This whole month, I’ve been talking about the issue of trust with others you interact with in your life. However, the most important person you interact with in every moment of your life is yourself. You may be your strongest supporter or your worst critic, or both on any given day. The trust that you have in yourself translates to all your other relationships even if you don’t realize it.
When it comes to your kids, they are highly perceptive and they know when something – anything – is off with you. You may have a huge smile on your face and appear to be going throughout your days in complete compliance and agreement, but they can sense discord in you like a bloodhound. When you don’t trust yourself, it shows in some subtle actions that are mostly a result of your energy behind an activity. If you know that you should go to a specific event, for example, and you feign interest or even show forced interest, you might as well have tattooed your lack of trust in the whole process on your forehead. They know!
Trusting your gut in your relationship with your partner is something many of us women were not taught to listen to from the generations before us. I can speak from experience on this, since I was taught by my mother and grandmother to comply and fully submit my desires and wishes to my husband’s. I went against everything I knew was right for myself in order to be the kind of woman and wife I was told was acceptable. This led to living a lie for 17 years in one relationship and six years in another.
Taking that step out of what we are conditioned to believe is scary and tough. To finally listen to what we know to be right for ourselves and trust our own instincts is mostly uncharted territory. We try to teach our daughters that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, right? Yet, we don’t model that exact behavior for them to follow. As the old adage goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” They know when we are not living an authentic life for ourselves, so how can we expect them to do as we say and not as we do?
Trust is often disguised to most of us when it comes to working with it within ourselves. It may be that still, small voice or it may be that thought that whatever it is we are thinking about a situation goes against all we know and were taught. It takes time and practice to recognize it, much less actually listen to it.
Take baby steps at first, if you’re new to this process. Listen to how you feel when you consider a situation and how your trust either rises or falls when considering all options. Do you feel freedom or resistance? Do you feel that one choice gives you more joy than the other? Freedom and joy are clear indicators that your gut is telling you that this is the correct path to take, where resistance and unhappiness (or other associated emotions) is telling you not to go that way.
Trust your gut. Trust your instincts. Trust that you do know within yourself what is right for you. It’s time to reclaim your trust and give it a voice. You deserve this level of freedom, happiness and authenticity! Make self-trust your new and closest best friend.
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