Now, you’re immediate reaction is probably, of course I do.
I’m pretty sure, I do.
Well, if you’re not sure, it might be because you don’t, completely. It’s not surprising at all. Many of us don’t trust ourselves and that’s why we find ourselves in situations that seem contrary to the thing we want. Where does the mistrust come from? It’s an internal battle that is being waged within you on a daily basis.
For me, it comes in the form of procrastination. I designate a time for me to write. That hour comes and goes and I’ve managed to do everything else, but to write. I’ve wasted hours on social media, watched all my television shows and then I am taunted by the blank page that I promised myself would be a fully completed blog post. Of course, once I sit down and face the page, the words come spilling out and I wonder why I procrastinated in the first place.
It’s small ways that we undermine our own trust. For instance:
- You start a diet or join a fitness class, then find yourself swallowing several donuts because a co-worker shoved them in your face.
- You promise yourself that you will take a vacation, but you can never find the time to book it, much less actually take it.
- You tell yourself that you won’t take those calls from that toxic ex, until you feel lonely one night.
- You know you deserve a promotion at work and you gather up the nerve to talk to your boss, but accept a small raise instead.
- Something happens with another person that makes you feel sad, angry or hurt, but you choose not to voice it to that person.
There are many situations where we don’t trust ourselves or trust that our feelings are right. We override or ignore our intuition and internal guidance system. How many times have you done this? You’ve prioritized yourself last and then wonder why you feel resentment, fatigue or unsatisfied.
And, you may think you are getting away with this mistrust, but it seeps into other places in your life. The people around you are reflections of yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, you will continue to be put in situations where you have to deal with trust until you learn how to trust yourself. You may be surrounded by untrustworthy people. You may find yourself in situations where people are constantly lying to you or things are stolen from you. It may be as simple as being taken advantage of and overlooked, because you don’t trust yourself to decide who deserves to be in your life.
Why don’t you trust yourself?
Most likely, it is because we learn throughout our life that what we want takes a backseat to what is demanded of us. We are taught to put the needs of others before our own. In response, we have an internal struggle to fulfill the needs of others without ignoring our own. For some of us, we neglect our needs and fulfill the others with the thought that we will eventually get to do what we want someday. For others, they will ignore what others want, in favor of indulging their own needs. But, no matter which way you respond, there is still a level of guilt that comes into play. The guilt leads to self-sabotage and, eventually, resentment. And, it’s a cycle of trying to convince yourself to do something you don’t want to do, but need to do.
Of course, we live in a world where you have to meet deadlines and do things that you don’t want to do. But, there has to be a balance.
How do you start to trust yourself?
Listen. The very first step is to listen to yourself. When you are telling yourself that you have to do something, listen for resistance.
Ask yourself: Why is there resistance? Why don’t I want to do this?
Then ask yourself: Does this have to be done now?
If you decide it doesn’t, ask yourself: What would I rather be doing?
The important thing is that you let yourself off the hook sometimes. There are some things that have to get done, but find space in your schedule for you to just be or to do things that you want to do. Trust yourself. As you become more attuned to your true intentions and needs, you will experience less resistance and find that you build trust. The more you trust yourself, the easier it will be to trust others. You will begin to build boundaries and clear distinctions between what you want and what you don’t want. You will stand up for yourself. The other added benefit is that you may experience more fun in your life as a result.
“Self trust is the essence of heroism.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson