Monday, July 15, 2024

Building Trust in Yourself – zen habits zen habits

Building Trust in Yourself – zen habits zen habits


I find that almost all problems are a breakdown in trusting ourselves.

If we could trust ourselves fully, so many things become effortless.

Let me give some examples of where we don’t trust ourselves:

  • Procrastination: We procrastinate when we think we can’t handle the stress or difficulty of one or more tasks, or we don’t trust ourselves to handle any bad outcomes we fear from doing those tasks (people judging our work, for example). If we trusted ourselves completely, we could just do the task and deal with the stress that comes from it, and deal with whatever comes after.
  • Overwork: We work hard often with hopes of clearing our todo list or inbox, and getting a sense of peace if we finish everything (which never comes). We don’t trust ourselves to handle the work in future days, and don’t trust that the work we’ve put in by the end of a reasonable work day is enough.
  • Social media addiction: The urge to constantly check social media (or other distracting websites) is usually driven by a fear of taking on harder tasks, or a fear of missing out. If we trusted ourselves completely, we could calm those fears while taking on our more important tasks or taking care of ourselves better.
  • Lack of exercise: While we might want to exercise, it’s something we put off, often because of a fear that we won’t get all our tasks done, because of fear of missing out on things like social media, or because of fear of the discomfort of the exercise itself. If we fully trusted ourselves, we could take on the discomfort and joy of exercise, while trusting that we could get to the work and social media later.
  • Overwhelm: When we’re overwhelmed, we don’t trust ourselves to be able to handle all the things that are in front of us. If we fully trusted ourselves, we would trust that we could choose one thing from the list, be fully in that task, and then take on the next after that. And deal with whatever situation arises, one thing at a time.

Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list of problems you might have, but I’m hoping you can start to see where self-trust is the key factor in all of the above, and many other problems.

So if that’s true … how do we develop trust in ourselves? Let’s first look at what’s possible if we fully trust ourselves, then look at how to develop that trust.

What’s Possible with Full Trust

If we fully trust ourselves, life becomes so much easier. We can step into the unknown, out of our comfort zone, take risks, and act with confidence. We can ask for what we want, and trust that it’s OK to want something. We can choose from the heart, and trust the heart’s desire.

Here are some things that become possible with full trust:

  • We can choose what we feel called to work each day, at the beginning of the day, so that we line up our day with our priorities.
  • We can trust ourselves to choose the next task from the list, from our hearts. Then trust ourselves by taking that task on with full devotion, trusting that we’ll get to the rest later.
  • We trust ourselves to handle any situation that arises, any consequence from our choices. If someone is upset or disappointed with us, we trust ourselves to deal with that. If we feel sadness or frustration, we trust ourselves to deal with that. The future, then, becomes less stressful because we trust that we can deal with anything that comes.
  • When we have an overwhelming number of things in front of us, we trust ourselves to choose one thing, and deal with that.
  • We trust ourselves to fully take on difficult things like exercise, difficult tasks, difficult conversations, meditation, and more, because we know we can be with whatever stress is there.
  • We begin to create a life of impact, because we’re taking on the things that are impactful and important.
  • We create a life where we are taking care of ourselves, because we’re trusting that it’s OK that we can take care of ourselves.
  • We create the ability to have difficult conversations, because we trust ourselves in those convos. Our relationships get better, and we’re less stressed by whatever the other person is doing.

That’s just the start. More trust leads to us being able to fully be ourselves, and our lives become more alive, more relaxed, more joyous, more effortless.

How to Develop Trust in Ourselves

So how do we develop that kind of trust? With intentional practice.

Pick one area where you aren’t trusting yourself, and set an intention to practice:

  • Procrastination: take on one task at a time. Trust yourself to take on that task, even for 2 minutes. You don’t have to finish, just start. With practice, you’ll go longer, up to 30 minutes. That’s enough for this practice.
  • Overwhelm: Make a list of tasks. Practice choosing one, and taking it one. Trust yourself to deal with the rest later, and practice just taking that one task on at a time.
  • Urges and addictions: Cut yourself off from the urge/addiction for 3 days. Practice trust in yourself to deal with the stress that results from not indulging. Find other, healthier ways to deal with that stress: meditate, exercise, go for a walk, talk to a friend or therapist.
  • Difficult convos: Make a list of the difficult conversations you’ve been putting off. Practice trust by reaching out to the easiest one on the list and asking for a few minutes (in person or over the phone). Don’t rehearse the convo, don’t let yourself overthink it. Just show up, and practice talking with this person, trusting yourself to navigate without overthinking. Practice trust by being mindfully with any emotion that comes up, for you or them. Repeat this once a day.

These are where I would start. The practice of developing trust is a lifelone one. Beyond this, I would suggest you get some support — reach out to me if you’d like to work with me as a 1-on-1 coach, I’m here for that work!



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