Transcript: How to Use Your Intuition to Make Quick and Confident Decisions

August 16, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Pay attention to your gut, literally. If you're feeling butterflies or a little queasiness, those are actually neurotransmitters inside of your stomach firing up. It's your intuition talking to you and telling you something that you should take into consideration. Scientists actually refer to your gut as your second brain because more and more they're finding just how strong the connection is between our mind and our gut. Pretty cool, right?”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Real quick, I wanted to talk to you about another podcast that I think you might love. It's called Being Boss, and it's hosted by Emily Thompson, and it's really just an exploration of not only what it means but what it takes to be a boss as a creative business owner, freelancer, or side hustler. So Being Boss is an amazing resource for anyone interested in getting inspired and, more importantly, getting started as their own boss. 

So, head to wherever you get your podcasts to check out Being Boss. And I recommend starting with her episode on releasing the sense of urgency in business. Especially coming back from my sabbatical, this episode was a great reminder to slow down and be intentional. You're going to love it. 

Hey, there. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

Today I'm going to talk about something that every entrepreneur on this planet has to deal with, and that is making tough decisions. And I'm not just talking about any decision. I'm talking about really tough decisions that give you butterflies or the ones that you're hemming and hawing over every single possible outcome, and it starts to weigh on you.  

Now, I've said this before and I'll say it again: your ability to make quick and confident decisions as an entrepreneur is very important, but that sure as heck doesn't mean it's easy. Even after being in business for thirteen years, and despite the fact that I consider myself to be a pretty solid decision maker, I still sometimes struggle with making decisions. And when I do struggle, there's a really simple process I have that helps me work through any anxiety I'm having and helps me feel 100 percent confident in moving forward with my decision. So let's get to it.  

How do you make the right decision when the answer isn't always easy, when it really takes some guts? Well, maybe you have a new hire that isn't working out, and you have no idea if you should let them go or if you should invest more time and money into their development. Or maybe you were invited to speak at a huge event that would give you a ton of exposure, but it's the same day as your daughter's first prom or your son's first Little League game. Maybe you're struggling with whether or not it's the right time to quit your nine-to-five job and leave behind all the security that your job brings you in order to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. That’s a big one. That’s one that I coach many of my students through. 

I can tell you, friend, that I've struggled with each one of these decisions in some way, shape, or form. And the first thing that I do when I'm faced with something like this is to lean into my intuition. Intuition is that sense of knowing what the right answer or decision is before you actually make it. It's a deep, internal, visceral feeling, and you've most likely experienced it yourself. So if you've ever said something like, “I can't really explain it, but…” or if you say something like, “It just felt right,” or “It just didn't feel right,” that's your intuition speaking to you loud and clear.  

Now, before you think I'm getting all woo-woo on you, come back to me because your intuition is a very real thing. In fact, according to Dr. Judith Orloff, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, and author of Guide to Intuitive Healing ____(04:49) and The Empath’s Survival Guide, your intuition operates through the entire right side of your brain, the brain's hippocampus, and through your gut.  

Now, to all my ladies, here's the kicker. The connective matter that connects a woman's left- and right-brain hemispheres together is thicker than a man's, which gives us women better and faster abilities to access each hemisphere. Who knew? And because we have a more substantial brain superhighway, women are quickly able to access each brain hemisphere quicker, further integrating our gut feelings with the logical left hemisphere. And here's what that means. Women's brains are actually optimized for rapid, intuitive decision making. So let's be real. We are basically born with an incredible superpower that allows us to combine our logical mind and our intuition. And all of that is to say, sweet friend, that the voices that you're hearing in your head when you face a tough decision, also known as your “Spidey sense,”—that’s the technical term—that voice is real, and it can be a very useful step in making a tough decision.  

Now, if you don't think that you have a strong intuition, here are a couple quick ways you can get in tune with it. And I do these things when I'm struggling with a difficult decision. The first thing you should do is pay attention to your gut, literally. If you're feeling butterflies or a little queasiness, those are actually neurotransmitters inside of your stomach firing up. It's your intuition talking to you and telling you something that you should take into consideration. Scientists actually refer to your gut as your second brain because more and more they're finding just how strong the connection is between our mind and our gut. Pretty cool, right? 

Now, just one thing to add here. Don't confuse your intuition with fear. Fear is often the culprit behind that feeling. So that's just something to be aware of.  

Okay, moving on. The other thing that I do when I'm struggling to make a decision is to turn inward, do a little meditation exercise, and then journal about it. So, here's a decision that I am making in my business right now. I want to start a certification program. And it's a tough decision because if we do it, there's a lot of work that needs to go into it because it's something we've never done and we'd have to figure out an entire new business model.  

So, the first thing I do is actually make the decision. I'll literally say out loud, “Okay, the decision has been made. We are not doing the certification program.” And then I really pay attention to how I feel and what thoughts come up for me. So even just reading that, I knew that was not the right decision. I know I need to explore creating a certification program because I really want to do it. So when I just said that out loud, I felt disappointed instantly, and I need to pay attention to those things.  

And then, the next thing I say out loud is, “Okay, we are doing the certification program,” and I do that quick gut check. I get quiet, I pay close attention to everything that I'm feeling in my body, and that literally helps me get really clear about what I ultimately want to do. And right here on this podcast, although I need to research it more and do a lot of work to figure out if it's the right decision for the business, I know I want to do it, so I know I'm going to research it and really figure it out.  

Now, I can take it one step further and journal the pros and cons of these decisions. And at the end of the day, I typically like to put a deadline on it. So I only allow myself to look outward and research and get intel for a very short period of time, because the more time you spend procrastinating the decision, the more time you could be spending on something productive in your business. So when I say that I want to journal about it and I want to research about it, we're just talking about a few short weeks, and then that decision is made.  

Now, once the decision is made, I really try to adopt the mindset of, there are no bad decisions. I try to be neutral with what I ultimately decided to do. So if I make a decision and things are working great, we're going to keep doing it. If I make a decision and things are not working out as planned, I get to choose a different path. I always just leave that open for me instead of beating myself up when something doesn't go as I expected it to go.  

So that's what I do. I really turn inward, pay attention to what my body is telling me, ask myself both of those questions—I'm going to do it. I'm not going to do it—see what comes up. Then, next, I journal about it. I do some research. I set a deadline. And then, no matter what, I tell myself, “There are no bad decisions.” That thought alone changes everything for me.  

So, the next time you're faced with a tough decision, I challenge you to pay attention to your intuition, because that intuition, after all, is one of your greatest superpowers.  

All right, my sweet friend. I hope you enjoyed this Shorty episode. I'll be back Thursday with a longer episode for more entrepreneurial goodness. 

In the meantime, if you've never given this podcast a review, would you consider it? I would really love to hear from you, on any platform that you listen. It would mean the world to me.  

All right. I can't wait to see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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