When I was in high school, one of my classmates had this kind of unstoppable confidence. No matter how badly he messed up on his exams or how many questions he got wrong in class, he just kept sailing along as if nothing bad had happened. This would continually astound me. In contrast, I was raised to aim for perfection in everything I did. It was kind of an unspoken requirement in my family for being an upstanding and acceptable member of society.
Fast forward twenty years to my adulthood. I have finally come to realize that striving for perfection is fine, as long as it does not sabotage my ability to trust myself. After all self-trust is key to the kind of personal power that is critical to earning the respect of others and creating personal and professional success.
Here are 5 of my “secrets” to developing the kind of self-trust that powers your success:
1) Own your doubt. Yes, I realize this is completely counter-intuitive. Why would you want to own your doubt? Doubt is the doorway to opening to new ideas and thinking “out of the box.” People who truly trust themselves are not threatened by doubt. They realize they don’t know everything and that life is about learning. Resisting doubt by “positive mind power” instead of simply owning it can make the difference between being a “know-it-all” who doesn’t know it all and a curious smart person who is open to learning. Which leads us to:
2) Trust your gut feelings. OK, I’ll admit it, this takes some practice. Not all feelings can be trusted to lead us in the right direction. So how do you trust your feelings in a in a way that doesn’t take you down some crazy Bacchanalian 2-year-old-child “I want it now!” road that leads to hell? You tune into your emotional/body/life energy. In a nutshell, what feels like flowing with the bigger river (and not pushing it) is the way you want to go. Of course, it may feel like neither, and instead like you are simply hitting a terrifying blank wall. Which leads us to cardinal rule #3:
3)Wait to take action if you are terrified. Yes, I know confident people are supposed to push themselves out of their comfort zones all the time and just keep going no matter how afraid they actually feel inside. This is certainly an option, but in my experience when fear rears it’s ugly head the prudent thing is to simply wait and see what comes into your awareness. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to do some emotional clearing, energy work, tapping,etc. to release the fear and help you gain some clarity. (Download my free clearing tool here.)
You may be familiar with the old acronym–“F.E.A.R.: false evidence appearing real”. Bottom line: sometimes the evidence is real and is actually our intuition giving us a big “Stop” sign. Powering our way through it can sometimes lead to a head-on collision or equally miserable, impostor syndrome.
4) Take the simple route. Einstein once said, “God always takes the simplest way.” If things are seeming too complicated and you feel like you are over-analyzing, you most probably are. Ask yourself, if I wasn’t analyzing this so much, what would be the simplest and most elegant way forward here? Again, this is something that takes some practice to do in the moment because it is tuning into creative flow which is not mental or intellectual, it is a feeling state. (Most of us have had this sense over-educated out of us until our thinking mind comes to predominate all our senses in an imbalanced way.)
5) Above all, be compassionate with yourself. Self-trust begins with self-honoring, respecting one’s inner needs and voice and letting them guide your in-the-moment decision making. This starts with knowing deep inside –emotionally, not just intellectually–that you deserve to honor what you really need…and you don’t have to be a genius, workaholic, or people-pleaser to everyone to get it. If you are able to do just this one thing all the time, you will have gained the respect of many people, not least of whom is yourself.
So that’s it, my 5 secrets for developing self-trust. I hope you found these tips helpful. What is your secret to self-trust? I would love to hear about it. Please leave your comments below.