Let’s face it: We all have trust issues, don’t we?
We’ve all been betrayed, had our hearts broken or our presence taken for granted. Those are experiences that are doubtlessly painful, but the biggest and most destructive betrayal of trust is the one we do to ourselves.
Maybe we don’t believe that we have what it takes to thrive in this world. Maybe we’re faking it, pretending to be confident and happy. But deep down, there’s this nagging feeling that we’re not worthy of a raise, a fulfilling partnership or a healthier body.
If you struggle with similar feelings of self-doubt, here are a few tools that can help you learn how to trust yourself.
1. Write down your achievements
This is one of my favorite exercises, and I still do it whenever I feel scared or unworthy. Sit down and think about all of the achievements you’ve had in your life. List everything, from learning to walk to graduating high school to even posting on Facebook.
I don’t know of a better way to build self-confidence and trust than coming up with pages upon pages of accomplishments that you have achieved.
2. Be brutally honest with yourself
Being honest with yourself and thereby letting yourself be vulnerable and experience fear is one of the major steps in developing self-worth. As humans, we all experience fear and worry, and there’s no shame in that. By lying to yourself and pretending you’re “just fine,” you’ll ultimately end up mistrusting your emotions, your abilities and yourself more and more.
So, if you’re afraid of your first day at your new job, be afraid. If you’re fearful of letting yourself go in your new relationship, be fearful. If you’re worried about not making ends meet, let yourself be worried. Don’t dwell in your fear for too long, though. Just acknowledge it, feel it, and move on.
3. Take small steps
Give yourself small opportunities to show yourself that you are worthy of your own trust. Take a short trip on your own and see that you’ll find your way without depending on someone else. Speak up in a meeting or say no to a friend. Set yourself up for success by choosing to work out three times a week instead of seven, or eating healthfully 80 percent of the time instead of 100. Try to deal with a difficult situation by yourself first instead of instantly calling for help.
Each time you accomplish these feats, acknowledge your success and that you can indeed count on yourself.
In the end, trusting yourself is an ongoing process and it requires you to step into the space of constant learning, leaping and often expanding your comfort zone. The more often you leap, the more powerful your trust muscle will become.
Do you double-dip at summer parties?
How much does your weight fluctuate in a year?