Trusting Your Impulses

Learning to trust yourself—your intuition and impulses—can be hard, but as Susan explains in this anecdote, it can be incredibly rewarding!

I was surprised when I “trusted my gut” and found a new career. My intention after getting my doctorate in psychology was to ultimately set up a private practice. A few months after I began treating patients in a mental-health clinic the opportunity opened for me to help a friend who had become executive director of a marvelous health facility called “The Floating Hospital, New York’s Ship of Health.” My instinct told me to take the job even though it didn’t logically fit into the plans I had made for myself. Something within me said, “Go for it.”

Within months, my friend resigned, and I was made executive director. Nowhere in my plan was it written that I would become an administrator. Previously, I had viewed myself as a follower, not a leader, and the whole concept of being at the helm had never entered my mind. Somehow my subconscious mind knew I could handle it and pushed me to take the job. “What am I doing here?” I asked myself as I went through fear and uncertainty in handling the tasks of the position. But as I learned and grew with the job, I realized I loved administrative work and, in fact, became very capable in that area. In addition, the Floating Hospital brought me rich, wonderful, crazy, hilarious, poignant, and exciting experiences and challenges that I never thought would be possible for me. But my subconscious mind had known. It had overridden my conscious, logical mind, which had said, “Don’t deviate from your plan” and “You can’t handle this job.”

I must make it clear, following the concept that there is no such thing as a wrong decision, that if I had chosen to remain a therapist in the mental-health clinic, that choice also would have brought me rich opportunities for experiencing life in a new and different way. There was no right or wrong decision, just different ones.