We so often do not feel safe in this world. We perceive threats coming from every direction.
The news media, like our brains, has a negativity bias, expanding our perception of threats in a myriad of forms. And even more devastatingly, we often don’t feel safe in our community or in our personal relationships.
And so, we are hyper-alert in the moment and anxious about the future, usually about things that may or may not happen or be true. Life can feel very scary.
But here’s a basic truth: fear and mistrust of others, the world and life itself are rooted in a lack of self-trust.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you are more likely to invest in people who are untrustworthy and situations that are problematic.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you see threats around every corner. You’ve abrogated your ability to discern and distinguish what’s true from what’s not true.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you have little belief in your own self-worth. Therefore, you will waver when danger signals do arise, because you ignore the warning of your small inner voice.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you overlook your good qualities and you ignore or minimize the times you have acted wisely and made good decisions.
♦When you don’t trust yourself, you are more vulnerable to what others think, say or do, believing that their words, their actions toward you and their opinions about you, others and the world are valid, especially when they are hurtful or frightening.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you have little to no faith in yourself to take protective action on your own behalf when it is required.
♦♦When you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust much that is outside of you either, especially when circumstances are beyond your control. For example, you have little faith or trust that Life or Goodness can deliver what is in your and others’ highest good.
The good news, however, is that self-trust can be built. But it is a process. Here are some self-trust keys and suggestions to help you on your way.
Self-Forgiveness and self-trust go hand in hand. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes, the times when you’ve failed in some way. Begin to see them as learning experiences, because, like it or not, it is through making mistakes that we tend to learn. So, close the door on the past, but stay open to the lesson.
Self-trust requires that you place your needs before those of others. Draw a line in the sand. Make a commitment to put yourself and your legitimate needs first as opposed to those of others. Your only obligation is to act in your own highest good. Know what that is and make a stand for it.
Self-trusting people have a balanced view of themselves, others and the world. Decide that you will see not just your errors, but the many ways your decisions and actions have been wise, kind and loving. Notice what is good in others and in the world. Take it in, appreciate it.
When you trust yourself, your intuition is your guide. Learn to recognize that quiet inner voice in your body. Pay attention to it. Respect it. This your wisdom, your place of truth. It will guide you to your True North. It will tell you when something (a situation, opportunity or a relationship) is okay or not okay for you.
A healthy sense of self-worth is essential to building self-trust. Accept, despite your conditioning and that loud critical voice in your head, that you are worthy of life’s bounty and goodness. Accept it on principle even if you don’t entirely believe it. With this principle in place, it will make it less likely that you will settle for less than you are worth.
Self-trusting people filter others’ words and behavior. Learn to filter what others say or do, whether it’s the media or people you know. In other words, don’t accept that every negative thing that someone else says about you, others or the world is true. Decide that you are the best arbiter of truth in your life and that you will make a stand for that.
When you trust yourself, you can better deal with disappointments and setbacks. Learn to put your disappointments and setbacks into perspective, because disappointments and setbacks will happen. Notice not just what you did wrong, but also what you did right. And try to see the larger picture. You’ll then more readily be able to harvest learning from the experience and try once again. Remember, it’s progress, not perfection.
Self-trusting people also trust Life to deliver what they need. Sometimes you just need to ‘let go and let good’. You can’t control, shape or determine every circumstance and outcome, so letting go is often the most loving and wise thing you can do for yourself and others. And sometimes, the most wonderful things happen when you do nothing.