Mark Hauser, an actor and voice actor based in Montreal, felt the familiar sense of elation when he got the call saying he had won the part. Like the other times before, his heart skipped a beat and he smiled big as he thanked the casting director and hung up the phone.
However, there was something different this time. A nagging little voice that had been in his head since the audition, telling him that he wasn’t the right fit for the part. Deciding that he was confident in himself and his abilities, Mark Hauser shook off these thoughts and moved forward with the production.
Soon into the shoot, it became very clear to both Mark Hauser and the director that things weren’t working. The director claimed that there wasn’t any authenticity to his performance, and it was making it hard to believe his character’s motivation. They mutually agreed for him to leave the production.
Today, Mark Hauser took that experience as a lesson: he now pays attention to that little voice in his head. If it tells him to stay away from a certain role, he listens.
“Trust your gut” is something we’ve heard throughout our lives, and yet so many of us often fail to put those words into action.
While science may not be able to tell us exactly what our “gut” or intuition is, there are plenty of reasonable explanations for that little feeling you get that something isn’t right. Modern explanations of the brain often compare it to a computer, but we are not robots. Unlike a computer we are not able to instantly recall every piece of information our brain has stored, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t recognized it.
Mark Hauser says that we need to trust our gut because in doing so we are trusting our mind’s ability to pick up on patterns and draw conclusions from them, even if we aren’t exactly sure what those conclusions are.
For example, if you were walking down the street and decided to cross to the other side, you may not realize that in fact you were avoiding a potentially dangerous situation. A squeaking sign or sight of people arguing may have registered unconsciously for you, giving you the urge to cross the street without you ever being fully aware of the reasoning.
Mark Hauser says trusting your gut doesn’t mean throwing out all reason in favor of “finding your true north” or believing in a “deep knowing.” It is simply recognizing that at the end of the day we are more than just our brain –– we are a body as well, and listening to the feelings we get from it can aid us in our decision making.
According to Mark Hauser, we should slow down, pause, and pay attention to our sensations when it comes time to make a decision. Trusting your gut can be one of the most useful tools you develop when it comes to navigating your life.