THE BLOG
12/05/2013 04:44 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014

Do You Trust Your Intuition? 4 Ways to Heal a Lack of Trust in Your Inner Knowing

In Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, he tells a story about a marble statue that the Getty Museum purchased. Someone brought them a statue that was said to be a very well preserved ancient sculpture. The Getty had scientists do experiments for 14 months to determine if it was authentic. They finally concluded that it was and they purchased it for $10 million. Soon after, various art historians, museum experts and sculpture experts saw the statue and immediately upon seeing it claimed it was a fake. They knew in the "blink of an eye" that it was not authentic. Further research revealed that it was, indeed, a fake.

In the first two seconds of looking -- in a single glance -- they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at Getty was able to understand after 14 months. (P. 8)

How much do you trust what you know in the first two seconds?

I was taught to discount my intuition. I was told, over and over, when I knew something to be true, that "It's just your imagination." Our society often systematically trains children to distrust what they know so that they can be controlled by parents, teachers and religion. If we trust our inner knowing, we cannot be easily controlled.

If you have a problem trusting your intuition, try practicing these four ways of gaining inner trust:

1. Noticing thoughts or images that pop into your mind

Have you learned to ignore the thoughts and images that pop into your mind? These are different than the thoughts and images that come from your mind. Notice when something suddenly pops into your mind.

I always notice this and give these thoughts and images credence. I've found that by listening to them, life goes better.

2. Noticing your immediate feelings about something

When the experts looked at the statue at the Getty, what most of them said is that it "felt wrong." By training yourself to notice your feelings about things, you can develop trust in your intuition.

I had to practice a long time before I could stay present with my feelings. Now I always pay attention to my immediate feelings about people and situations, and I'm very glad I do. I feel much safer trusting my feelings than ignoring them.

3. Testing it out

Notice what happens when you listen to your inner knowing and what happens when you don't. Consciously listen and follow through with action when you are aware of the thoughts, feelings and images that pop in, and see what happens. At other times, consciously ignore your inner knowing and see what happens.

When I first become aware of my intuition -- after ignoring it for many years -- I had to do a lot of testing. Over and over, I discovered that when I followed my intuition, good things happened and life flowed well, but when I didn't listen, things often didn't turn out as well. Now I listen all the time.

4. Risking speaking up with someone about what you feel you know and seeing what happens

Are you willing to risk being wrong? It took me a long time before I was willing to stick my neck out and state my truth or ask a question about something that had popped into my mind, but now I do it all the time. If it turns out wrong, that's okay.

For example, recently I was supposed to talk on Skype with a friend of mine. She texted that she wasn't feeling well and asked if we could postpone it. I texted "no problem" and said that I hoped she felt better soon. Then the thought popped into my mind that she might be pregnant, so I asked her. She replied that she wasn't but that they had just decided to start trying to get pregnant. While I was wrong about her being pregnant, I was right about pregnancy being up for her. She thought it was funny that I asked her, given that they had just been deciding on it!

I love my intuition! I encourage you to start noticing it and valuing it more so that you can learn to trust what you know in the blink of an eye.

To further develop your intuition, join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Frequency: Connect With or Deepen Your Connection With Your Spiritual Guidance & Learn The Art of Manifestation."