Trusting Your Gut

Corrie Fragale was devastated by his performance review. He had hoped for an Outstanding rating to be promoted, but that wasn’t what he received. One comment from his boss really bothered him: “Corrie you are great in doing what you are told to do. But there are times when I just don’t know enough to give you the directions you need. You have a great mind. I want you to use it to develop your own ideas about what needs to be done and how to do it.” Corrie realized that was valid feedback, but he always struggled with situations where there were no “rules”.

To make matters worse, Corrie got a call from his sister telling him that his mother had just suffered a stroke. As luck would have it, Corrie was the only one in the family who could care for his mother once she was able to leave the hospital. Corrie requested a family emergency leave for six months.

While his mother’s stroke was moderate, she was unable to do many of the things she used to do. She needed to relearn some things, but in other cases she needed to rethink of how to do things in new ways.

Corrie quickly learned that his mother would never be able to resume some semblance of her normal life if he just did things for her. He needed to come up with ways for her to do for herself. For Corrie, there was no guidance to help him reinvent ways for his mother to function. Nothing online was sufficient for guiding him with his mother’s needs.

He began to develop ways to help his mother. At first, this was a challenge because his mother was slow to accept that she needed go change. In other words, Corrie’s new ways just didn’t work very well. But after a shaky start, both Corrie and his mother got better at how to approach their challenges.

When a new approach worked, Corrie would document it for his mother and a caregiver that they had hired. As he prepared the documentation, Corrie reflected on the process that worked to develop new ways of helping his mother. He realized that the process could be summarized in three words: Trust Your Gut.

The Corrie that returned to work after caring for his mother was a new Corrie. No longer did he need directions when a new assignment was given to him. He began to trust his gut. In fact, he thrived on the challenge of doing something new.

Trusting your gut is a challenge for many people. For some it’s the result of a lack of self-confidence. For others, it could result from being in an environment where innovation is discouraged. Trusting your gut is a developmental trait that is essential for everyone, but one that may take a crucible moment to form.

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“Always trust your gut and your intuition will steer you right, every time.” – Charisma Carpenter (actress)

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