How to Start Trusting Yourself
A hard truth is that you cannot trust others until you learn to trust yourself.
But trusting others is what most of us worry about. You worry that your partner will lie or a friend will gossip behind your back. Trusting others requires a faith in what you cannot control. No one can prove that they are trustworthy 100%. It's up to you to decide.
Trusting yourself means learning how to honor your own experience. There is an old belief that says children should be seen and not heard. Hearing this makes a child discount their perceptions. So if something feels off to you, pay attention to it. It’s likely your intuitive voice inside that is trying to get you to pay attention!
Learning how to trust yourself takes practice. Trusting others becomes less important because ultimately, when you trust yourself, you'll know what to do in any situation.
Why You Don’t Trust
When you don't trust someone else it's because:
Something in your current relationship is causing you not to trust.
Something in your past relationships is impacting your ability to trust.
Something within you doesn’t feel trustworthy.
You've been friends with Katie for years but for some reason you don't really trust her. You ignore it and decide to tell her something really private. She ends up betraying you.
Your fears are confirmed, you knew it. Looking back you remembered that she tends to gossip but since she's been your friend for awhile, you choose to ignore it.
There are always reasons why you don't trust. The fear of being hurt, betrayed or abandoned are the most common ones. These fears usually stem from past experiences where you learned not to trust yourself or others.
In order to trust others you must learn how to trust yourself.
Practice Listening to that Inner Voice
The first step in developing trust is to pay attention to what that inner voice is telling you - even if you can't find evidence to support it.
When the ability to trust gets damaged from past hurts, trusting yourself will take more time.
People hurt each other, intentionally and unintentionally everyday. Whether you try to please others or avoid getting too close to people - you can't avoid it.
Hurt people hurt people and it’s the risk we take for being in relationships.
What does trust look like?
It may be a gut feeling, an inner voice indicating right action, or in some cases, no action. Some people call it intuition.
It’s a gut feeling in your stomach that may or may not be familiar. Don't dismiss it or call yourself crazy. We all have that inner voice but whether or not we choose to listen to it is what matters most.
If something looks right but feels wrong, it's fear. If it looks wrong but feels right it's intuition.
Pay close attention to any sensation in your body telling you that something's up. With practice, you will learn how to trust it when those feelings surface.
Ways to Practice Trust
Here are some simple ways to develop trust within yourself:
Try journal writing to practice honoring your own experience.
Join a support group that teaches relationship and self-esteem skills (Al-Anon is my fav)
Pay attention to that inner voice even if it doesn’t make sense (it will eventually)
Once you start listening your intuition, you will come to rely on it for guidance. In relationships, you'll start to recognize what right action feels like. You can begin setting healthy boundaries and make better choices. Use it to improve who you decide to be in relationship with.
With practice, you will know when something isn't right and you won't ignore it.
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