Another week in 2023 is done…and this ending makes me a bit sad, as I go back to reality tomorrow. Spring Break is over! I will say, however, I had a ton of focus this week and actually got quite a bit done. So much focus, that I had a chance to socialize this week and a day of down time today, until I sat down at 4:45 pm, to write this blog post! Not too bad!
I tried something new this week. I agreed to go live on a new coach’s Instagram and allow her to do breathwork and healing with me. Boy, I was being vulnerable beyond my comfort level, but I made it to the other side with quite a breakthrough! I know only a few people caught it live, not sure how many others viewed it later, but she did a good job of guiding me in a way that I had a choice to share publicly what I was thinking in my head…which was a lot!
What I shared was that back in October, I went through a tough relationship break up and since, as it was a pretty long, significant relationship, I have not had the courage to get back out into the dating world. To give you a bit of background, I had not had this much trouble getting back out there since my divorce 12 years ago…and really had been isolating myself socially. I guess that is why one of my 2023 goals was to socialize more often!
As we began and started breathing and mediating, I was asked some questions and she guided me to understand that my problem is rooted in trust…which is pretty clear. But what surprised me was that it was more about trusting myself to choose different people to get to know and not beat myself up if the relationship doesn’t work out…interesting, right? She then asked me if I could think back and remember the last time, I actually trusted myself to make a decision….and that is when this breakthrough happened for me! I did not share my response on the live, but I will share it here with you. It actually brought tears to my eyes as I was reflecting on the question because the last time I trusted myself to trust others, to make decisions in my life and know that it would be ok if they didn’t work the way I wanted was when I was 14 years old…that is a long time ago!
Everything we connect back to our younger selves is rooted in some significant experience in life and this was no different for my own connection…it was when my mother and I separated and ended our relationship. From a professional’s point of view, I am sure they could see this coming, but for me…it was pretty profound. I realized that morning that I trusted myself to make decisions, trusted myself to build relationships, and trusted myself to live life until that moment…and then I no longer did because if I did then I learned I would just be afraid or worried that something bad would happen and I would once again be hurt! What was even more interesting is that I am not even sure that my marriage ever stood a chance, as I know after working on this work, I didn’t trust my decision to marry him either.
Self-trust is a real thing, and if we don’t have it, it will affect so many different areas of our lives, but most importantly all of our relationships with others. An article online at psychologytoday.com by Linda and Charlie Bloom indicate that self-trust is not thinking you know all of the answers or that you will always do the right things, but that you will be kind and respectful to yourself regardless of the outcomes of your decisions. They go on to say that those with strong self-trust have clarity and confidence in their choices, are independent, and learn from their experiences. They do not experience self-punishment if a wrong choice is made in their lives.
What was interesting in the article is that they also discussed regret. To be human is to have some level of regret in life, but when we get stuck on the regret, we experience the shame, and will have a harder time forgiving ourselves, leading to a lack of self-trust. This also brings about worry and anxiety…which definitely continues the cycle of not trusting that we will make good decisions in our own lives and live with regret and shame…and on and on.
I also shared on my own Facebook this week on how a lack of self-trust can and will affect our own decision-making skills. If we don’t trust ourselves to make decisions that work or beat ourselves up when they do not go our way, we will be fearful of making our own decisions. This allows others to have influence on our decision-making processes and we lose that ability to live our own lives, but instead living life based on what others think and feel. I have seen this happen in so many people in my different circles who cannot make decisions for themselves, have a hard time coming to a decision, or allow others to dictate their lives for them. I wonder how often this becomes the root of depression in so many people.
So how can we begin to work on our own self-trust? Here are a few tips I have learned through my process this week:
- Reconnect with yourself. My coach had me breath deep and allow myself to go back to that moment in my life when I stopped trusting myself. She then worked with me on some breathing exercises that helped with my anxiety about revisiting it, and started me on a path of telling myself that it is ok to feel anxious about it and begin believing that I can trust me again.
- Allow yourself personal boundaries and begin making decisions for your own life. Asking yourself, what do I really want can be a helpful question to ask. And, I recommend starting small…what do I want for dinner tonight? What movie do I want to watch tonight? And make the decision based on your own wants or needs.
- Practice self-compassion. It is ok to make a mistake, which seems scary to so many people. Learning how to forgive yourself, be ok with yourself if you do make a wrong choice is important. Most times, we build the “wrongness” about the choice up more in our own minds than it really is AND making a mistake doesn’t mean we are unworthy or a failure. We are human and we must remember that as we work on our own self-compassion.
- Set reasonable goals. If your goals are not attainable, and you fail at meeting them, of course, you will feel like a failure. If this happens over and over, it starts to lead to this whole thought of losing trust in ourselves. However, if you set attainable goals with good action plans and keep milestones along the way so you can celebrate the small wins, that will increase your confidence and in turn, increase your sense of self trust.
These are just a few ideas that I have for helping you work on your own self trust. I do challenge you to spend a minute with yourself this week and reflect on the question I was asked…when was the last time you trusted yourself to make decisions in life. If you are like me, you may hit on an area that you may want to work on in the near future. For me, knowing when my time was, and having some strategies to work on increasing my self-trust, I am going to definitely work on this area, especially in my relationships and see what a difference it will make!
Until next time! Cheri ❤️
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