You know that little voice you hear in your mind, urging you to do something or not to do something? You know that discomfort you feel in your stomach or your arms or legs when you make a choice that may not fit? That’s you reminding yourself to be cautious, to take care. That’s your path for learning how to trust yourself.
Learning how to trust yourself takes a deep understanding of how your own trust functions. For some people, they trust people blindly and forgive easily, for others, they trust someone after the person proves themselves. Others don’t trust anyone, and still others only trust themselves.
When we think about trusting ourselves, you might be saying, “I have screwed up so many times, I could never trust myself.” This kind of attitude can lead to codependency on others. The best definition of Codependency is this:
Codependency refers to a mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual reliance on a partner, friend, or family member. Codependency is a circular relationship in which one person needs the other person, who in turn, needs to be needed. The codependent person, known as ‘the giver,’ feels worthless unless they are needed by — and making sacrifices for — the enabler, otherwise known as ‘the taker.What is Codependency – By Wendy Rose Gould on VeryWellMind
The best way to end the cycle of codependency is to learning how to trust yourself and not depend on someone else to tell you what choice is best for your life.
The Plan: Learning How to Trust Yourself
The first step in learning how to trust yourself is to identify where in your life you have not been trusting yourself. Identify what you did rather than to trust your own knowledge.
Take out your journal or open a blank text file on your computer.
- Write the date at the top
- Write the quote I am sharing below
- Write down a situation that you have turned to your friends/family/spouse for in the past
- Write down what you wanted to do in this situation
- Write down whether you did what you wanted to do or did what someone else told you to do
- Answer these questions:
- How did the situation make you feel?
- Do you think you would have felt better if you took your own advice? or if you took someone else’s advice?
- Write down 3 ways you can learn to listen to yourself before asking for help. (For example, I can meditate, give myself time to think, and do research about the topic.)
- Write down 3 of your strengths and how you could use them to help you trust yourself.
- Draw a picture of the first thing that comes to mind (Remember that art skills do not matter in this drawing, but the act of drawing out your internal image is very cleansing.)
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote comes from Wayne Dyer, self-help books and spiritual author, and motivational speaker.
After writing the quote and all the pieces of the journal entry for today, write how you can use this quote in learning how to trust yourself.
An Extra Resource for Trusting Yourself
A vulnerable story by B.J. Davis about coming back to trusting himself after a long battle with drug addiction and long prison stays. Change is more than just for those around you, but for yourself. After prison, B.J. Davis returned to school and became Dr. Davis.
My Story on Learning to Trust Myself
Learning to trust myself was one of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn. I once had the strongest codependent relationship with my mother. She needed to be needed, and I needed someone to fix my life and help me make smart choices. I didn’t believe I had the power or the ability to make decisions that were in my best interest.
I remember walking into a facility in Tennessee for substance abuse and mental health recovery, and thinking, “this is not fair,” and, “why me? Why do I need to be here?”
In this facility, I learned a lot about myself. I learned even more about my codependent relationship with my mom, how I didn’t set boundaries with people, how I didn’t trust myself, and how I refused to grow even though I was at a point in my life where growing was the only thing left to do.
I remember feeling broken, tired, unfixable, unloveable, more imperfect than everyone else in the world, and completely useless. Not only did I not trust myself at all, but the concept of trust was too abstract for me.
Years of suffering, years of surviving, years of barely being able to experience even a droplet of joy and there I was sitting in a group with a ton of people who had either a serious drug addiction or a mental illness that prevented them from growing. As I listened and spoke and listened some more, I realized I had an addiction to chaos, to codependency, to pain, sadness, to self-sabotage. I was just like everyone else, even if my drug of choice wasn’t alcohol or narcotics.
I was neglecting myself, running from myself, never facing the true feelings I had inside, or speaking up for myself. I was surrendering and asking my mom to tell me what to do so I didn’t lose the careful control I had over my survival mindset.
I did the work. I learned to set boundaries. I learned to write letters and then destroy them so my feelings in the moment wouldn’t hurt the people I love. I set values for myself, guidelines that I would use to help me make choices and stick to being authentically me. I learned to listen to my inner voice, or to the sensations in my body that told me if the choice I was making would be good for me or if I was making a choice that went against my newly created values.
I didn’t just learn these things because I was open to them. I would be lying if I say I didn’t kick and scream and throw tantrums while I learned these lessons, but eventually, I learned to make them a habit. I learned to trust myself and I learned that learning to trust yourself is a painful experience because change is uncomfortable. No matter how uncomfortable it was in that short span in my life, I value every single moment of it.
Quick Exercise for Learning How to Trust Yourself
A quick yoga routine dedicated to Trust by Adriene.
- What is Codependency? – VeryWellMind
- 5 Ways To Get Better At Trusting Yourself (Which Is Key To Getting What You Need!) – YourTango
- 55 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You to Believe in Yourself – INC.
- 6 Tips for Building Trust in Yourself – Healthline
- How To Trust Yourself: 20 No Bullsh*t Tips! – A Conscious Rethink
- Day 5: How to Believe in Yourself – Niki Maria