Trusting Yourself

I was talking to a new mindset client yesterday, and she was explaining that she often has periods of self doubt so extreme that she feels that she’s sabotaging the things in her life which she values most – her relationships, her health, her goals.

I could empathise, and I’m sure you can too. You’re re-starting your diet. You’ve re-joined the gym. It’s going to work out this time. This time, it will be different. 

But a couple of weeks into your new regime, and you start to falter. You fall into old, hard to break habits. You’re Off The Wagon.

When you’ve struggled to maintain a new behaviour in the past, and perhaps given up on your goal, it can make it difficult to believe that this is something you can achieve. Self trust is easy to damage if you feel as though you’ve failed before. The choices you’ve made may not have given you results you want and this can sometimes cause an erosion of self trust. You’ve made choices which contradict the outcome you want.  The desire to make any changes in your life, and being unable to do so at that time under the circumstances you faced at that time can cause blame, and self doubt. 

Self trust can be damaged if you feel like you’ve let yourself down and this can leave emotional scarring. Losing trust in your judgement, or in your abilities. If you then revisit these episodes, and beat yourself up over past mistakes, the effect of the original hurt is compounded – you double down on the damage you’ve done to yourself emotionally. 

So, how can we repair self trust?

  • Start by looking inward, and finding something trustworthy about yourself.
  • Look back on your memories; become aware of those things you’ve accomplished and ways that you’ve made a contribution to the people around you and the situations you’ve been in.
  • Think about the challenges you’ve overcome – or bad choices that you’ve avoided making. 

In this moment of self reflection, you can trust that you’ve found your way to making this examination at all. This personal inventory shows a desire to have self trust, even if you’ve not been able to think of many examples of times when you’ve demonstrated that in the past. You can trust that in this instance of self reflection you’ve been able to make the initial, important effort of acknowledging that you’re ready to take the first steps in cultivating self trust – and that’s cause for celebration, because all positive behaviours begin from this deliberate decision to try.

Once you begin to trust yourself, you will also feel these ripples extending to those around you. Your relationships will have less friction, less doubt, more trust and openness. Like so many qualities we desire in others, we must start by finding them in ourselves. 

“Not yet”

“Not yet” is the largest enemy of change. It’s a lie we tell ourselves about why we should wait until Monday to start our diets. Why we’ll wait until January to join the gym. Why we’ll wait until retirement to book that once in a lifetime trip. Why we wait to approach that special human that could be our friend, our partner, our investor. 

“Not yet” is the safest and easiest way to forestall change and gives the status quo in your life a chance to deepen its roots. The status quo is whatever you’re trying to get away from. The current aspects of your life that could use an overhaul. The smoking. The bottle of wine at night. The relationship that no longer makes you happy – all the things that need to change, but change is scary. The status quo feels easier.

“Not yet” is a chance for poor behaviours to continue not to serve you. It’s a chance for habits to become even more ingrained and harder to break down the road. A bigger problem to solve – a 40 a day habit, instead of 10. A bottle of gin on a Wednesday afternoon instead of a glass of wine on a Saturday evening. A resentful old age with someone who you fell out of love with years ago.

Change doesn’t fail because it’s too early, but almost always because it’s too late, because the right time might never come. “Not today” becomes not any day. And the discomfort you felt from making changes could be long gone by now. 

Thinking that “it’s not the right time” is a mistake in making lasting change in your life; your life – the one where you get one shot at happiness. One lifetime to tell your humans you love them. One lifetime to be able to look in the mirror and think that you did your best by you and yours. 

“Not today” isn’t you any more. “Not today” is fear talking. All it takes is 5 seconds of courage. Fill out the form below if you’re ready to make a change.