“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." - Goethe
Have you ever noticed that the most trusting people are often the most trustworthy, and that the most untrustworthy people often don’t trust others?
One of the more shocking realizations my clients make is when they realize that they may actually have the exact traits they criticize in others. In this case, if we don’t trust others, chances are we don’t trust ourselves.
When we don’t trust ourselves to create and maintain a peaceful, respectful, honest environment, we may crave drama and busyness. This may distract and entertain us, and excuse us to act out of anxiety, anger, fear, and blame. As an old saying goes, “Drama soothes small-minded souls.” Need proof? Do we know anyone who makes excuses or “can’t help” being unaccountable (untrustworthy) due to drama?
When we can’t trust ourself, it is difficult to trust anyone. We may feel torn with the fear, pain, and drain of letting ourselves and others down. Maybe we said that we wouldn’t, but did. Maybe we criticize ourselves and think things like, “I screwed up again,” “life never gets better,” and “people are better off without me.” These thoughts and feelings drive us to withdrawal, isolation and symptoms such as anxiety, depression and the desire to escape life.
When we stop choosing drama and excuses and instead, make honest, healthy, and joy-filled choices, we begin to trust that we can and will take good care of ourselves.
How would it feel if we knew we could trust ourselves when we said, “No: I won’t eat that box of donuts,” “Yes: I drink one glass of wine a week,” “No: I won’t check Facebook at work” or “No: I won’t covet my neighbor’s stuff”? When my clients make their “no” mean no, and “yes” mean yes, they say they feel reassured, more peaceful, less stressed, and more capable of a “good life.”
We all have a weak area or two and could learn to trust ourselves more. To start building more trust with ourselves and with others, consider taking these steps:
- Accept that even though life may have always been a certain way, we needn’t be doomed to repeats.
- Allow ourselves to suspend judgment about our situation and ourselves. Instead of criticizing, give ourselves space to feel hope.
- Courageously pursue what’s best for deep health and self-worth.
Ask within, “what is my deeper need here?” Listen to the answer. Ask within, “what healthy ways would fulfill the need?” Follow through. Do it and/or plan it immediately.
- Make sure to not allow untrustworthy behavior to continue—address it immediately. Either respectfully insist that the situation change, or exit the situation as quickly and kindly as possible.
Stress less, trust more. Will You?
Always with Love,