Self-trust. It’s a common emotional complaint from almost every client that I work with, that when we clear the root cause, and develop some healthy habits, their life flourishes and thrives in all areas.
If you experience difficulty trusting yourself too, you are not alone. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to not be carrying some negative baggage as we all experience life through our childhood journey and develop into adults.
However, our job as adults is to examine and question our limiting beliefs and negative thinking about ourselves, our capabilities, and our ability to rely on ourselves as well as others.
First, what is self-trust? My preferred definition is the ability to take radical responsibility for ourselves and our life, trusting in our capabilities and unique expression, taking aligned action to exercise our full potential..
What does that look like?
Let’s start with a list I have created of what self trust looks like to me:
- You take radical self-responsibility for your life, your choices, and your actions, because you trust yourself to take aligned action, course correct when needed, accomplish/manifest the results you want through alignment of intuition, and the balance of effort and relaxation; you feel aligned and in flow with life-force giving energy.
- You stick to your personal standards, moral principles and live according to your core values; and by a code of integrity and honesty.
- Consistently staying true to yourself; healthy boundaries of what is 'right' for you, and what is your personal truth.
- Looking after your own needs and safety
- You treat yourself with love and compassion
- You know within yourself that you can overcome difficulties (and refuse to give up on yourself); you are dedicated to finding your way, a way that works in alignment with your values, goals, and vision for your life.
- You make the right decisions for yourself, knowing you will make mistakes along the way, but that's OK as you course correct and make even better decisions.
- You're OK with making mistakes, knowing that mistakes are part of the journey and that they are always learning opportunities.
- You have an awareness of your thoughts and feelings; and honor all your personal needs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs and commitments.
- You express yourself openly and honestly, with skilful communication that is kind, clear, and direct.
- You have clarity and confidence in your choices.
- You acknowledge and 'own' your unique talents, skills, strengths, perspectives and experiences; you know your value and what you offer to the world (and that there are people aligned with you who are willing to receive it).
- You're willing to take risks, because you trust yourself to go for your dreams; you believe in yourself to handle yourself with grace and right decisions to move forward even if/when things don't always work out the way you had hoped or expected to (and they often don't, but that's OK, because there is usually something better discovered in the process) - Growth.
So how do we lose trust in ourselves?
If you grew up with your parents or primary care-givers not providing or modeling healthy boundaries, or they regularly ‘rescued’ you to fix your problems without giving you the guidance to solve them for yourself, you may have difficulty handling responsibilities as an adult. Or worse, you become ‘over responsible’ for others, at the expense of your own needs (lacking responsibility for yourself or handing that burden onto another expecting them to take care of you like you take care of (rescue) others). This can result in you often feeling exhausted, even helpless when faced with challenges or giving up as soon as things become difficult.
If you grew up with the programming or conditioned with beliefs that life is hard, that outside ‘authority’ has dominion over you, that it’s ‘bad’ to make a mistake, or criticised for the decisions you have made, you may decide your dreams and goals are out of reach before you even take any action to achieve them. Or you will attempt to go for them, but will struggle and repeat ‘self-sabotage’ patterns until you align your internal being with empowering beliefs and personal truths that you are capable of learning new skills, and can confidently figure out your way forward, holding yourself steady no matter what life throws at you.
Another reason for not trusting yourself is an ‘echo pattern’ of shaming or punishment. Where the event or multiple experiences may have occurred in your younger years and you continue to run those ‘trauma loops’ as if they are true. The phrase, “children should be seen and not heard” is a powerful disempowering program held by many people within their subconscious. If you were routinely admonished or punished for expressing your needs to be seen, heard and felt as a child, you can be at risk of carrying guilt, shame and fear into your adulthood. These energies and thought loops drive your decision making process, and interfere with your personal success.
Where else do you learn not to trust yourself? Programming, positive and negative, happens through family, community, and society who put pressure on who you should be, rather than an emphasis on celebrating your differences and who you uniquely are. This can feel uncomfortable and frightening (even dangerous), to fully express your authentic self. So you wear a mask to act like the ‘good’ girl (or boy) to fit in.
Here’s what a lack of self-trust looks like to me:
- Blames self, others or the world for lack of results, relying on other people "doing the right thing"; expects others to let them down; expects themselves to fail; feels isolated and that no one else "gets them" while not being aware of how internally divided they are within themselves, but may feel fragmented.
- Compromises their personal standards, bends their moral principles, mis-aligned with their core values (often not aware of what they are); and betrays their own self to 'fit in' with others.
- Not knowing who they really are; blending or merging their 'self' and needs with others; poor boundaries (or lack of them).
- Deny their own needs and personal safety at the expense of others needs being met.
- They beat themselves up for not meeting unrealistic expectations of 'perfection'
- Quits on self, easily gives up, resorts to a victim mindset of "not worthy" or "not good enough."
- Often paralysed with indecision, relies on others to tell them what 'right' decision to make, often defaults their personal power to external authority.
- Fearful of making "the wrong decision" so often makes no decision at all (which is a decision in itself); afraid of "getting it wrong."
- Suffers from a lack of trusting their own needs to be met (often expecting them to be met by others while denying meeting them for themselves), second guesses their own thoughts, suppresses their feelings, denies their emotions (often having difficulty even identifying them), reactive with limiting beliefs and often breaks commitments ---- because they don't trust others, or ultimately themselves.
- Scared of not having their needs met, or from being rejected (or not approved of), they often seek passive aggressive ways to meet their needs, or use manipulation tactics; not clear, not direct, and often reaches a point of 'explosive demand' to have them met.
- Unclear about what they want, and lack confidence asserting their needs and desires, even if they do know what they want.
- Disowns or downplays their unique talents, skills, strengths, perspectives and experiences; often insecure and afraid to be criticised if they highlight them.
- Not willing to take risks, often stays contracted or 'playing it safe' in an area of life where they do trust themselves to have "OK" results; but there is always an 'urge' for 'more' bubbling away underneath their current life circumstances and activities. If a lack of self trust continues, internal conflict with different 'parts' of self that want different things, will continue to wage war, which manifests as drama, addictions, dis-ease, illness, critical self talk and talk about others, negative thinking, and self blaming. Dreams and goals barely get germinated, or left unfulfilled
When you don’t trust yourself, you end up feeling divided within yourself, which is expressed in your life juggling too many commitments, feeling like you are being pulled in a million different directions. Your decisions (if you make them) don’t always have your actions line up with what is most important to you, your core values. You feel the discord, or lack of harmony in your life, often searching for ‘the missing piece.’
The illusion is that there is something you are not ‘getting’ from ‘out there.’
This is a clue that indicates you know you need to reclaim your power, balance with inner peace and learn how to trust yourself again.
Read more... the next article “How To Trust Yourself And Unlock Your Full Potential”