Are you screwing yourself over? Maybe. But maybe not. Let’s see.

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In the times I’ve ever been screwed over, there was always a single common thread. That’s the thing about when you push – yourself, your chances, your hopes, your abilities – there’s always the chance that you’re pushing too hard and too fast to notice what’s really going on. You’re gunning for the outcome and you miss the information presenting itself in the process.

I’ve gunned. I’ve shot myself out of a canon (great), but I did it all so quickly that I sorta missed the fact the canon was faulty. I felt it. I knew it. But I went for the ride anyways. Which is OK. Pattern recognition is a beautiful thing that you’ll receive from the trials (and joys) of life. You’ll start to feel a feeling until you can name it. And the feeling we’ve gotta look for, hunt for, is the feeling of intuition.

When something happens to us. That intuition was normally there, in a way. But we ignore. We temper. We quiet it down. We want to move quickly, relentlessly, to what we want anyways. When I look back on being screwed over, I had signals. I had signals when the woman representing me in business was a total fraud, and I’m lucky that I got every dime back from her because many didn’t. Or the time that I had indicators from the get-go when everything that date was telling me just did. not. add. up. In the end, it required me to call and act like I was someone I wasn’t to verify his education and employment. Yes, I went there. And it didn’t end well.

Bad feelings. Weird feelings. Off feelings. They’re there. Sometimes they’re unfounded and simply fear based. Sometimes they’re completely founded and knowing based. And the only time that you’re really f*cking your own self over is when you rationalize the latter. When you talk yourself out of feeling what you feel. When you analyze your intuition out of the picture. When you call yourself crazy, overreacting, dramatic, or emotional. Don’t do that. Your body – this beautiful, knowing, powerful intelligence – is trying to tell you something. Let it speak. Let it guide. Let it work its way through a decision alongside whatever your head is saying.

Stay in touch. Do what needs to be done to stay there – by breathing, by getting quiet, by crying, by being still, by meditating, by taking a bath, by not talking about it, by journaling, by moving your body, by praying – and the wisdom you need will show up. And it’ll be all yours. Avoid that wisdom, and ya…you’re screwing yourself. But you’ll learn. Every bad choice we make is an opportunity to remember what our intuition was saying in the beginning.

This article originally appeared on Maxie McCoy.