“… My current working theory (and if someone knows the answer to this, please share!) is that if I align my behavior with my beliefs, contrary to my feelings and instincts, the results will show my instincts that they were wrong, and we’ll all align eventually…”
I believe that people’s instincts also become more adept at discovering discrepancies as a person ages. It is an evolutionary advantage. I recently had an experience where I never quite felt comfortable with a co worker of mine even though they were well loved on the unit and I had absolutely no reason not to trust them… nonetheless, I chose to follow that intuition and keep myself friendly but professional. Fast forward a few years and without going into specifics, my intuition was right. Many unsafe and unprofessional practices to be had by said person. At that point I decided that you can behave and believe one thing, but your intuition is biologically built to keep you safe, nothing more, nothing less. It may not fall in line with your beliefs, but if it is pinging something… it will always be because there is a red flag being raised either conscious or subconscious. Your job is to simply decipher if it is worth following.