Have you ever said yes to something because, logically, it worked in your calendar?
And when that day came, you wish you had said no?
Want to know what’s likely really going on?
You were using logic when you needed to use your intuition.
Learning to use your intuition to make decisions can be the gamechanger you need to stop spinning out in overthinking and instead help you make quick, powerful decisions.
Join Nicole in this episode where she breaks down when to use logic versus intuition and how to release the grip on logic in decision-making.
“I would overthink, I would feel worry, and I would really doubt the decisions that I was making because they were always based on logic, but not necessarily on how I was feeling or what I was really wanting from a deeper place of desire.”
“Once you stop letting logic have such a tight grip on your decision making, you’ll find it is easier to do things that once were hard, like to say no or to do something that is outside your norm.”
“When you start to sense and to feel answers, rather than think your way through them, that’s when you start to head down new pathways. And these are the pathways that lead you to really feeling fulfilled, centered, grounded, and on the fulfilled, purposeful pathway that I know so many of you are desiring for yourself.”
“Your intuition goes beyond logic, and it also goes beyond facts. It is paying attention to so many more things than you are capable of working out on your own.”
Hello friends! Welcome back to the School of Self-Worth. I am your host, Nicole Tsong, and I am delighted to be back to talk about a topic that comes up all the time with smart, ambitious women who are trying to figure out this question.
What the heck is the difference between intuition and logic anyway? And how do you know when to use what when? And do we have to toss logic completely out the window? I am going to answer all of these questions today, so hang on to your seats. And if you are a smart, ambitious woman struggling to get back on track in the new year and you want to make quick, intuitive decisions at work and life your norm, DM me ‘secret at Nicole Tsong’ on Instagram, I’ve got something for you.
Okay friends, let’s get this intuition party started.
Welcome to the School of Self-Worth, a podcast for ambitious women who know they are worthy of an astoundingly great life. Join us weekly as we get on the right side of your intuition, redefine success, and reclaim your self-worth. I’m your host, Nicole Tsong, an award-winning journalist who left it all behind to become a bestselling author of three books and work/life balance expert, helping ambitious women unlock their intuition and step into a life of fulfilment and radical joy. Every single week, I will bring you diverse and meaningful conversations with successful women from all walks of life who share insight about what it takes to be brave, joyful, and authentic every day. Every episode is thoughtfully designed to leave you feeling empowered with tangible tips and advice that will lead you to your next breakthrough.
So today is for all you super analytical women out there who pride yourselves on it or perhaps are even wanting to get past it. Like I know you. You are so marvellously intelligent and logical, and you can come up with analysis for days. Same here. Your girl is in major recovery from constantly being in logic to make decisions.
I am a pro and con list, former queen. I am someone who always was putting my thinking cap on and also what would happen for me when I was always in this logic analysis place, is I would also spin out on my decisions. I would overthink, I would feel worry, and I would really doubt the decisions that I was making because they were always based on logic, but not necessarily on how I was feeling or what I was really wanting from a deeper place of desire. So we’re going to talk about how we can be friends with both intuition and logic by understanding first how logic is impacting your ability to make intuitive decisions, so that your life actually works for you.
First, let me ask you a question. Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something because logically it worked in your calendar. You looked at your calendar, you had a gap when someone wanted to meet. During that gap, you’re like, well, I have some time? So you said yes. There was no apparent reason to say no. And you like this person. You wanted to help them solve the problem they wanted support with. Fantastic. You said yes. Then on the day that you actually have this meeting on your calendar, you suddenly realize you are booked solid back to back all day long.
This meeting took the only block in your calendar where you could possibly have had a lunch break, or gone on a short walk or just paused from everything that you were doing, and all of a sudden you are drowning. You are overwhelmed by all the things that you’re doing all day, and now you have this meeting in there, and you wish desperately you could go back to that moment in time when you accepted that calendar invite and instead get that slot back. Do you want to know what was really going on in that situation? You were using logic when you needed to use your intuition. Yes, you can use your intuition for things like that, your calendar, as well as bigger picture topics.
A lot of people only want to use their intuition or think it’s just for making major decisions, but it’s actually something that’s super supportive for making small choices, like working through your calendar. Because if you had actually used your intuition in that moment, there would have been a pause. You would have waited to give an answer.
You would have noticed if you had any kind of sensation in your body telling you this is the way to go or this is not the way to go, and then you would have listened to see if you actually needed to do something different, like give an alternative date, move something else, really figure out a way so that that day, the way it panned out, actually worked better for you and ultimately also for the other person. Or if you want, you can keep doing it the same way you always have, with no pause to see if it was the right choice. A fast response text, ‘Yes’, just because you took a quick look at your calendar and there was a slot, slamming your calendar with back to back meetings that you don’t really want to be in anyway. So that’s just one example, but it’s one that I see happening frequently with my clients.
When you are using logic instead of intuition for decisions, it’s very similar to you needing reading glasses or needing glasses, not even reading glasses, needing glasses and then going to the drugstore to get some, and then all they have is readers, but you’re near-sighted and you need some heavy duty glasses, so you keep driving to all the drugstores, but none of them can really help you because what you need is to go to the eye doctor and actually get a prescription for glasses to help you see. I know I would take the eye doctor.
