Intuition and Fear

I got a business partner yesterday.

What the hell, right? How did this happen?

Okay, let me tell you how it went:

The cars in the road were more suffocating than the hot, humid air. I’d just had an interview, turned down the job, and I almost had an accident. By the time I’d whipped out of the parking lot onto Mallory Lane though, I was composed. The rest of the world seemed to vanish into the sounds of the audiobook “Outwitting the Devil” playing in my stereo.

The wheels of my white 1992 Nissan Stanza rolled clockwise across the steamy concrete. The wheels reminded me of the gears in my mind: turning, turning. I began to grin recognizing that I had held my ground in that interview: I didn’t want the job and I didn’t take it. My savings had nearly run dry, my checking account had 0.16 cents remaining, and I HAD NOT CAVED.

A sentence from the audio book chimed through my vehicle:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve”

I thought “I CAN achieve”.

My AC didn’t (doesn’t) work well. My windows were up. My khaki pants were beginning to soak up the sweat cascading from my thighs. And yet I didn’t consider the heat for a single moment. I was so proud of myself that my mind was hotter than the temparature!

And my mind stayed ablaze until I received a phone call.

My friend – the one who offered to operate my business. The one I had told “No”… three times.

I picked up and put the phone on speaker before jamming it back into the space between the radio and the dashboard.

“Hello?”

“What’s up man. Can you talk?”

I was driving, and developing the habit of paying attention to nothing but the road. Nevertheless I said “Yup, what’s up?” as he sounded like he had something important to discuss.

“About me working in your company…”

I’ll not quote him any further, but he had a deep desire to do the job and wished to know why I had rebuffed him.

I thought for a moment.

“Insecurity among other things.”

“What?”

“I am concerned about the issues we discussed, but I believe a portion of that ‘gut feeling’ was my own insecurities. I know you would do an excellent job. I also trust you immensely. You have the job.”

A deep calm fell over me as I said the words: “You have the job”.

“…Let’s get started then!” he replied.

And we began developing the business as I rolled through the streets of Brentwood, Tennessee. Once our conversation was done, I wondered why I had relented and gave him the position. I’d had a “gut feeling” that it should be someone else after all! That hadn’t changed! Why did I change my decision?

“Because that gut feeling was based on insecurity and fear.”

I’m not sure if intuition functions that way, but I didn’t (don’t) want any decisions to be made based on those emotions.

Moments where the same feelings had materialized in my gut flashed into my mind; one of which being a job I had recently applied for.

Then I recalled that, while waiting for the manager to interview me, one sentence ran through my mind:

“Ahhh! I don’t want a job!”

Was my feeling just a response to my thoughts? Was that not intuition at all? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that when I speak to my friend about the business, I feel strong and I feel at peace. Perhaps that’s the tell for me whether I made the right decision or not. That peaceful feeling.

I’ll be looking for that from now on – not the smoldering anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

Micah Markray

May 18th, 2017