'I just knew I was being followed.' 7 women on the times their gut instinct was right.

Have you ever had a sickening feeling that you couldn't explain? A feeling that made your mind so sure that something was going to happen with no explanation. 

There are many names for this specific experience: a gut feeling, intuition or women's instinct are phrases we've heard before. 

But what do they actually mean? 

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Video via Mamamia

It's something that cognitive neuroscientist, professor Joel Pearson, discussed on the latest episode of the Full Story podcast in an episode called, 'The science behind your sense of intuition.' 

According to Pearson, a gut instinct is your subconscious noting things in your environment that you're not fully aware of. Things like sounds and smells that you're probably not presently tuned into but your mind is still somewhat aware of them. Those feelings all culminate into one "off" feeling which leads you to making a decision. 

So we asked women to tell us about the times they trusted their gut instinct and were right to do so. Here's what they said...

Emily (me). 

There's one moment in particular where I believe my gut instinct saved my life. It was when I was 18 years old. 


I was doing some solo travel after graduating high school and I found myself in a movie theatre in London. The movie finished around 10.30pm and, being a budget traveller, I decided to walk back to my Airbnb. It was dark and raining and my chosen path was on the quieter side. 

As I was walking, I had this gut feeling that I was being followed. The feeling was so nauseating that I almost threw up. I kept turning around every two minutes but no one was behind me. 

Finally, I turned a corner to wait to see if I was actually being followed so my stomach would settle. I didn't hear anything at all. As I turned back into the road, I was nose-to-chest with a very tall man. He smiled at me and went to touch my arm. I screamed and ran as fast as I could to the nearest pub. 

After a few hours, I called an Uber to take me the rest of the way home. 

To this day, I believe my intuition saved me in that moment. 

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"I was offered a huge career opportunity in France, which included a promotion, a high-profile project and moving my family to France from Australia. They were willing to negotiate the start date, work around personal commitments in Australia and more. 

When I received the paperwork to start the process of moving our possessions, I had the most horrendous feeling come over me, so much so that I declined the offer. Less than two months after I should have arrived in France, the project was cancelled and everyone came back to Australia. 

I could have uprooted my entire life, and my family, for less than two months. It ended up being the best decision that couldn’t have been predicted."


"In early 2018 I was dating my now ex-boyfriend. He was my first boyfriend, my first love. We did long distance, him in Perth and me in Sydney and I remember one visit very distinctly. 

We were out at a gig with his friends from work and one of them was saying how hard long distance is and how he broke up with his girlfriend who lived in Sydney a few years before. Since then he’d found love with another girl, someone my ex and he worked with. 


It was funny because at the time I remember thinking “That will be my ex. He’s going to be with a girl he works with once this all comes to an end.” Mind you, we weren’t on the rocks at the time but I knew deep down the relationship was flawed in more ways than one. 

A year later when we eventually broke up, I remember thinking “I think he’s got someone else” but everyone in my life was saying that I was crazy... but I just knew. I found out he’d gotten with a girl he works with only weeks after we called it and they’re still together now. 

Had I listened to my gut that first time, I would’ve saved myself a lot of heartache."


"I have OCD and frequently double and triple-check things. I often leave the house and get down the street before thinking “I need to go check X Y Z”. I started taking photos of things like my hair straightener being off to ease the urge to go back and check. But one day I had this desperate feeling to go home mid-shift and check the electric blanket. 

Everyone said, “It’s just the OCD messing with you, you always turn it off. Why would this be different?!” Well... I got home and it was SCORCHING hot. I was surprised nothing was on fire. I hate to think what would've happened if I hadn't." 


"I was leaving work one day with my boss and we were standing at the top of the street, trying to cross a main road. This was something I've done SO many times. After not getting a break in the traffic for at least seven minutes, we debated walking down to the lights. 


Something just told me to do it even though we were really tired. After we crossed at the lights, we were standing directly across from where we were trying to initially cross. The man who had been standing with us in our original spot was finally crossing at the exact time we walked past... and he got hit by a car. I've never been so rattled but also SO grateful for trusting my gut. Thankfully he wasn't seriously injured." 


"I sat down next to a friend of mine at dinner and immediately knew she was pregnant, I didn't see anything like her not drinking, she wasn't showing or holding her stomach I just... knew? 

I waited til we were alone and asked her and she confirmed it, I couldn't explain how I knew."


"I’m an anaesthetic doctor. With 11 years of experience in medicine, I let my gut guide me all the time. Often a patient seems okay but intuition tells me when they need extra tests, extra monitoring etc. — and my gut has never led me astray. When you have lots of experience looking after patients, you can pick the really sick ones, or the ones who are about to deteriorate."

Do you have a story about a time you trusted your gut instinct? Tell us in the comments below!

If you want more culture opinions by Emily Vernem, you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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