You've Got This - developing self trust

Nelson Mandela said, ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure’.

You've got this.

This week I wanted to write about self trust. People talk a lot about confidence, but I like self trust better because it goes deeper than confidence. This is about having a sense that even when we stuff up, ultimately we trust ourselves. Without this, it can feel like we’re at the whim of life, where sometimes things are working but sometimes not, and we feel very alone. In this state, the world is a scary and hostile place, and we cling to what we know, even if it’s not really what we want or need.

When we have this, we can’t ever be completely unsettled because we have a sense of strength, of inner support. We still get knocked around, but when things get rough it doesn’t rattle us right down to the core because we know we have that foundation.

I’ve been lucky enough and reckless enough to have built a life that fits my dreams right now – I get to travel, write, teach what I love and believe in, connect with people and feel that what I do makes a difference. But, like everyone, there’s been plenty of existential angst, heart break and life experience for me along the way. I’ve stayed in relationships and jobs long, long, long, after they stopped helping me because I was too scared of the unknown. My lack of self trust gave me a life that was only half mine, to the point where I could barely buy a t shirt without melting down in case I made a wrong decision. Growing up, I simply didn’t have any examples of self trust around, totally the opposite, so I can say with some authority that you can start with a negative bank balance of self trust and develop it from there. And the best part is, you’re probably already doing some of it.

I like things that are simple to remember so they are:

3 simple ways to strengthen and develop self trust

·      Relax – don’t struggle. It’s ok to go hard, but then cut yourself some slack and rest just as hard. Work out how much you need through trial and error and expect this will shift constantly.

·      Appreciate – if you’re reading this you’ve already got a pretty good life gig. First world, roof over your head, eye sight good enough to read… appreciate the things around you and appreciate your own efforts too.

·      Get mental space – this allows us literally to get a break from our relentless thought cycles and create space for new possibilities with our thoughts. Do yoga, walk in nature, meditate, read and then… repeat. You’ll get more mental benefit if you do these in silence.  

If you do these things, slowly but surely, your bank of self trust will start to build up. You’ll start to get to know yourself better and as you do that, feel safer trusting yourself and your decisions. 

Until next time, take care