This is a question I am often asked in different forms and it’s a very good one. I would give a different answer to different people depending on their situation.
If you’ve spent all your life listening to other people and doing what they tell you, even against your better judgement, and you feel you’ve never really found out who you are and what your values are, it may be time to start to explore.
In this case it’s a question of experimenting and trying out being more independent. You may find yourself expressing opinions that might never have come out of your mouth before – that’s not always comfortable, but it makes you stronger. You will probably make lots of “mistakes”, but this doesn’t matter. It’s by making mistakes (and surviving!) that you will gradually discover your own voice and the strength to express yourself fully.
If you are the opposite – very head-strong and independent, and never listen to anyone, it’ a bit different. You are likely to find it very challenging to really listen to anyone. if you start experimenting and find yourself making mistakes you will probably give up very quickly. It would be a good idea for you to develop a listening relationship with your Higher Self, God or some other higher being for whom you have deep respect. You may find it hard to hear anything at first, and you are likely to forget to listen a lot of the time at first. You are too used to listening to your own voice to make much room for anyone else! But as you learn to listen to that voice of wisdom, which you can always access, it will help you open up to different views, and gradually you will start to recognise and respect people who are giving you good advice as well.
If you already have a very strong intuition and are used to listening to some form of inner or higher guidance there is another situation that can be challenging. Your intuition is suggesting you take a path that is stepping off in a new direction, or doing something that lots of people you trust might advise you against. This can create a huge conflict inside you and you may even find yourself very afraid. Sometimes you might feel you are completely crazy to listen to your intuition because the advice seems so unlikely or ‘unintuitive’.
There is one way I have found in this situation to judge who to listen to. The voice of the higher truth is always lighter, fresher and feels good. The voice of resistance feels heavy, dark or can make you feel very tense and knotted up inside – even if it appears to be true in the words that you hear inside your head. Sometimes you just can’t find that light and good feeling anywhere. That usually happens because you are listening to your limited self rather than your Higher Self. If that happens, take some time to tune into your Higher Self and really listen. You will recognise immediately the truest voice – it lifts your spirit and gives you peace. That’s the one to follow.