Learning to Trust Yourself
When asked, “Do you trust yourself?’”, most people answer yes without really reflecting on it first. I think we all want to trust ourselves but honestly, what does it actually mean to trust yourself?
Dr. Gabor Mate talks about two basics needs that all humans have; attachment (the need to belong) and authenticity (the need to trust oneself). We need to belong because we can’t survive in the world without other humans. For example, as infants we needed others to feed us, hold us, etc.
We also need to trust ourselves or we will struggle to survive. For example, in caveman days when we were out gathering food we needed to tune into ourselves and trust our inner knowing to know if there was danger or not. We needed to know and trust your abilities. If not it might cost us our lives. Fast forward to present day and this might be translated into choosing the right partner or community. When we know ourselves and trust ourselves we choose a great partner.
Here is the thing, most of us gave up our authenticity in order to belong. We became what others expected us to be and stopped trusting ourselves. Ultimately we abandoned ourselves and we have continued to do it over and over again. Until the day we realize what we are doing and start to let go of our conditioning to reconnect with our authentic self. We begin the journey home to ourselves.
How do you start trusting yourself again?
It starts with Awareness and Acceptance that you have not been trusting yourself…that you have been betraying and abandoning yourself. This realization is often going to come with a lot of emotion. We need to create a safe container for that emotion to come out.
Now I want you to imagine you have a friend you want to trust, what would you need from them to trust them?
You would need to feel safe with them and know they have your back. Safe to feel your emotions, safe to be who you are even when you are messy, and know that they are reliable and will be there for you. I think Brene Brown spells out trust beautifully in seven parts: Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgment and Generosity. (Braving)
In order to trust yourself you need to give yourself the same things that you would need a trusting friend to give you.
You need to…
- Create safety for your emotions. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions without judging yourself…so the emotions release AND giving yourself what you need. That might mean a hug, soothing, respect, love, etc.
- Know and hold your boundaries — Not abandon them when others push against them.
- Be reliable with yourself — Show up for yourself.
- Hold yourself accountable — Do what you say you are going to do for yourself. And when you don’t, take responsibility for it, learn and grow from it.
- Keep things in the vault — Share only with those who you trust and feel safe with.
- Stay in integrity with yourself — Be honest…the truth sets you free, especially with yourself.
- Don’t judge yourself. If a friend judged you, would you feel safe around them? No! So, don’t judge yourself.
- Be generous with yourself. As you navigate through the work of trusting yourself be kind and remember your intentions are good.
Remember this is a journey of trusting yourself. Don’t expect this to magically happen over night. It is peeling back all the layers of where you decided to be someone you are not. And trust me you will still belong…the circle might be different compared to when you started but you will still belong, especially to yourself.
Much Love & Light,