I hope you're doing well. I have been praying and thinking a lot about your questions, and I believe that God does hear your prayers. Let me begin by saying that I'm not a pastor or minister, and the information I have is based on scriptures I've been taught, including something I heard in Bible training yesterday morning. In my response below, I'll include links to the scriptures that I refer to. You can click on the links, read the scriptures in context, and read the commentaries for each, in order to gain a richer understanding.
Your questions are "How do you know when God is telling you to move forward with something?" and you wonder why He doesn't answer your prayers. Often we pray and ask God for guidance, direction, or something tangible, and even when we don't think He hears us, He does. He hears every prayer we pray, and He may answer in one of three ways: 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Not yet. An important place to start: "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6, KJV) It is good to seek God with any and every decision that we make, because He will guide us.
Sometimes, God speaks to us, but we don't hear Him because we're too busy, too worried, too anxious, too fearful. Sometimes, too, we pray to Him, but then we still try to work out whatever it is that we asked Him to handle. When we do that, God will sometimes allow us to continue on until we realize that we can't do anything without His help. We NEED Him! The Bible tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6, NIV). In other words, when we pray, we are to not worry. We are to ask God, and thank Him believing in faith that He will answer. Matthew 17:20 teaches us, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."We should be thankful for all He has ALREADY done, and REMIND ourselves of what He's already done. We must learn to "let go and let God", trusting that He IS in control. Continued