When I have an initial client consultation, one of the questions I ask is “Are you looking for a way to trust yourself more?”
The majority of people say Yes they are and say they are unsure if they can always trust themselves.
They may have made some decisions in the past that didn’t turn out how they wanted and as a result they don’t feel able to self-trust.
Some people are unsure what trusting yourself really means.
In the years I have been coaching, only a handful of people I have spoken to feel happy with the level of trust they have in themselves.
Where does the lack of trust in ourselves come from?
There could be many reasons as to why you don’t or can’t trust yourself, some based on specific experiences and circumstances and some more general.
It’s a big subject with roots in all kinds of places and I can only touch on a small part of this today, in a generalised way.
But don’t worry, it’s still going to help.
I think our lack of trust in ourselves starts at an early age, basically we are brought up with a certain set of rules on how to do stuff – how we should ‘do’ life, starting with things like eat your veg, go to school and then onto college, blah blah blah.
Depending on your upbringing, maybe a lot of things were done for you and maybe you didn’t get a crack at any kind of independence until you were a bit older.
Now I am not knocking these rules or parenting styles, but I would like to say two things.
Firstly, these examples are based on somebody else’s perception of how your life could/should be. In fairness, they are not usually coming from a malicious place, but they are often coming from a one size fits all place.
Secondly, at some point when we get a little older the rules and therefore the guidance, stops.
We begin our young adult lives and there is no manual. The instructions are often no longer there and we need to figure it out for ourselves.
It’s at that point when we start to make decisions and when we feel different emotions, that we need the ability to trust ourselves.
That ability will hopefully ensure that the decisions are of benefit to us, the emotions we feel are valid & real and that we don’t undermine ourselves, perhaps jeopardising the outcomes.
My top 5 tips on how to get and build self trust are:
The more ‘You’ you are, the more you will learn about yourself.
One big sign of no trust in yourself is when you act like a different person, perhaps because you lack the confidence to be who you really are.
My posts have a tendency to include the sentences: ‘Ask yourself some questions’ and ‘Be honest with yourself’ – this is where they come in right now.
By asking yourself what you really want and how you really feel, you can get on and make those things happen. You can make the changes to show your real self.
By staying true to yourself and your values, you will recognise what trust in yourself feels like and it will grow as you live your life the way you want it.
Only You can do You and don’t forget that.
Write down what you like about yourself
This is all about the pro’s – no con’s here please.
This list can include everything you like about yourself – no matter how small.
If you find that hard to do, then ask other people to tell you one positive thing that they like about you and write that down.
Preferably if you can though, come up with the list yourself as we shouldn’t focus on other people’s opinions of us – but in this exercise it can still be a positive thing.
I would like you to also write down any successes that you have had, again no matter how small.
On those days where you don’t feel as strong and perhaps don’t trust your judgement then look at the list and remind yourself of the positives and the successes – you will feel strength by reading the list.
Give yourself some time
Trust takes time, especially if it is not something that you are used to having.
Give yourself the space and time to let your trust build up.
Have an open mindset, spend some time on your own sometimes – you need to give yourself physical and mental space to tune into what you are feeling and what you want.
Especially important at the moment, when we might not have much time to ourselves.
Stick to your decisions
When we overthink our decisions or our behaviour, we can create huge amounts of stress and tension for ourselves.
We worry about the future, whether we have made the right decision and gone down the right path and before we know it, the anxiety has built up so much that we start with the trust issues.
It’s no different from being let down by somebody else, they let us down and we stop trusting them.
That’s what happens to us – we think we have made the wrong decision so we stop trusting our own judgement.
Next time you make a decision, be sure to stick with it to build up your self trust and this will help you to see how often you make the right choice.
And of course if things don’t go to plan, you are in control of how to resolve things and move forward.
This is something else that I often talk about – you have to put the time in to look after yourself.
How can you expect to trust yourself and your own judgement if you don’t take care of your mind and body?
When you are really tired or perhaps hungover, you know how hard it is to make the simplest of decisions and it’s often preferable to give the decision to somebody else to take control of, just to take the pressure off.
Eat well, sleep well, laugh a lot, exercise to move your body in a way that is right for you, stay connected with the people you care about, these are just a few essentials.
Bottom line, when we don’t trust ourselves, we can feel lost, uncertain and perhaps confused. It is hard to find clarity in our thoughts and we need to remind ourselves of what we want and what’s important to us.
Learning to trust yourself will open up your world in a big way – it can help you get out of your comfort zone and you already know, that’s when life can get really exciting.
If anything about self trust resonates with you, please do get in touch.
We can have a chat about how I could help and support you – I would love to hear from you so please do get in touch for your complimentary consultation.
You already know one question I am going to ask…