By Sunny Simon

A few weeks ago I attended a speech contest. One of the contestants gave a very humorous speech about surviving a harrowing adventure while on vacation. His so called exciting escapade turned out to be a giant scam. Our hero admitted his naiveté in ignoring the red flags (and there were many) he experienced early on. In fact, he titled his speech, “Beware of Red Flags,” as a lesson for the audience.

We all know what those red flags are. We’ve felt them. It’s that queasy, uneasy feeling signaling our brain something is not quite right. When those crimson warnings arise, the most prudent thing to do is heed them. Often we ignore these caution signals and forge full steam ahead. As was the case of the speaker, the man was just too pumped up to stop and think, eventually finding himself in a heap of trouble. The end result was a hefty hit to his bank account.

Red flags pop up in a myriad of life experiences. Take the dating scene for example. Remember that guy you started seeing last year? Your best friend warned you something was amiss, your mom was not a member of his fan club and in the end, you wasted six months on a relationship going nowhere.  Or what about that “win-win” financial investment your cousin said was a sure thing? You probably knew at the time it was a long shot, but wanting a quick windfall so badly you took an unsafe risk and it cost you, big time.

Avoid tripping over red flags by tapping into your intuition and observing what your body is trying to tell you. The phrase “gut reaction,” is an accurate description of a distress warning exhibited physically. Experiencing a sour or churning stomach when faced with a decision is the internal red flag cautioning danger.

We are all blessed with intuition. Even Bill Gates, who is no doubt surrounded by highly paid talented advisors admits, “Often you have to rely on intuition.” Individuals who are successful in developing this internal insight do make better decisions.

Try it out this week. Place a moratorium on making snap decisions and pay attention to early warning signals. Tune in to the wisdom of your psyche and physical reactions as you consider which path to take. View a hunch as not just a fleeting thought but a valuable piece of information. After considerable reflection, you can turn those red flags green and feel more confident in making decisions and accomplishing your goals.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com

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