Gut Instinct, Fear, And Why You Need To Know The Difference – Plus Vomiting

Published October 14, 2017 in Mindset - 0 Comments

On Sunday evening, I sat at a 334-year-old restaurant in Cabo, hoping I wouldn’t throw up my meal.

Not because I worried about the food. Instead, it was because I’d puked earlier in the day. Right when I was supposed to be doing a consultation for my business.

It happened about five minutes after I was escorted to a private conference room, to meet a new mentor. We didn’t know each other. The woman showing us the way asked me, “Are you okay?”


We cancelled the meeting… and I stumbled into the bathroom

That night, I sat next to the same person I’d cancelled on earlier. Things were going much better.

We talked about advertising on the internet. He said, “I don’t use Facebook at all. I got sick of trying to make health offers work and getting banned. You get tired of pulling your hair out and crying. I’m serious.”

Later in the evening, the man sitting on my other side introduced himself to everyone. He mentioned he advertises online using only Facebook.

So I sat there between two guys, who both found success using opposite approaches.

This was going to be fun.

The man on my right said to the man on my left, “I admire you. You stuck with it and make Facebook work. I just gave up!”

The man on my left said to the man on my right, “No I was just stupid enough to stick it out. You made the right choice to find something better.”

Who was right?


Was anyone wrong?

It reminded me of a question on a Facebook Live interview the night before. Someone asked me: “I criticize myself harshly and I’m dealing with a lot of fear as I try to start my own business. What should I do?”

My answer, paraphrased below:

“Well, keep in mind that it might not be fear. Sometimes we have powerful gut feelings, which are pointing the right way for us to go, or pointing out the wrong path to take. But we mistake them as fear because we’re dead-set on doing one certain thing, even if it’s a mistake. Start paying attention to the difference between a gut feeling and a genuine fear. You’ll know the difference because you can plow through fear very quickly. You can evaporate fear in five seconds, with movement. But gut feelings will stick with you longer. And I can tell you can make this distinction because you mention criticizing yourself. Actually, being able to step back and analyze your actions is a wonderful gift, and it shows some self-awareness. It’s only a problem when it becomes too harsh and irrational.”

What’s the right choice?

Give up? Or keep doing something that scares you and brings you pain?

Don’t pay attention to fear. Plow through it.

Listen to your gut. Do what it says.

And learn to tell the difference.

Both guys sitting at that dinner table made the right choice. I’m sure each of them had a gut-check moment. One realized he needed a different platform for building his business. The other realized he needed to stick it out. I was honored to hear both talk about how they did it.

I kept the meal down. Even the scoops of vanilla ice cream I had right at the end.

And today I hope to get another chance at that consultation. Just to be safe, I’ll skip breakfast.