Recently after one of my webinars, Fireside Chats, hosted by Natasha Koo, someone asked if I would do one on how to trust yourself? This inspired me to think about how we are confronted daily with countless decisions, choices and a variety of interactions that challenge us, and ultimately make us who we are.
Often we think in terms of who can I trust? Can I trust my boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or friend? Can I trust my family, boss, or my doctor? But trust begins within. Can I trust myself; to know that I’m making a good choice or a life changing decision , to know who deserves my trust, or to know what it is I really want.
“A man who doesn’t trust himself can never really trust anyone else.” Says, Cardinal de Retz.
When I wrote, The Incidental Guru, I realized then, that trust is an ongoing negotiation, it grows and develops over time. So, how do we learn to trust ourselves and really know when our decisions and choices are the best ones?
Learning how to trust is a natural process; it’s about being connected to ourselves and listening to our unique internal cues. In our complex, analytically-driven world, many of us have lost the ability to tune in and “hear” ourselves, to really connect with who we genuinely are. We forget the easy flow when trust is there, and get caught in the struggle when I’ts not.
Perhaps you remember when you learned how to swim. Floating came first. If we learn this before we can think, trusting water is easy. But once we can think, it seems crazy. We don’t believe water can possibly hold us. Eventually we learn the key; don’t struggle. Relax and let the water do what it does naturally; and then we float.
Inside each of us, we have unique clues. We have “gut-feelings”, internal voices, guides, dreams, and intuition. We have a store-house of experience that builds our knowledge base, increases our intuition and deepens our wisdom. These are the keys that help us know and trust ourselves. Just like learning how to float in water, we need to learn how to connect and listen.
Over time I have come to know my personal cues that reveal what my unconscious mind already knows. When I was younger, I didn’t pay attention. Now, I rely upon them to know my deepest mind. I struggle less, and flow more.
Learning trust is a negotiation with the self. It takes time.
Sit quietly while making a decision. Allow ALL your thoughts and feelings to surface, without censoring. Be MINDFUL of all that arises.
Consider your thoughts and feelings in the context of who you are. If you easily go for things, pay attention to cues of warnings, or discomfort. If you are very careful, consider fear might be tricking you to inhibit you or keep you overly safe.
Pay particular attention to any dreams during this time. They can inform you what you might not be letting yourself know consciously.
Keep a journal as you learn about own your process. Learn to distinguish which cues are adopted beliefs and which ones are your deeper truth.
This is when you really begin to know yourself, and true freedom becomes possible.