Of all the relationships in our life, none is more complicated or important than the one we have with ourselves. The cornerstone of this relationship is self-trust.
Unfortunately it is quite easy to damage the trust we place in ourselves. Why? Because during our lives all of us have, or will, make choices and decisions that don’t produce the desired outcome.
We all fail, and we all make mistakes. A relationship fails and we blame or question ourselves. A job opportunity eludes us, or a friendship fractures beyond repair.
We lose self-trust when we don’t achieve a goal, whatever that goal may be. Then we begin to question our abilities, our dreams and our worthiness to have them manifest in our life.
Every time we replay an event that we label a failure, the doubt in our judgment and our self-worth increases. Self-confidence stems from self-trust, so the cycle can become vicious and destructive.
So, how can we repair self-trust? First, decide to give yourself a break. You made what you believed to be the best decision or choice in the moment. If you are saying, “No, I didn’t! I knew I should have done it differently,” then stop the that negative thought pattern, and choose instead to forgive yourself for not trusting your instincts in that moment. Holding a grudge against yourself only assures that the pattern will repeat.
Next, decide to honor your emotions. If you have made choices and decisions that you perceive as a failure, then the tendency is to begin to substitute the opinions of others over our own intuition, desires and dreams. This pattern can lead to co-dependency, confusion and fear. Self-trust is harnessed when we follow our sacred wisdom, instead of looking outside ourselves to provide inner peace.
Healthy self-trust is like having an internal GPS system: you know where to go next, you trust your decisions both big and small, and you’re willing to take risks ~ Sheryl Paul
Realize that in spite of your best efforts and instincts others may disappoint you. They may leave the relationship, pass away, cheat, steal, or lie. When this happens, allow it to help identify what area of yourself has been suppressed, ignored or denied. Learn, forgive and move forward. Know that in the future you can trust yourself to avoid or distance yourself from this type of behavior, individual or situation.
In her book, The Courage to Trust, Cynthia Wall writes that the person we need to trust first… is ourselves. “No one can be as consistently supportive of you as you can learn to be. Being kind to yourself increases self-confidence and lessens your need for approval. Loving and caring for yourself not only increases self-trust, it also deepens your connection with others,” she says.
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement ~ Golda Meir
Self-trust means that you know that you can take care of your own needs and safety, regardless of what others say or do, or any situation you find yourself, in personally or professionally. Practice compassion with yourself, not perfection.
Self-trust leads to self-respect and self-confidence. Self-trust is an invitation to develop a relationship with your core self. We learn to become our own best friend and appreciate our thoughts and emotions, instead of remaining unconscious to them. When we do that, self-trust grows into self-respect and self-confidence.
It’s time to stop letting your past define your future. Learn to trust yourself again.