This is my second post for The Declaration of You BlogLovin’ Tour (scroll to the bottom of this post to find out more). This is the final week of the tour, and the topic is Trust.
I used to think I couldn’t trust others and I couldn’t trust life. It took me a long time to see the turnaround: It was me I thought I couldn’t trust. Once I saw this, I wanted to really know what it meant to trust myself. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
1) Trusting myself means that I allow myself to experiment, to stretch, to make mistakes.
I first encountered the idea of trusting myself when I discovered the writing of Geneen Roth in my early twenties. I was a chronic dieter at the time, and Geneen’s concept of trusting myself to know when I was hungry and to stop eating when I was full was a radical thing to me.
When I first tried it, the perfectionist in me wanted to “do this trusting myself thing right.” I thought if I made a mistake, it was proof I couldn’t trust myself.
It took me a few years before I’d integrated the truth that trusting myself is about the way I relate to myself when things don’t go as I want them to — it is about the way I relate to myself, period. It has nothing to do with being “good” or “right” or even wise. It is a way of living in the world. It is a choice.
2) Self-trust is intimately linked to self-acceptance.
If I’m judging myself, you can bet I am not in a place of self-trust. In fact, I’ve found that my intuition will “hide out” when I’m judging myself harshly. Intuition is fierce, but it’s often quiet and subtle in how it comes to us.
My cat usually disappears when someone who speaks loudly and has heavy footsteps enters the house. Intuition is similar — it tends to hide out in the closet when my inner critic starts raging. It’s not that intuition is afraid of the inner critic (intuition fears nothing; it simply is). It’s more that intuition (like my cat) has a very low tolerance for drama. So it goes silent and seems to disappear when that harsh voice within me goes on a rampage.
I can always reconnect with my intuition, though. I just need to get quiet again. Intuition never fails to show up when I’m in a place of peace. And the more deeply I can accept myself, the more peaceful I feel.
3) Trusting myself means having faith that my intuition is there for a reason, and taking the risk to follow it.
It’s the process of acting on my intuition that makes me feel alive, not the outcome, which will never be completely within my control, and which, I’ve found, I often cannot accurately predict.
The more I trust myself to take action on my intuition, the better I get at it, because I create more and more evidence for the fact that it feels good and right and empowering when I trust myself. It’s like strengthening a muscle. (You may not be sure you have the “self-trust” muscle if you haven’t used it a lot — but you do. Trust me.)
4) No one else’s truth is a substitute for my own.
The best help from others is guidance that points me back to my own inner compass, and reminds me how important it is.
It’s good — and often necessary — to gather information and receive advice from others, especially those who’ve been where we are. But at some point, we need to sift through this guidance, integrate it, and check inside ourselves for what feels right for us.
How do we know it’s time to stop going to outside sources? When the information we’re getting is creating more confusion, not contributing to clarity.
5) “Trusting myself” is a belief system.
There are no guarantees of what the outcome will be if I trust myself.
I may trust myself, take action from that place, and find that things happen in a way I couldn’t have predicted.
I’d love to tell you that the way they happen is always better than I could ever have imagined — but while that is sometimes true, it doesn’t always feel like that. Sometimes, I trust myself and things don’t turn out the way I’d like them to — and I don’t understand why things happened the way they did until years later, if at all.
But regardless of outcome, it’s a heck of a lot easier for me to make decisions — and to live with them — when I operate from a platform of self-trust. It comes down to how I want to live: From a space of doubting myself, or from that solid foundation of knowing I’m worthy of my own trust.
I know this: It feels better to trust myself, and to act on that trust, than it does to spin my wheels in the sticky mud of indecision, doubt, and fear.
What have you learned about trust? I’d love to know — feel free to share, in the comments!
The Declaration of You, published by North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do. This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.