Do You Trust Yourself?

Now, you’re immediate reaction is probably, of course I do.

I’m pretty sure, I do.

Do I?

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

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It’s Not the End of the World. Now What?

I can only guess that there are some disappointed people this morning. They expected the world to end, but it continues to turn as normal. There was a belief by some that because the Mayan calendar ended on 12/21/2012 that today would signal the end of humanity. The world is still here and our journey isn’t over.

This has been a common occurrence throughout my life. I can remember the threat of the end of world in 2000, 2003 and, even, last year. Each time, the world continued to turn. But, oddly enough, I don’t think that people are wrong. I think the world has ended, but not in the way that people think.

I believe that the end of the world is actually a massive change in collective consciousness. I posted previously about how the world is changing and people’s ideals are changing. Some of the things that we have struggled with for years such as racism, sexism, class warfare and even religion are being viewed differently. It’s becoming  less acceptable to define people with simple ideals or to discriminate against them for their differences under the guise of helping them. It’s as if we are all waking up at the same time. There is a new consciousness that it taking over.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook has sparked a conversation about gun control and mental health. The destruction of Hurricane Sandy has placed a focus on climate change. Healthcare is on the forefront. The fiscal cliff has people feeling they are being held hostage between sides that are more concerned with their own interest rather than the lives that hang in the balance. In some ways, we are waking up to the intentions that are affecting our daily life. There is a question of who are these politics benefiting and where is our money going if not to help us.

I think that we can create a new world at any time. When we stop accepting things as they “always have been” and start making real choices about the type of world we want to live in. The world as we knew it is ending. People are starting to understand that if we want safety for our children, financial security and the promise of great healthcare that it is up to us to make it a priority.

When does the world end? It ends when we examine the rules of the old world and decide that they no longer serve us. It’s when we start to realize that we have to power to collectively create a new and better world for us and for our children after us.

“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.” ― Eckhart Tolle

How Being Too Nice Can Harm a Relationship

I used to think I was a nice person. I’m a compassionate person. I can be a kind person, but I am not nice. There is a big difference to me. There was a time when I cared very strongly about what everyone thought about me. I wanted to be liked by everyone, so I would pretend to be nice to everyone. I would give. I would do whatever I thought would make them happy. I thought that was the price of love. While doing this, I was abandoning my own needs, thoughts and feelings.

The dictionary defines nice as: pleasing; agreeable; delightful. It is not humanly possible to be pleasing, agreeable and delightful all the time unless you are denying your own emotions, needs and thoughts. Within a friendship or relationship, there are going to be times when you disagree or when you say something that the other person doesn’t want to hear. If that never occurs, someone in the relationship is denying their needs. I was that person in the relationship until I realized that my needs were just as important as the other person. I realized that I knew everything about the other person, but they knew very little about me because I was suppressing who I was to maintain the relationship. I was making the other person’s needs more important than my own.

Being nice isn’t a bad thing. But, the problem comes when your intention behind being nice is so someone will love you. When you hide your true self behind the mask of “nice” to avoid the difficulties of being involved with other people, you are abandoning yourself to maintain that relationship. You are creating an image in the other person’s minds that you are always available, always giving and that you don’t need anything in return. At the same time, you are building resentment because people won’t equally abandon themselves for you. They won’t drop everything to be by your side because they think that you don’t need anything.  Dr. Phil says that you teach people how to treat you. When you abandon your needs, you teach people to ignore them as well.

Life is about balance. As I said before, I am kind and compassionate. I give in my relationship, but I also expect them to be there for me when I need them. If I know that someone won’t give to me as much as I am willing to give to them, I have two decisions to make. Either I will no longer interact with that person or I will meet them at the level that I can handle. Anything I give must be from my heart. Before I give, I check-in with myself and ask, “If I do this, will I feel resentment later when it is not returned?” When the answer is yes, I decline to help. I honor myself first. I’ve found that 9 times out of 10, the friend didn’t get upset. The truth I learned is that I was always waiting for the other person to realize that they were unfairly taking  advantage of my being nice and, magically, love me the same way that I was loving them. Most people have very little guilt in receiving after the first few times, because they assumes that you are always giving what you want to give. So, I figured out that I couldn’t blame anyone else if I was giving more that I could afford to give.

True friends will respect your emotions, your needs and appreciate your thoughts. Rich relationships are created when people learn how to accept you and love you for who you are. When you are nice to keep the peace, you are cheating the other person out of their own growth and acceptance. You are not giving them the chance to learn how to really love. You are also not trusting them and discounting their ability to adapt. Being nice while hiding your true feelings is fear-based. You are fearful that if you are the real you that you will scare the person away or make them mad and they will withdraw their love. You are discounting your value or worth. Being agreeable keeps you from the true intimacy you desire in that relationship. As long as your are inauthentic, you can never feel close to the people in your relationships because they don’t know the real you.  Have the courage to fight the good fight and show that you have your own needs, thoughts and feelings. Only then will you get the true benefits of every interaction in your life.

You can be kind. You can be compassionate. But, if you want to be nice, give what you can afford to give. Any friend that doesn’t want to be around you because you are no longer giving while asking for nothing in return has proven they never deserved your friendship in the first place. As you love yourself more, you will find that your capacity to give will grow because you won’t be as resentful. And you will feel the comfort of knowing that your true friends love you and accept you whether you are giving them something or not. You will find that they love you for you and that is all we really want is love.

“If you want to have the kind of relationship that your heart yearns for, you have to create it. You can’t depend on somebody else creating it for you.” ― Gary Zukav