Do You Trust Yourself?
If you’re not sure, here are a few quick questions to think about:
- Do you listen and act upon your inner voice?
- Are you regularly swayed by other people’s opinions?
- Do you trust and act on your intuition?
- If you make a mistake – do you beat yourself up and keep thinking about it over and over again?
- or do you learn the lessons and move on?
- Do you feel that you normally know the right thing to do or do you find yourself wondering why you always seem to get it wrong?
- Do you ever think you’re not good enough to do something or do you normally feel that you have the confidence to try?
- Do you ever let fear of failure or fear of success stop you trying something new?
After you’ve answered these questions for yourself, let me ask you again… Do you trust yourself?
When we trust ourselves, we live in our power but when we don’t, we relinquish our power to other people, so after answering the questions above, if you feel that you don’t trust yourself, then it’s definitely time to claim back your power and learn to start trusting yourself again.
We often begin to relinquish our power to other people when we’re children and we feel that we have no choice.
Let me give you a personal example…
I learned at an early age, that saying “no” to my mum wasn’t a good thing. One of my jobs when I was about 6 or 7, was to clean the bathroom and mum would praise me when the job was complete. However, I remember an occasion when she asked me to clean the bathroom and I desperately wanted to do something else.
I said “No”…
I can still recall the look on my mum’s face and the tone of her voice and the ensuing silence! It was the last time I said ‘no’ to her for a very long time. I learned that saying “no” resulted in my mum’s displeasure and living in a silent world for several days – which wasn’t pleasant! As a result, I became a people pleaser, doing things because I felt I had to or I should, rather than because I really wanted to.
In my jobs, I became recognised as a person who would ‘get things done’ as I rarely said ‘no’. I began to work longer and longer hours, always available to help other people, even if it meant I would have to work through the night to meet my own deadlines etc.
This isn’t uncommon and over the years, we sometimes give in to what society, parents, family, teachers, friends etc. expect of us and we do the things we feel we should do, rather than the things we’d like to do and we forget to listen to our inner voice and to trust our gut instinct. Sometimes, we may even begin to live our life in accordance with other people’s values, even when it makes us feel very uncomfortable.
When we learn to trust ourselves, we are able to say ‘no’ to the things that make us feel uncomfortable or we don’t want to do and we can also say ‘yes’ to the things we enjoy and that we really want to do. We can pursue our dreams and follow the path we choose for the right reasons.
I have a sign on the wall in my Brilliance Within Hut (my garden retreat/office), which serves to remind me to listen to my inner voice.
Is it time to start listening more carefully to your inner voice?
When we spend years ignoring our heart’s messages, it can be difficult to hear the whispering voice inside and it takes self-confidence to start listening and acting upon what we hear.
When we work on developing our self-confidence, we learn to depend on ourselves and our own judgment. We start making decisions for ourselves rather than for other people and we develop the confidence to say “No”…
We’re often told that ‘nothing worth having comes easily’ and therefore we learn to expect to struggle through life. When we feel like we’re struggling, we need to ask ourselves why and notice whether what we’re trying to achieve is really what we want or maybe it’s a clue from our inner voice…
On the other hand, when we’re passionate about something, it’s usually something we really want and often what we’re good at. Whilst we may still work hard to achieve it, it doesn’t feel like a struggle and we enjoy completing the necessary tasks, even when they’re hard. Maybe this is another clue and your heart is whispering a message for you to listen to?
Can you see that there’s a difference between struggling through life, to do things that we feel we have to do and working hard to achieve something we’re passionate about?
When we feel passionate about something, we’re much more likely to achieve a great result, which then builds our self-confidence and yet when we’re constantly struggling to do something, we often fail to achieve a positive outcome and end up feeling that we’ve failed, which zaps our self-confidence.
If you feel you lack self-confidence, you may want to refer to my 6-part Confidence series. Here’s a link to part 1: Confidence – Is It Simply A Choice? Part 1
Learn to trust your judgment
There really is no right or wrong answer. You may want to listen to other people’s view about something so that you can look at a problem or an issue from a variety of perspectives. However, once you’ve considered the various opinions, listen to yourself and make a judgment based on what feels right for you.
I know there’ve been times when I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion about something or someone because I didn’t listen to other people’s opinions, so considering a variety of perspectives, helps us to be more open-minded about alternative options that we may not be aware of.
However, once we’ve opened our mind to all the options, we need to trust ourselves to make the choice that feels most comfortable for us i.e. we need to trust our own judgment!
We can listen to others and gain greater perspective in order to make our own decision!
Take a risk
Sometimes we simply have to take that leap of faith.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to do something and yet being so worried about making a mistake that you don’t do anything?
The truth is, you may never have all the information to know whether what you want to do will be the right thing. If we wait for ALL the answers, we might be missing out on lots of amazing opportunities. Sometimes we simply have to listen to our inner voice that’s telling us something feels right and then take a leap of faith.
When we wait for the ‘perfect’ time, we may never find it. Sometimes we have to jump in, take a risk and move forward with our life, rather than staying stuck in the mud. If we never take risks in our life, we’d never create an opportunity to learn.
Imagine if you’d stayed clinging to the edge of the chair when you were a toddler and hadn’t taken the leap of faith to let go and to TRUST that you’d be able to walk. Maybe you fell over a few times while you were learning, but it didn’t stop you getting back up and trying again did it?
It’s time to remind yourself of all the times you took a leap of faith and it worked out for you.
Even the occasions when we took a risk and it didn’t work out, it still presented an opportunity to learn something about life or about ourselves – what did you learn and how can you use that learning to move your forward?
No matter what you decide to do and the actions you choose to take, you have to take responsibility for the outcome. When we relinquish responsibility for either the good things or the bad things in our life, we are giving away power over our lives to other people.
When we take responsibility, regardless of the outcome, we create an opportunity to learn how to improve our decisions in the future.
Be honest with yourself and others
Know what your values are – what’s important to you and live life in harmony with your values. Have faith in yourself and trust that your values are right for you. When you feel your values are being breached, you’ll feel uncomfortable – this is the reminder to speak up and be honest with yourself and others.
We often fight against our feelings, when really they are our Satellite Navigation system. When we listen to our feelings and trust them to lead us in the right direction, invariably we’ll be guided correctly. Instead of turning the volume down on what our feelings and our inner voice is telling us, try turning the volume up and really listening to the messages you’re being given and trust that they are the right ones!