When you trust yourself, you are able to trust your own inner processes. Processes that help you to discover and create who you really are – to tune into your own uniqueness. If self trust is overshadowed by fear, you can become defensive and rob yourself of the richness of your life experiences and end up living a half life. To continue on the way of fear is a fast road to loneliness, alienation, and unconnectedness. Which leads to more distrust and fear.
trust begets trust; fear escalates fear
Remember the brown-haired woman we met in “is your inner child sabotaging you?” She discovered she was using an old story about trust as her inner process and it was based on fear. So in situations where she exhibits fear, she is met with caution and defensiveness in others. She wasts her energy on worrying about others’ motives and hidden meanings. This leaves no energy for discovering herself and creating a meaningful, authentic life including meaningful relationships.
do you trust yourself?
Do you wonder what other people are thinking when you are doing something? If so, you could have self trust issues. However, if you are fully engaged in the experience at hand and do not even consider what others think, you show signs of self trust. Caution: be honest with yourself about this bit of self examination. Deception here will only hurt you more. Don’t strive for perfection (unattainable) but rather strive for an overall life of more trust than fear. Understand that most of us fluctuate between trust and fear depending upon the situation and our experiences. And that is realistic.
dangers do exist
does that mean we should trust everyone and everything? That there are no dangers in the world? Of course not! You only have to turn on the news to see the dangers. There are people in the world that will harm or cheat others. But does that mean you should live in fear and distrust always? No. The challenge is to know when to trust and when to fear.
trust your brain
As adults, our brains are much more capable of ‘sizing up’ a situation than they were when we were children. We may forget where we left the keys, but as we reach middle age (whatever that is these days) we have learned a great deal about the world and ourselves. Through experiences we have developed knowledge and (dare I say) wisdom about ourselves and the world. The challenge is that some of us are holding on to old beliefs from childhood that, through fear, we have nurtured and reinforce. But these beliefs are no longer true. Based on these outdated beliefs, we have created a life of fear and lack of trust. It is time to trust your own experiences and your adult brain to provide you with the right balance of trust and fear.
learn to trust yourself
Developing the capacity to trust others begins with the ability to trust yourself. Trusting in yourself is a process of becoming yourself. Identify your own uniqueness. Identify your values. Choosing to create your own life.
But that is a contradiction, you say. On the one hand I am saying to be yourself and trust who you are. On the other hand I”m telling you to challenge who you are by challenging old beliefs! Yes, it is complicated. Thus is the human existence! Both of these statements are true. How can we live with self trust and use our inner processes to discover and create our unique selves?
- Choose wisely. We each create our lives by the choices we make. Make sure you choose your inner processes based on your own beliefs, values and unique way of being. Do not become a certain way or choose your way of being based on someone else’s beliefs or values (parent, society, government, corporation.) This includes challenging behaviors based on roles in your life and business. Is a boss always directive? Is the dad always strong and in control?
- Adult brains rule. When choosing your beliefs and basing your behaviors on those beliefs, make sure these are based on your current knowledge and wisdom and not on your inner child. Your adult brain is much more sophisticated. You know more about yourself and yourself in the world.
- Verify regularly. Building trust in yourself by becoming your authentic self takes time. It is a process. You need to recognize when you are up against an old (from childhood) or borrowed (from others) belief or inner processes. One way to identify this is to recognize that you are acting in response to fear. When fear appears in you – verify that it is realistic. Use your adult brain. If it does not seem realistic, examine your inner processes. Challenge them. Create new processes!
Trusting in yourself means being comfortable to be who you are – unique! Once you begin to behave in that way, you will encoure trusting behavior in others. How can you be in a meaningful trusting relationship without being authentic? You can not be authentic without trusting yourself.
Challenge: Over the next 3 days, be aware of how often you feel fear or act defensively. These could be signs that you do not trust yourself.