Trusting yourself is something that many people struggle with, including myself. When you have certain experiences that sent you the message that trusting yourself wasn’t safe, it almost becomes second nature to put other people’s opinions/approval on a pedestal. When we value other people’s opinions over our own, it’s hard to find and utilize our authentic voice.
Maybe speaking up was shamed when you were younger and now you keep quiet to avoid that feeling again. Maybe you carry guilt for the times you didn’t trust yourself. Maybe you’ve disappointed yourself beyond belief and don’t believe you’re capable of showing up and following through again.
Whatever your story is, you are welcome here. I have spent the past 3 years learning how to trust myself again after self-betrayal, self-sabotage and not being in tune with my intuition. Here are 4 tips on how to start leaning into what the voice screaming inside of you has to say.
1. Notice the consistent patterns of distrust.
Despite the reason why we don’t trust ourselves, we typically have patterns of when these moments of distrust happen. Start paying attention to the moments where you feel a sense of knowing within yourself and choose differently. Be mindful about how you speak to yourself when you notice these patterns to avoid judging or shaming yourself. With this step, the goal is specifically to gain information through non-judgmental observation.
2. Do the inner work to discover why the patterns exist.
The inner work will lead you to the answers you need to understand why you consistently participate in self-betrayal. To be completely honest with you, this is a process that can be pretty lengthy. For short term release, focus on the patterns that you have revealed so far and begin unpacking each patterns one-by-one.
For example, one day my Dad & I were riding in the car and he was so sure that there was a Tropical Smoothie in a specific direction and I kept telling him there wasn’t but he was so confident. He offered to bet $20 that he was right and I declined because I felt like there was a 1% chance I could be wrong (and tbh, his confidence made me doubt myself). Time goes on and of course, there was not Tropical Smoothie in that direction.
Although this was a minuscule event, it revealed to me three major things. I wanted to believe that he knew best because he was the parent (authority figure), and what the parent says, goes – right?
I maintained that belief surrounding power and control because of how normalized it is in Black households. In that moment, I learned that I cannot compromise my intuition over a belief that isn’t even mine. Sometimes our past is leading us instead of our present which allows us to remain misguided and reinforce beliefs that aren’t ours. Trusting yourself involves ripping apart all of the beliefs that are not yours. If you don’t separate the two, your body will continue to notify you that something isn’t right when you say something you don’t believe but do the complete opposite. Don’t ignore those urges.
3. Start speaking up and sharing how you feel.
Speaking up about how you feel is one the biggest ways to see and feel a change. Just like the example I gave in #2, it can be easy to ditch your own personal thoughts and latch onto the other person’s opinion. It will indeed be uncomfortable as hell because you aren’t used to sticking up for yourself due to your lack of self-trust. The moment you decide that you will choose differently, you will gain a new sense of autonomy and confidence. Here are some ways you can start this dialogue:
- “I trust how I feel and also respect how you feel”
- “I respect your opinion and still appreciate my own. I’m going to stick with what I believe to be true.”
- “I appreciate you sharing your perspective. Our different realities are completely valid.”
In the awakening of your voice, it’s important that you don’t silence other people that choose to use their own. Duality exists in many forms of life and two things can be true at once!
4. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
Sometimes you will trust what you believe to be true and be wrong! That is perfectly fine. Trusting yourself isn’t about whether you’re wrong or not – it’s about leaning into whatever you feel is right in that moment. As long as you honored that feeling/urge, right or wrong doesn’t matter.
Begin mustering up small amounts of courage, bravery and strength that you need to begin trusting yourself. Here are a few ways you can do so:
- Telling someone you don’t like your hair/nails/food/etc.
- Choosing to walk away when something doesn’t feel right
- Express that you know your needs better than an outside source
- Exercise your voice in moments you usually wouldn’t
- Share your opinion on a topic during dialogue
- Gain faith in yourself by trusting you can handle the discomfort
- Start creating boundaries with yourself and others (Set Boundaries, Find Peace is a good book to start doing so)
You are worthy of feeling safe within your body, mind, and spirit. Start the observation, move onto the inner work, and work towards changing small habits. Cheers to releasing doubt, fear, and distrust!
Until next time,