The ability to trust oneself completely is rare. For most of us, it can be rather tricky.
We all second-guess ourselves, have the tendency to not listen to our gut, and hold on to past mistakes that make it difficult for us to trust ourselves. While there’s nothing wrong with having a lack of self-trust, it might be beneficial to recognize the reasons behind it.
Have you ever done something because someone else told you to? Made decisions that weren’t entirely your own? You’re not alone.
Two sides to every coin
There are two kinds of people: Those who’ve never been taught to trust themselves, and those who somewhere along the way, have lost trust in themselves.
The first kind are the ones that have never been taught to be independent. Chances are they’ve always had parents, family or friends who modeled trust. These are the people who often run around seeking advice from people (whom they hopefully trust) about their life, relationship or career. They often let someone else – be it family or friends, make decisions for them. And I’m not talking about deciding on what to wear to a date.
Ultimately, no one is going to be responsible for your future except you. So doesn’t it sound crazy to allow someone else to make decisions for you? Every person in your life has the potential to leave you, except you. There’s no one you can completely rely on but yourself.
The second kind, the ones who’ve lost their self-trust, is where the vast majority belongs. When we repeatedly fail or give up on something, instead of beating the odds, we begin convincing ourselves that we are just a bunch of “good-for-nothings”.
When we come close to even thinking about giving up, we imagine part of our mind saying, ‘I knew it, I knew you were good for nothing, loser.”
There’s nothing wrong with having a little bit of self-doubt. Everyone feels it. But gone unchecked, it has a way of getting under your skin. It gives you crippling anxiety that tricks you into believing that you’re not good enough, or that you’re not worthy of something.
Go easy on yourself
The problem is that many of us believe that we are the worst judge of our own character. We constantly beat ourselves up for not being good enough and let our past mistakes haunt us.
But what does trusting yourself mean, exactly? And what makes it so difficult for us to trust ourselves?
Trusting yourself is not just about being aware of your thoughts and feelings; it’s about expressing them. It’s knowing when you need to care for yourself first, knowing you can get up and try again when you make a mistake, and knowing what you want without the limitations of others.
If we want to take our first step on the path to trusting ourselves, we have to 1) believe in our intuition, 2) take risks and make mistakes, and 3) forgive ourselves.
While this may not be easy, it is absolutely essential for us to learn.
The last thing we need to be doing is to stop judging ourselves based on our failures. Once we start trusting ourselves, we become less apologetic for our setbacks and less reliant on the opinions of others. We become better decision makers, because we’re only responsible for ourselves.
As clichéd as it sounds, when we trust ourselves, we find ourselves in a better place.