Everything you do and have in your life is based on your beliefs around yourself. That’s a strong statement, and not everyone would agree with me. Your beliefs direct your thoughts, and your thoughts direct your actions.
Trust means you refuse to give up on yourself and continue to create a path in your life that supports your well-being. You are the only one who knows what is important to you, what journey in life would best answer your needs, and what people add value to your life. Trust comes from listening to yourself and learning to trust that you know how to direct your life and make the right choices.
Trust yourself means that you can take care of yourself, make the right choices and follow through on what is important to you. It’s not perfect, in that there are areas you know you will be there for yourself, and other areas where it’s a work in progress. Recognizing the areas that need additional effort on your part, you can depend you will follow through. If you can believe in yourself in several areas, then you can learn to trust yourself in other areas as well.
How often do you think about whether you trust yourself? Probably not often, though you probably have an opinion on this topic. If you did think about how trust works in your life, what questions do you ask and what answers do you provide yourself? The more you know about yourself, the better able you are to make the right choices to create solutions that enhance your well-being.
How you feel about yourself impacts your choices and that in turn creates your current experience. Trust is a powerful belief, and creating ways to instill trust in your life, will help you make significant inroads into your well-being. Most likely, you trust yourself in many ways without being aware that is what you are doing.
Where trust becomes an issue for many of us is when we feel we can’t trust ourselves because we feel unworthy or we shouldn’t trust others as they may hurt us.
It’s all about our perception and remember perception is not a fact; rather just a choice we make to see things in a certain way.
What if you were to trust yourself:
- to know you can do something,
- to know that you can take care of yourself,
- to know that you will know how to best take care of yourself around others,
- to know when to let go of what doesn’t work for you, and
- to know you can do what you need to do when you need to do it.
How would knowing you can trust yourself impact your life?
Ways You Do Trust Yourself
Everyone has areas they can trust will be followed and add value to their lives. For example, for me, it’s about paying bills. I believe I will make sure I track and pay and keep myself current. I’ve been doing this for a large chunk of my life, so know that I will probably continue to do so. I also trust that my family and friends are important to me and I will be there for them as best as I can. These two areas are essential to me, so I make sure that I follow through and support myself, which continues to maintain trust in my life. Here are some areas where you may trust yourself:
- Making sure your family is taken care
- Taking care of the basics
- Being yourself and not pretending to be someone you are not
- Pushing yourself even when you feel discomfort because this will build your “trust” muscles
- Organizing your home
- Showing compassion towards yourself when you have made a mistake
- Planning and completing your goals
- Do your research and then make the decision
- Being OK with not knowing and being open to learn
- Go to school, trusting that you will get a job after the education is completed
- Trust we know what to do in your position
- Trust your knowledge around what people in your life support you.
Ways You Don’t Trust Yourself
There are parts of our lives that we are not sure we can depend on ourselves. For example, health is a big area where each of us needs to trust; we will take care of ourselves. How well you take care of your health will impact the rest of our life.
Here are some ways you may be used to prove you are not trustworthy?
- You are not honest with yourself
- Try to control others
- Changing yourself for others to like you
- Don’t follow through on your health challenges
- Have self-destructive habits; such as overeating, not exercising, smoking, or watching too much TV
- Worrying too much
- Not making a decision, even after doing your research because you are fearful it’s wrong
- Breaking promises to others
- Breaking promises to yourself
- Not putting your stuff away which causes disorder
There are many small ways that we don’t support ourselves, and they add up and accumulate to impact how we trust ourselves.
Ways to Increase Trust in Yourself
Trusting yourself builds your level of confidence in yourself as well as others respond and trust you more. If you don’t believe in yourself, then that’s the message you send out to others.
Be careful around the words you choose to describe yourself. Challenge them because there’s a chance they may not be true. I followed Byron Katie for many years, and she has a wonderful book “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life.” One of the questions “Is that true?” When we check in with ourselves and ask if the thought we are thinking is true, and we listen to the answer, this can have a powerful impact on the choices we make going forward. Here are some suggestions on building trust in your life:
- Be yourself – if you are not sure how to do this, then listen to yourself, what feels right, what causes you anxiety, challenge your negative thoughts about yourself. Spend time with yourself, write, meditate and learn to be OK with the silence. There is where you will find the answers for yourself.
- Start small – maybe decide to write down all of the negative self-talk to release it on the page. Then take one at a time and ask “is that true?” If you decide it’s true, really true, 100% true, then come up with a plan to change it.
- Compassion is a powerful support partner. We all make mistakes, and we throw them into our belief whether we can trust ourselves. If you are dealing with a mistake, write about it, make amends to another person if necessary, capture what you have learned and then LET IT GO. You can let it go by being compassionate around the mistake you made…we are all human.
- If you have been untrustworthy at work, with family or friends, choose one situation where you will step up and do your best by following through. OR if you say “YES” to everything and can’t follow through, learn how to say NO.
- List the areas in your life, where you are strong, you get things done, or you help others. Recognize the parts of you that work as this is the way you can create balance in your life. If you only notice the areas where you don’t trust yourself, then you are out of balance. Instead, acknowledge all parts of you — strengths and areas you want to improve on.
- Talking about strengths — I’m a believer that your strengths should be nurtured continuously. The areas you consider weaknesses you should evaluate whether you will ever be able to do it, need to delegate the work or say NO to it.
- If you are a worrier, then decide today to start making small decisions and then letting go of the worry. I did some research, and 85% of what we worry about never happens. Worrying creates a significant imbalance in your life as you can’t trust you or the people you love are safe. When you carry that stress around, you impact your body, and it’s been known that stress causes a lot of diseases. So create a worry journal writing out what you are worried about and give it a number 1- 10. One being small worry and 10 is a big worry. Breathe in counting to 4 and breathe out counting to 10. Do this ten times and then answer what’s the likelihood this worry is going to happen and evaluate your worry level from 1 – 10. If you want to let go of worry, other techniques work; for example, Emotional Freedom Technique, meditation, exercises, creating a gratitude journal or going out and having fun.
“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” By Michel DE Montaigne
If you had to rate from 1-10 your level of trust towards yourself, one being you entirely trust yourself and ten being you don’t trust yourself, what would you choose and why did you select that evaluation?
Is there any area you want to change your beliefs about yourself, and see yourself differently? For example, you may call yourself a procrastinator. I would ask you in what areas do you procrastinate and what areas don’t you delay. We don’t procrastinate with everything; rather there are areas we take for granted that we do easily no matter. We don’t recognize we are doing it because it’s embedded in our daily living. Areas where you do procrastinate, this is where you can start changing your beliefs around what you can’t do, no one will like it, and it isn’t worth doing because it won’t be that great.
After you create the areas where you do procrastinate, I would ask “do you need to do it?” If not, LET IT GO. If you do, then evaluate how much you need to do, whether you need support and create a timetable to get it done. I have to review my TODO lists regularly. I put on it things I have to do immediately, have to do eventually, would like to do and the problem area of my list: things I should do. I have to continually challenge my list because there are just too many items on it. It’s about choices.
Women’s Group Topics
This topic is so rich for a group. Get your honesty markers out and create a list of areas you trust and don’t trust around yourself. Sometimes we hold on to this information, keep it a secret because we are embarrassed and busy judging ourselves or don’t feel we have a right to feel trustworthy. Come up with a list of 10 different smaller topics all around Trust and pick one to delve in deeper because that will help each person create a more precise understanding of trust and how it plays out in their lives.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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