How to Build Self-Trust
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
So many of us look outside of ourselves for advice. We Google. We him-haw about decisions and wish that someone would just tell us what to do. If you're feeling these things, know first that you are not alone. You're lack of trust in yourself is human, relatable, and understood.
But rather than resigning to the idea that you struggle with trusting yourself, let's look at how to build it. Self-trust is alive and present upon birth as instinct. As we navigate our external world, we are taught that our thoughts or actions were worth trusting or not worth trusting. In many ways, looking to adults for answers cut us off from our own inner-knowing. It served us immensely, as we would not survive without adults providing for us and helping navigate our world, but most of us felt/saw the power in following their directions that we learned to discredit our sense of self.
It's no wonder that many of us have a challenging time knowing how to trust ourselves. We have spent so many years looking to others for answers and not listening to ourselves that we have forgotten how. But like muscle memory, remembering how to trust ourselves means just going for it - setting up the conditions that make it safe for us to do so and jumping in with both feet.
So what are some of the conditions that can help cultivate self-trust?
1. Get quiet.
So many of the clients that I've worked with have talked about the power of distraction. While distraction can be a useful tool in some cases, it's not helpful when trying to build self-trust. Cut out the noise. Spend time being quiet. Notice how you feel, think, and your bodily sensations. Ridding the noise can be super powerful in and of itself. You'd be amazed at how much you can learn about yourself just by being quiet. Being quiet builds self-trust in that it allows you to rely on merely yourself.
2. Pay attention to your body.
There is so much wisdom that our body holds. Particularly in western society, we place a lot of emphasis on the intellectual, reason, and logic. It is when we get out of our head and into our body when we can connect with our truth. It might be wonky at first, but the more you practice noticing the sensations in your body, the easier it will become. Bodily awareness increases self-trust in that we are giving ourselves the space to acknowledge the wisdom that we inherently possess.
3. Ask yourself questions.
There are so many ways to do this. Next time you have a question or personal inquiry, instead of reaching for your phone to dial your BFF, stop and ask yourself. Be quiet, still, and pose the question to your inner knowing (intuition, heart, soul, God, etc.). When I started this, I found it helpful to write to myself. I'd ask a question and then write whatever came from deep within me. Many times there are no words. Perhaps your response is a feeling or a one-word answer - that is a-okay! In other words, go with your gut.
4. Take action based on what you learn.
Follow your feeling, your gut reaction, your intuition. Act. Take the leap. Use all that you've learned from getting quiet, paying attention to your body, and asking yourself questions to make the decision. When we're building trust with others it helps to listen and act on what they tell us - building trust with ourselves is no different. Practice and it will become easier. I promise.
5. Know that it's all a learning process.
You are re-learning an old skill. Give yourself compassion. Know that you will feel wobbly, that you will fall down, and that you will make mistakes. It is all a vital part of the learning process. Keep trying and don't give up on yourself. This is easier when we celebrate our small victories. Notice and honor your growth. As you keep showing up for yourself, self-trust will naturally follow.
We are all born strong and self-sufficient with a powerful inner-knowing. May we all nurture ourselves enough to get back to a place where we accept our worthiness and innate wisdom.
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