Of all the things I’ve learned in working with client and of doing this work myself, one thing that has proven it’s truth again and again, is that you must trust yourself.
Trusting yourself isn’t just important for being happy and at peace. Trusting yourself is the foundation of living an awareness centered life. It’s the key to accessing your own deep wisdom and compassion. And it’s the key to finding your place and calling in the world.
Surviving Dark Times
For a long time I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t think that I could be successful, responsible, and truly satisfied. When I look back on all the darkest moments in the near and distant past, one thing that is the same is that I didn’t trust myself.
Recently I passed through another dark time. I was worried about my business and about living a life that created meaning. I struggled through this time. I wrote about it in my blog, reached out to friends, and struggled against the weight of depression it placed on me.
Because I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t believe in my own inner wisdom or ability. Without that trust, I was lost in fear. I felt alone and powerless.
Part of the reason I stopped trusting myself is that I misunderstood what that meant. I got caught up in the external factors of trust. I got lost in other peoples approval and commitment. And I relied too heavily on the indicators of success and failure.
I forgot that deep trust doesn’t come from those places. That it comes from something much deeper. Here is what I realized:
Trusting Yourself Isn’t About Being Perfect
It can be easy to think that trusting yourself means doing everything with perfection. But what if this was the standard we applied to everyone in our lives. If perfection was our measure, we wouldn’t be able to trust anyone.
Trust isn’t about being perfect, it’s about doing our best even when we are totally screwing things up. To build trust in ourselves it’s more important to fail and keep trying then to win with little effort.
Trusting Yourself Isn’t About Doing It On Your Own
We often think of successful people as iconoclasts with amazing will power. But any deep look at success will demonstrate that the most successful people had lots of help. Being able to rely on yourself is one thing, but being able to trust that you will ask for help when you need it is better.
I’d much rather work with someone who told me they needed help, than someone who hid their difficulties until they burnt out. An honest humble partner is the best kind. So don’t expect do be able to do it all, trust in yourself is built on knowing when you need support.
Trusting Yourself Isn’t About Being Something You’re Not
Many of us have an idealized image of our most successful powerful selves. A self that does it all with ease and grace. But trusting yourself isn’t about an idealized version of yourself and success. It’s about an honest expression of your life and purpose.
I used to think that I wish I was this idealized person, until I realized that what made my work possible was the fact that I was this messy searching person. I realized that to trust myself wasn’t to trust what I could become, but to trust who I already was.
Trusting Yourself Isn’t About Doing It All
Many of us make a deal with ourselves that when we’ve got it all handled then we can relax and trust ourselves. But if you’ve ever had a mentor or boss take a chance on you, you’ll realize that trust doesn’t come from doing it all, it come from trusting in growth.
The truth is you probably can’t do it all or handle it all right now, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of trust. If you want to trust yourself you have to accept that even if you don’t get it all down, what you do get done will be enough. And that you what you learn will help you grow into who you need to be.
A Passionate Plea For Trusting Yourself
Please, please, please trust yourself. There are few other things you can do that will have a bigger impact on your life. If you trust yourself you are willing to take risks, you are willing to fail, and you are willing to be brave. Not because everything will work out perfectly. But because you trust that where the path leads you, is where you need to go.