Let’s take a moment first, though, to define logic and the difference between logic and facts. Logic is when you are using reasoning to get an answer and you’re using reasons, so you’re using your intellectual reasoning, that intelligence. You might use some facts, but you’re actually deducing what the answer is, and sometimes when we use this logic, and actually, frequently, you often have incomplete information; but facts are a little different. I actually really love facts. Facts are important, and I feel like it would be amazing if you actually used facts more frequently in your life. So, for example, say you were looking at the last year and you’re breaking it down to see what happened. You could be using logic to analyze it and see if you had a good year, logically. You might be like, well, I know it was a good year, good things happened to me, this happened at work, all these things happened, but inside, you don’t feel like it was as good as it could have been. Like you’ve got all the reasons you think it was supposed to be considered a pretty good year, but you’ve still got a nagging feeling about it that something was wrong and not nearly as great as you want it to be. And you still feel some doubt that it actually was, on any level, a really good year. But now, what if you actually went through your entire calendar and wrote down everything good that occurred? You went through and you listed the facts of events, things that happened, how you actually spent your time.
Say you have kids, and when you went back through the calendar, you actually realized you spent a lot of time with them, even though you thought logically, that you didn’t spend as much time with them as you would like to. But when you actually go through the facts, the truth is you did, and now you have facts to back up how you feel. And now is when you can really celebrate how much time you spent with your kids, and you can feel really good about that. So let’s come back to intuition. Your intuition goes beyond logic, and it also goes beyond facts. It is paying attention to so many more things than you are capable of working out on your own. We’re going to go back to the calendar example. In the calendar example, your reason for accepting the meeting is you had a space, but your intuition would have alerted you that this is actually not the right time. It would have alerted you to understand that you may not know why this is not the right time, but it would let you know. It would say very firmly, ‘Hold on, not right now’. The thing about intuition that can be kind of confounding is that often the reason for it is evident later. You’re not going to get to know at the moment exactly why it’s telling you what it is telling you. You might realize, not on the day, that your intuition was right about the calendar, but a week in advance, when someone was asking you for that meeting, you didn’t really realize it then, and you needed that space. The full story with intuition only unfolds after some time has passed.
Sometimes it’s pretty fast, sometimes it’s months later, and that can be really challenging for the logical mind. I know that I was really challenged by that. I often could not understand why my intuition was telling me those things. And still to this day it tells me things that I don’t understand until some time has passed. But here’s the thing. When logic has a super tight grip on your mind and your decisions, it’s almost impossible to, a) listen to your intuition, b) to trust your intuition enough to follow it, but once you stop letting logic have such a tight grip on your decision making, you’ll find it is easier to do things that once were hard, like to say ‘no’ or to do something that is outside your norm. So now you might be thinking, okay, this sounds really great, Nicole, but this is not very practical. Like, I can’t toss logic out completely. That’s totally silly. Do you know someone look up to somebody who did something that on the surface, appeared illogical, and that illogical choice actually led to something great?
I’m a big book reader, so you’re going to have to indulge some book nerdery for a moment. But Anne Patchett, author of Bel Canto, she wrote Tom Lake this year. She’s an incredible, incredible author. I love Anne Patchett. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and there was a time where the last bookstore in Nashville was closing, like the last local one, and she took a leap and partnered with someone to actually open a local bookstore, and this was a time where everyone was talking about the death of local bookstores. People were closing them down left and right, so she was going against the grain to actually open this bookstore in Nashville and then went through a pandemic and everything.
Guess what? Parnassus books has become a center place for people who love books. People travel from around the country to go to Parnassus. It has become this iconic bookstore since she did it, and she had to go against the grain for that to happen. So her doing that, did that make her a weak human? Or did she, in fact, help change the tide of local bookstores, which, by the way, are back on the rise by following what she knew to do? Logic is not the only way to come up with an answer. And when you look back at your life ten years from now and the decisions you made, and you ask yourself, ‘Did I do all that I could’? Do you want the answer to be yes or no? And if the answer is yes, then now is the time to start to release the grip on logic. Start to give yourself a pause when making decisions. Start to really prioritize calming your nervous system and notice if you’re spinning out on logic and overthinking, and when you can start to create some space for yourself to consider answers that may not seem obvious, this is when your life can really start to break open.
When I was teaching ten yoga classes a week, I was also writing a weekly fitness column for the Seattle Times, and I was working for a yoga company, which was a lot of things. My intuition told me to leave the yoga company job. Logic was totally against it. Logic was for healthcare and half my salary. My intuition was very clear that it was time to go.
So while it was scary and I had to figure out all these financial pieces to make things work, it also led, a few months later, to an email in my inbox from a publishing company in Seattle asking me to write my first book. Logic would have had me working all three jobs and pitching books on the side. But in this case, I not only had space to write, they wanted me to do two books, so I had the space in my life to do both. Whenever you are making a decision and you have a logical answer, consider that there might be another answer that is outside all of your logic. It is outside the reasons and outside even the facts. When you start to sense and to feel answers, rather than think your way through them, that’s when you start to head down new pathways, and these are the pathways that lead you to really feeling fulfilled, centered, grounded, and on the fulfilled, purposeful pathway that I know so many of you are desiring for yourself.
Okay, friends, thank you so much for such a powerful conversation. I’ll see you next week. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. Before you go, don’t forget, if you are a high-achieving woman who wants to uncover your biggest blind spots preventing fast, intuitive decisions, I’ve got a 72-second assessment for you, so make sure to DM me quiz on at Nicole at Instagram, and thank you for being here and for listening. We read every note that we get from you about how the podcast is making a difference in your life. Please know how much we appreciate each and every one of you.
Until next time, I’m Nicole Tsong and this is the School of Self-Worth.