Intuition can be a tricky thing, mostly because we sometimes push it aside. Afterall, it warns us…and maybe we don’t want to hear that warning. Joan had an experience many of us have had: pushing past her intuition only to learn her gut was right all along.

Joan: Throughout the last decade, my professional life has taken many twists and turns. There are times that I operate by the seat of my pants learning as I go along, praying for the best possible outcome, following my intuition and my heart.

Q. I think most of us are in the same boat on that one.

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Joan: Well, a while back, I began to work with a person that was assigned to my company’s account. From the moment I met him, my entire body screamed, “be careful!” There was something about him that told me not to be too trusting. All the warning signs were there – my intuition was on the job.

Q. Can our intuition sometimes be overly cautious? Could it cause us to miss an opportunity?

Joan: I do worry about that and it’s why I’m the type of person who wants to trust everyone and give people the benefit of the doubt many, many, many times. I want to believe that others have the same agenda and motives so I push my inner guidance aside.

Q. So what happened in your situation?

Joan: This person dangled golden opportunities in front of me; he offered me more than I could have imagined – everything I wanted. It would be easy for me to get caught up in his promises. But there was always that nagging feeling inside of me. Something didn’t add up. There was never a straight answer to my questions, always a tap dance.

Q. It’s the kind of thing where you want to believe the promises, after all, you work hard and people recognize your talents.

Joan: After our first meeting, I couldn’t sleep for a few nights. Even though I was excited about what was to come, I felt sick every time I recounted the possible opportunities to my friends. My body tightened and sometimes I actually shook. My nerves were on end.

But because he was answering my prayers (or so I thought at the time), I pushed the warning signs aside and worked with him. I took what he said and turned it into what I wanted to hear, what I wanted him to say. But there was always that nagging feeling inside of me.

Q. So he never came through on any of his promises? Was there more required of you?

Joan: Yes. As time passed, he began to request more and more from my company in return for the promised opportunities, which, you guessed it, never materialized. I finally decided to listen to my inner guidance, which was SCREAMING by this time, and I called him out. Once I stopped taking what he said at face value and held my ground, all the promises immediately disappeared. He showed his true colors.

It took months of anxious moments and many sleepless nights before I found the courage to follow, what I knew from the beginning, to be the right direction. I knew all along what was right for me; I just chose not to listen. Thankfully I found the courage.

Q. This story sounds familiar. I believe many people go through this. Hearing what you want to hear, wanting to make something fit the way you want it to while all the time knowing it’s wrong.

Joan: We all want to believe in others and try to please others, but at what cost? How long can you stay in a dying relationship or in a job that’s making you sick? How many times can you keep saying “yes” while inside you’re screaming “no”?

We all have inner guidance to point us in the right direction. The problem is, more often than not, we don’t listen. It’s not always easy to stand up for what we want – sometimes it seems impossible – but it’s always worth it. The moment I stood up for myself I began to sleep better and feel more relaxed – I could breathe. While I may not have gotten what I wanted at this time, I know something better will come.

Learn to trust yourself. Follow your intuition – it knows the way. You are stronger than you think and wiser than you know.