When did I lose trust in myself?
When did I stop trusting my own desires, intuition, decisions and opinion? I do not know, but it certainly seems like a very long time ago.
As a young child we do not have a sense of trusting ourselves, we just went about being a child. Nothing was complicated, we ate, we played, we slept.
In our adolescent years we get a tremendous amount of input and influence on everything from parents, peers, society and teachers. What is cool? What is not cool? What is right and what is wrong? What is important, what is not? What equals success and how that should look?
As young adults, we find it hard to separate the idea of what we want vs what we should be doing based on the input of others.
If you want to catch up, you can access previous posts below:
Back in the Saddle
Inside out – the path to change (Part 1)
Rescue Yourself (Part 2)
Nothing Changes until YOU Do (Part 3)
Your Level of Emotional Fitness is the Key to, well, Everything! (Part 4)
Calm Mind = Calm Life (Part 5)
Real Responsibility (Part 6)
When did I stop looking inside myself for fulfillment, joy and meaning? Probably around the age of 17, I would guess.
All I know is that most of my decisions in life have been based on what others thought was good for me. Or the conventional wisdom of what represented success at the time. Most of these thoughts, inputs and advice were based on great intentions, but they were not my intentions.
What do you want to study in college Tim? My dad (a great dad) thought accounting and business was the way to go, every business needed someone to count the money. So, I got a degree in accounting. Not sure I even second guessed this for one minute. It seemed like the path to being secure.
First job – Fixed Asset Accountant for a Savings and Loan in 1987. Bored out of my mind in 30 days.
I can say this in hindsight. Hindsight and reflection are great, but at the time, well it just seemed like the right thing to do because that is what you were taught to do. And if anything, I was obedient.
Develop Trust in Yourself
The experience of that first job, left me chasing joy, happiness, meaning and fulfillment outside of myself. Looking for something to quench my thirst for meaning and adventure. The next degree, next job, next promotion, next fishing trip, the next whatever.
It left me feeling hollow and at times very lonely and angry. (Not sure I could have described it that way 8 months ago, but that is what I have come to believe and feel)
The greatest gift you can give yourself is to develop self trust:
Trust your deep desires are good.
Trust pursuing your dreams are your birthright.
Trust you can figure out anything you need.
Trust there are tremendous resources available to help you along your journey.
Trust you have the strength and courage to endure the difficult times, because there will be difficult times.
Trust your intuition.
Trust your opinion.
Trust your gut.
Trust that pursuing your desires will always lead to something good and likely great.
This is not permission to ignore your common sense or what you know is true.
But it is permission to start paying attention to your internal desires, emotions, thoughts and attitudes as you create the life you want to live.
Ultimately it is up to you, your own internal trust in what is not only good for you, but also what makes you come alive, pursue your deepest desires and live intentionally towards that end.
How do you develop more self trust?
o Get more present with what is going on now, this very moment.
o Trust your opinion more than the opinion of others. You know what is best for you.
o Write down all the things you like about yourself and only those things.
o Cultivate a practice of taking care of yourself. If you are not taking care of yourself, what else is more important than that?
o Pay attention to what your body is telling you physically.
o Practice more gratitude towards yourself. I am grateful for my natural talents (name them)
o Ask others what your strengths are and appreciate those.
o Document and celebrate the times where a decision you made turned out great.
o Trust that decisions that turned out bad, were learning experiences, not a reason to beat yourself up.
o Spend time with and increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings, and less with the doing aspect of life.
Final Thoughts on Trusting Yourself
Your self-trust is directly related to your ability to cultivate self-awareness.
Slow down. Pay attention to you. Listen.
The answer to your uncertainty and doubt comes from within. It is written there.
Will you trust it?
I found this poem that sums this up perfectly – see it here.
Final Post of series coming up – Free Will and Choice