How to Trust Yourself (even if you struggle to trust others)

Have you been wanting to open up to your emotions and trust your intuition?

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Trusting ourselves should be the most natural thing in the world, but the truth is that it can be really difficult. Especially if we believe we’ve been wrong in the past, and even more so if our being wrong ended with pain and regret. (If this is you, take a look at this post where we talk more in-depth about releasing regret.)

So… how do you come to trust yourself?

Well, I guess only you have the answer to that question. But I can tell you how I did it, and I’ll break it into steps in case you want to try out my process for yourself.

Step one: Open up to exactly where you are.

Any shortcomings, regrets, fears, dreams. Notice them.

That thing you’re not sure about, that you wish you could just figure out or forget and never have to deal with again, I want you to get real brave: look right at it.

Can you believe this moment is exactly as it’s meant to be? And YOU are exactly as you’re meant to be in this moment? Flaws, mistakes, confusion, pain, success, and all.

The universe holds you delicately in her palm. Not because you are a delicate thing, but because she adores you. She’s always got your back.

So allow yourself to exhale into the present.

You can’t trust anyone who doesn’t come clean with you, right?

So lay your own cards on the table. You’re not going to hurt yourself. You don’t have to. If self-sabotage is something you’re worried about, take a look back on this post about recognizing and releasing resistance in your life. It might hold some answers for you.

(Also, be sure to subscribe for blog updates at the end of this article. I’ll be covering this topic more in-depth in another post.)

If it helps, grab your journal, and at the top of the page write:
and make a list of where you are.

Write out everything you want to improve, your goals, what you like and dislike about the present, where you work, how you feel, if you’re sick, what your relationships look like…

Anything that feels relevant.

Think of it as an inventory of your life as you know it.

Step two: Decide you’re ready to trust yourself.

Look, trusting anyone requires a little faith. You have to give someone a chance in order for them to be able to prove themselves to you. It’s no different when you are learning to trust yourself.

Just like you would with anyone else in your life, start small when it comes to building self-trust.

If you want to learn to trust your intuition, let it decide something small that it is very likely to be “right” about. Do this again and again to build confidence in yourself (because often believing you can do something is the key to actually being able to do it!)…

And then move on to bigger decisions, things you aren’t as sure about.

Maybe today you can give yourself a chance by taking a different route when walking to your classes, or by sharing a compliment with a stranger rather than biting your tongue for fear of sounding silly.

Notice how it feels to listen to that little voice of adventure, of things that don’t make sense but that feel really right and exciting in your soul.

Was it worth the risk of getting a little lost or looking a bit silly? And how did it actually turn out?

Write about this; you’ll want the evidence for later and writing it down will help you really start to see how much you can rely on yourself. You’ll have documented evidence that your instinct was totally right.

Okay, but what if it doesn’t go “right” and I end up trusting myself even less?

Well, it’s all about perspective. When it doesn’t go the way you think it should have gone, take a step back from the situation, put your hand on your heart, and ask yourself how it felt to do what your intuition said to do.

Was it actually a “bad decision,” or did it just go differently than general societal manners say it should go? (Was the result less “perfect” than you wanted, leading to some conflict for your ego?)

For instance, maybe you compliment someone and she kinda gives you a funny look and walks away.

Did something actually go wrong, or have you just made an assumption that she thought you were a weirdo and it’s weird to compliment people and you looked like a dork?

Consider this: What do you do when someone catches you completely off-guard?

You make a funny face, right? And if it’s a stranger, you move along, right?

So maybe you caught her off-guard. Maybe she was kicking herself like, “oh my god I’m such a dork, I should have thanked her! Why did I freeze? That was so nice!!!” (Been there!)

And she went about the rest of the afternoon with a little bit of a smile on her face because you totally made her day…

And you ruined your own by making that assumption. How does that feel?

SO. Remember things like that when you ask yourself how it felt, and don’t make assumptions. Or if you do make them, question those assumptions!

Put your hand on your heart, embrace that the answers don’t always make sense, and that’s totally okay (because honestly, the best things don’t make sense), and ask yourself how it felt to trust your intuition.

Hold up. I have more for you…

But this is a lot already. I want you to start with this, and then come back tomorrow for the next post- the third and final step of trusting yourself.

If you want the change, you have to do the work. So get started, and stay strong.

Until tomorrow,

Jessica Peña