People always say "trust your intuition," but is that the first step?
I am a strong believer in the value of intuitive processes. Of course I am. I'm literally a professional intuitive! I rely heavily on intuition to make my own life choices and I teach other people to do the same.
However, I came to this work and way of life with a lot of skepticism. Raised by skeptics for whom every occurrence was considered an opportunity for careful analysis, the last thing I wanted to be was irrational. I had been indoctrinated with the idea that intuition might be real, but it was a sort of vague and personal thing that could easily be overvalued.
This meant that to first several years of my intuitive practice involved a lot of experimentation and testing. I would have a feeling or see something in a reading and then I would wait to see whether what seemed to be intuitive insight corresponded with outer reality. I was very careful about allowing myself to believe or trust.
My skepticism has proven invaluable in my development, because it has forced me to be very careful and demand precision from my self. I have examined every tiny feeling to discern the most subtle differences.
Of course, the reason people tell you to trust your intuition is because of the nature of intuition. It not like sensory perception where you can check where the information is coming from. It's not a rational process where you can lay out every step. Intuition is information with invisible origins. You can't check your work like you might when doing a math problem. You simply must believe or not believe what the feeling or experience reveals.
For this reason, intuition can be endlessly frustrating to the rational mind. We want to be able to check and justify. On the other side, we may find ourselves tempted to simply accept feelings and senses without looking too closely at them. But if we don't test, explore and practice, how can we trust what we feel? Do we really know the difference between an intuitive hit and a emotional feeling?
Perhaps you feel something off in the situation but you don't have the precision to know what. Perhaps you can't hear what your body wants to tell you because you don't like the answer it's giving. There are many ways that intuition can present and if we have not developed discernment, it can be easy to twist something to fit what we want it to mean.
It's especially hard to get clarity when we are personally invested in a situation. Too often I hear people trying to get a clear intuitive answers about something really important like whether to marry, whether to break-up, or what job to take without doing any other work to develop their relationship with their intuition. Yet these are the hardest kinds questions to answer. When you care about something or when the stakes are high, it's very difficult to distinguish between what you know intuitively and what you want to be true.
This is why I recommended training your intuition in order to trust your intuition. Intuitive practice means practicing on small things to learn how to listen, perceive, and interpret intuitive information. The more precisely you can notice subtle differences in feelings and the more time you have spent relaxing into an open and intuitive state, the more you will be able to reliably tell the difference between intuition and other feelings. When you develop skill, you become able to trust not just the information that comes, but also your understanding of that information.