud and dramatic. I may come out of the other end with the same conclusion, but feelings will fade, the inner voice usually doesn't. So, I decipher between the two by giving myself time to make a decision.

Of course it's not always that easy!

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Anonymous

This really hits home for me right now. I have always thought I wanted to get my masters degree but now it's time for me to sign up and I feel like somehow it's not right. The only problem is I live in a rural area and they only start the program every 2 years so if I don't sign up now I will have to wait. I am so conflicted!!!!

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Rachael

I listened to my instinct after I began driving lessons. It felt instinctively wrong to be behind the wheel; I cannot even describe that level of discomfort adequately enough except that every fiber of my being was fighting it. I would eventually come to the conclusion that I was just not going to drive in this life. That was nearly 11 years ago and though it's unpopular (for L.A.) and some people have a difficult time with it, I do not.

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Michal

I really appreciate this post and it's coming at the perfect time. Last night I concluded that I have been taking part in a very one-sided friendship for too long, because I was willing to give myself excuses to why I should continue it even though it didn't feel right and hasn't for a long time. I'm tired of feeling uncomfortable about it and feeling hurt and although it's hard I'm not going to take part anymore.

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Maya

I am feeling this now. I took a job I didn’t really want but when I applied four months ago it was the dream job. Since then I moved to a new place and made nice friends and wanted to stay. I regret leaving, this was a career move and I don’t even really care about it that much.

Reply

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