The inspiration for this article came from a conversation I heard where a friend was told to “just trust yourself”. What does that actually mean? It’s pretty vague!
How do we learn to trust ourselves, when there are so many demands on us?
I believe trusting in yourself is a skill that you can develop. You’re the person who knows you the best, and what’s best for you. You just need to learn to tune into your intuition.
We all have a little wise voice that speaks to us but we often miss it, as it is overpowered by the louder and more frantic voice of self-doubt. Our wise voice is gentle and comes from a place of love, compassion and understanding.
We get side-tracked by listening to the opinions and expectations of others, leaving us feeling conflicted about what’s best for us. This can be especially tricky if you’re someone who empathises with others. Your natural compassion makes you a great friend – you may even help others to listen to their own wisdom. Your own feelings can become entangled and knowing what’s right for you can become unclear.
“I’ll not listen to reason… reason always means what someone else has got a say.” Elizabeth Gaskell
Learning to trust yourself takes practice and is an exercise in nurturing yourself – here’s where to start:
Focus on You
Start by redirecting your compassion and love back to yourself. Instead of focusing on other people’s needs and wants, take some of that energy and give it back to yourself.
Ask Yourself Compassionate Questions
Giving yourself loving and compassionate messages throughout your day will help reinforce trust. Ask yourself thoughtful questions, as you would naturally ask a good friend:
- What do I need right now?
- How can I help myself right now?
- What do I want to do next?
The significant difference is you’re directing these questions at yourself, rather than someone else.
Retrain yourself to be in the present moment. There are many mindfulness techniques you can use. One is to take yourself on a daily walk and keep your mind focused on your five senses, what you can see, hear, smell, feel and taste – staying completely present in your surroundings.
This will powerfully free up your mind and allow your inner wisdom space to be heard.
Believe You’re Trustworthy
It’s important and start to believe that you are trustworthy. If you want to trust yourself you need to believe that you’re trustworthy.
Remember back to a time when you trusted your instincts, this could even be in the face of criticism from others. Remember that actually, it turned out well for you and how you felt about your ability to trust yourself.
Also think back to times when you followed the opinions of others, against your better judgement. Often it didn’t work out so well.
Think about these times. What impact did these decisions have on you and your life? What are you learning as you think about these times?
Change your language
A very simple way of nurturing trust in yourself is deleting the phrases “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure”, from your vocabulary.
Often, we use these phrases as a screen to hide behind and avoid making choices. When you’re about to use one of these phrases, stop yourself for a second and ask: “What do I know is true?” This is a great antidote for “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”.
Surround yourself with the people who see the best in you. Those who already believe in you and who want you to be happy. It’s still possible to learn to trust yourself in environments which aren’t supportive, but it’s a lot easier with those people who will help you to thrive.
If you struggle with trusting yourself, contact us to find out how we can help you.