I by no means am an expert in building trust in myself; it’s a forever journey that takes constant reminders and discipline, but I wanted to write a bit about this topic because I only now am realizing the difference it can make when we do. I’d argue it’s one of our biggest road blocks in life. It’s rarely outside interference keeping us from our dreams and ambitions; usually it’s our own internal insecurities and dialogue around them. We search for all the answers outside our selves, assuming others will have the answers. Who are we to have the answer? Well… when you build trust in yourself, you’re actually the perfect person with the perfect answer.
Some examples I’ve begun to notice of how I breed distrust in myself: I’ll look at my daily to-do’s and become anxious that I won’t get all of them done (or know how to do them at all), and instead do everything BUT the things I’m stressing over, which only makes me more stressed about them. When I eat something I normally wouldn’t because I know it won’t make me feel well, but then do it anyway. When I don’t drink enough water. When I search for an answer to something that deep down I already know, or when I look for concrete instructions from someone else on how to accomplish something, knowing full well I can figure it out.
The list can go on and on, but I think you get the point. When we plan to do something or make a promise to ourselves, and then break that promise, we are engraining within us the idea that we cannot be trusted. We suddenly think that if we can’t even accomplish our daily tasks that we set for ourselves, then we’re probably not going to be able to reach all the other goals we dream about. We tell ourselves that everyone must know better than us, so what they have to say must be more valuable. But that’s not true! And, the more disappointment we feel towards ourselves over eating a damn breadstick or buying a wayyy too expensive online course that claims it will teach you everything you need to know, we’re only digging the hole of distrust deeper. So, because we are perfectly, imperfect humans, and we’re bound to fall short of the wildly high expectations we set for ourselves at some point, here’s a couple things to do instead, that will help you continue building trust in yourself:
- Start small. If your to-do list is causing you anxiety, it’s probably too long or you haven’t broken it down into actionable steps yet. Don’t give yourself 10 things to do in a day that actually are more like 50 when broken into steps. When we focus on actionable items and set a reasonable amount of them for ourselves, we can approach the day with more purpose and confidence which will help us get it all done.
- Take it step-by-step. Try not to obsess over the big picture and how this one little action is going to forever impact it. Newsflash: it won’t. It’s just another step within the many steps that will form the big picture later on; find some perspective and comfort in that. Just focus on the next thing you can do that better aligns with where you want to go, and go do that. Then, do it again. Expect to mess up sometimes- it’d be weird if you didn’t and we ALL do.
- Remember that this is your journey, not anyone else’s. Yes, it’s definitely helpful to learn from others and apply those lessons to our paths, but it becomes the exact opposite when we try to duplicate what someone else has done in hopes of getting the exact same results. It’s impossible to duplicate someone else’s journey, and trying to only takes away from the magic of your own.
For me personally in my daily life, these steps take place in many ways. When I look at my to-do list and break it down into more actionable steps and give myself a timeline, I feel more ready to take it on, which means I actually do. When I do inevitably eat dairy or gluten or copious amounts of sugar from time to time, instead of shaming myself and feeling bad about it, I think about my next meal and how much I’ll enjoy and appreciate something more nutritious. When I realize I’ve gone all day with barely any water, I focus on the next actionable step and drink a glass right then and there. Instead of ruminating on the missed opportunities, I focus on what I can do about it now.
Same thing when I’m feeling insecure or unsure of my next move/purpose in life; instead of always looking to others for advice, I also take the time to look inward and think about my own journey. I take note of how far I’ve come and all that I’ve been able to accomplish. No, I may not be where I dream of being yet, but I am exactly where the me a few years ago dreamed of. Taking stock of your journey and reminding yourself of all you really are capable of, will help diminish insecurities and build trust in the fact that you are capable of so much more than you think.
Trusting yourself feels good, and the more trust we instill in ourselves, the better we feel and the better we do. But this doesn’t mean that at times we might veer off course, and who’s to say that doing so isn’t part of the course? Without the lows, there’d be no highs. We wouldn’t appreciate what it feels like to really trust ourselves to make the right choices, and what it feels like to actually make those choices, if we never did the opposite. Just break it down, take it one step at a time, trust your journey, and more importantly: trust yourself. You have everything you need to get where you’re going.
What other tips do you have for building trust in yourself? Would love to hear from you!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Importance Of Trusting Yourself, And What To Do In Moments Of Self Doubt.