In the last few weeks I've written pretty extensively about the importance of having clearly defined goals and the benefits of visualizing what is required to be successful. What I want to talk about today, is what I actually consider to be the most important ingredient in any endeavor in life. That ingredient is self-trust.
Before I go in to what self trust is and how to cultivate it, I want to discuss what trust itself means. While doing research for this post I read many definitions of trust, and I absolutely fell in love with this definition form dictionary.com.
Why did I fall in love with this definition?? Well, for starters, look at the words they use, "integrity","strength" and "confidence". I think one of the most amazing things you can say about someone is that they have integrity. Second, "strength". When I think of strength, I think of physical strength, emotional strength and strength of character. Wouldn't you LOVE for someone to say any of these three things about you?
NOW I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT SOMEONE WHO YOU TRUST DEEPLY...
What qualities does this person possess? Do you know that they have integrity? Do you trust in their strengths and their abilities? I want you to consider something else. Do you trust them because they are NEVER wrong or because they always have the answer to your problems? I bet that's not it. I bet you trust them because they are there for you and they help to support you no matter what the instance, and I bet more than anything, you trust that person because they are who they say they are and they do what they say they'll do.
Now, that we've talked about what trust is, let's evaluate what self-trust is. Just like trust, it is NOT about always making the right choice or having all the answers. It also does not mean, having to do everything yourself or prove your strength. What it is though, is having faith in yourself. Faith in knowing that you can survive any situation and that you will take action on the things you have said you will do. It is also having faith in your ability to learn from the mistakes you will inevitably make. Lastly, it is having confidence in yourself, and that you will ask for help when you truly need it.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU
Like the quote above says, the relationship you have with yourself is by far the most powerful; no matter how much time you spend with your partner, parents or friends, the person you will ultimately spend the most time with in the course of your life is you. How is that NOT a powerful relationship?? The sad truth though, is that we often don't respect the relationship we have with ourselves as eagerly as we respect the relationships we have with others.
HOW TO CULTIVATE SELF-TRUST
Just like how we choose to show up for the ones we love, we must also show up for ourselves. To cultivate self-trust we must not teach ourselves that we are untrustworthy.
Step 1: Can the negativity. I know that you would NEVER tell a friend she was ugly, unintelligent, unattractive, incapable, or uncreative. So, please, if you only get one thing out of this post. STOP trash talking yourself already! Your thoughts can be a powerful thing, but you do NOT need to listen to every little insecure thought that floats by. Wish it well and then let it go. And then I want you to celebrate all the marvelous, magical, imperfect, creative, and unique qualities you possess. I want you to straight up brag to yourself, DO NOT BE HUMBLE. If you want, you can even write these things down and hang them up for a daily reminder of all the sh*t you got goin' on! (if you're shy, you can hide it on the inside of your bathroom door, or under your pillow. Whatever you gotta do...
Step 2: Respect your boundaries. If you are uncomfortable with someone or something, speak up for yourself! Despite all the Marvel movies and TV shows these days, we can not secretly read each others' minds. The only way you can insure that your boundaries are met is if you are willing to enforce them. Some people will naturally try to get you to move your hard limits, be it another glass of wine on a work night, staying out too late Sunday night or even moving too fast in a new relationship. How can you be sure that you can trust yourself if you're always going back on the things your gut is telling you that you need/want??
Step 3: Create clarity. Before you try to hold yourself to anything, ask yourself: what do I want, why do I want it, is this for me, what is motivating me, etc. Get clear on what you are after and make sure that it is genuinely for yourself.
Step 4: Hold yourself accountable. This means, following through on what you have said you will do. If you keep telling yourself that you'll start a new exercise program, learn a new language or even just write an email... and yet you don't... you are communicating with your subconscious that you can not be trusted. That you do NOT do what you say you will do and it teaches you to expect failure. YIKES. Is that really how you want to see yourself, as inevitable failure? NO!
Step 5: Have compassion. When you do mess up, forget to do something, drink too much, or eat 2 slices of cake... take a deep breath, and remember step 1. No negative self talk, no angry hateful "i knew you would mess up". Treat yourself like a friend, and help her see her way through it. Ask her why she thinks that happened. Ask her what support she is lacking and how you can be there for her next time. Take a gentle observance, set a new plan and then move on.
Step 6: Listen to your gut. Sometimes we set goals for ourselves or agree to do something and later have a gut feeling that we shouldn't do it. Too often women ignore their intuition, try to be too polite and wind up in a bad situation. The most important part of self-trust is being communicative with yourself. Do NOT be dogmatic about anything in life. If you start a new workout program and a few days in, you feel sick, do NOT push yourself, rest and recoup and start when your body is feeling right. If you agree to go on a second date, because it was too awkward to say no, but the guy was a TOTAL CREEP, figure it out, listen to your gut and say NO. Whatever it is, continuously check in with yourself to make sure you are on the right path. This is NOT an excuse to be lazy or flaky, refer back to Step 4.
Step 7: Ask for help. Like I said above, self-trust does not mean that you have to have all the answers or do everything yourself. If you are struggling, reach out, and get the help/support that you need.
Step 8: Honor your commitments to yourself with FERVER. This is similar to being held accountable. But this step is about having passion. Do the things you want for you, and do not do them begrudgingly. If things are feeling like a chore, check in with yourself. Are these your goals or are they someone else's?
It will not always be easy to have faith in yourself. I have to admit, I even struggled with self-trust this week. I worked out far less than usual, promised myself every day I would stretch before I got to my desk and for someone reason I just didn't... I had to ask myself why I was flaking on myself. I came to the realization that I was over working myself this week. I was so single minded, I just wanted to feel like I was getting closer to checking off certain goals on my vision board... ultimately though, because I kept flaking on myself, I was ignoring all the other goals on my vision board. So I decided to take note of what happened and lovingly told myself that next week I would ask for support in getting more active... and decided to be honest in this little paragraph to hold myself accountable to my behaviors and promises.
Now, comment below, and tell me how will you cultivate a better level of self-trust?
Until next time- CHASE YOUR DREAMS AND EAT SOME GREENS