For most people trust is an abstract concept, which sucks because trust is essential for relationships with others and self-trust is critical for personal happiness. If trust remains an abstract concept for you, you won’t know what the hell to practically do in order to create trust in relationships or to create self-trust. So, in today’s episode, I’m going to make trust simple for you. To trust someone is to feel as if you can rely on them to capitalize (act in) your best interests. This is as scientific as you can get with what trust actually is. For this reason, it’s a good idea to sit with that definition for a moment and let it sink in. Keep in mind that I did not say that trust is about being able to rely on the fact that someone will put your best interests above their own. Nor is it making someone else fully responsible for your happiness. It is being able to rely on the fact that they will capitalize (act in) your best interests.
Taking the next conceptual step, to trust yourself is to feel as if you can rely on yourself to capitalize (act in) your own best interests. Even in a scenario where self-trust is about the assured reliance on your own character, ability, strength, and truth, this is true. For example, if you were to consider whether you trust yourself to be able to execute a task well, you would have already decided that executing that task well is in your best interests.
The reason self-trust remains so abstract for people, is because they see themselves as ‘one thing’. I don’t walk up to you and introduce myself by several different names. But this way of viewing yourself, is inaccurate. Consciousness itself functions like water. If you are looking at a river from above, you can see that a large river often branches off into smaller rivers. Over the course of your life, your consciousness splits, just like the river does. It is usually an act of self-preservation. When this happens, your sense of self becomes fragmented. So even though you have one body, within that body, you end up with multiple selves. The best way to picture this is to imagine that inside your body, you have a collection of Siamese twins. They are technically all conjoined because they all share one body. But each one has its own identity, its own desires, needs, perspective, strengths, weaknesses and appearance.
If you understand that you are not one thing that you call by one name, but that you are more like an ecosystem of different ‘parts’, suddenly self-trust or the lack thereof makes sense. These internal ‘parts’ of you can have any kind of relationship under the sun. All the way from super loving and supportive to violent and hating. The bottom line is, some parts of you cannot currently be relied upon to capitalize (act in) the best interests of other parts of you.
For example, if one part of you wants to go to a party and another part does not and the first part simply bulldozes and drags you to the party, the other part cannot trust it. Or for example, if one part of you wants to get rid of another part of you, that second part can’t trust the first one. Or for example, if one part of you really wants you to become an artist and another part of you wants family approval (which it knows is not possible if you become an artist). And the part that values family approval makes the executive decision to do what the family wants, the part of you that wants you to be an artist cannot by definition trust the one who values family approval. And in all of these scenarios, you will feel that lack of self-trust emotionally in your whole being. You know what it feels like to be in a relationship where someone cannot be relied upon to act in your best interests. When you lack self-trust, that same relationship is taking place in your internal system.
I’m going to say something I need you to understand. You cannot understand self-trust or repair self-trust unless you accept the reality of fragmentation. If you want to understand fragmentation in an in-depth way, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
But here’s the good news: Trust can be rebuilt. If you have lost self- trust, that trust is rebuilt through parts of you demonstrating that they can be relied upon to be aware of and capitalize the best interests of whatever part they are currently opposed to. Building trust in any relationship, including those relationships taking place between your own parts, is really as simple as being aware of and capitalizing on each other’s best interests. It is as simple as finding a meeting of minds about what a win-win scenario actually is.
So, now that you understand that, here is what you need to do in order to trust yourself:
Start to work directly with the parts of yourself that are creating the self-distrust. This means the parts within you that are opposed, that disagree, that are fighting, abandoning, suppressing, rejecting, denying, disowning or bulldozing each other and that are engaged in zero sum games. To learn exactly how to do this, watch my video titled: Parts Work (What is Parts Work and How to do It). When you do this with parts that are creating an atmosphere of distrust in your being, you often need to make these parts of you aware that they are part of the same body and as such, they literally cannot play a zero-sum game. In other words, there is no “I win and you lose” for a something that shares the same body. Each part needs to be made aware that it no longer works to capitalize on its own best interest to the detriment of the other’s best interest. They will begin to look for a win-win situation when this is the case and begin to caretake each other’s best interests. But stay open to this looking different than you would anticipate. When certain internal parts become aware of others, and really see, hear, feel and understand them, their own perspectives and therefore estimation of their best interests often change.
Become intimate with the part(s) of you that you don’t trust. This point goes in alignment with the last. But it must be a stand-alone point. If trust is about capitalizing on someone’s best interests, you have to actually know what their best interests are. To know what someone’s best interests are, you have to be willing to have intimacy with them. Intimacy is seeing into someone, feeling into them, hearing them and understanding them as deeply as you can. This means, you’ve got to be willing to face and create intimacy with the part of you that you think is the “bad guy” in the trust department. For example, if you lack self-trust because a part of you keeps taking drugs regardless of your desire to stay sober, you need to stop playing a zero-sum game with it and really see, hear, feel and understand that part; especially the WHY, so you can help that part of you to get its needs met and act in its best interests in alternative ways than the ways it is currently going about getting its needs met. “You” can’t oppose, fight with, abandon, suppress, reject, deny, disown, bulldoze or engage in zero sum games with any part of yourself and create an atmosphere of self-trust in your being.
Accept that there is no such thing as self-sabotage. This understanding can go a long, long way towards developing self-trust. Usually when we don’t trust ourselves, we become afraid of ourselves. But this will help: If any of your internal parts or selves are resisting or opposing your desires, or if any of them are hurting other parts of you in any way, it is because they think it is in your best interest for them to do so. In other words, they believe they are saving your life by not going along with the plan. For this reason, we cannot say that they are against you. They just don’t agree with the rest of you about how to be FOR you. For example: consciously, you may really want a relationship to work, but you keep pushing the other person away or doing and saying things to create conflict in the relationship. In this scenario, one fragment or part within you (the one we are consciously identified with) has made the decision to be in a relationship and make it work. Another part knows that relationships have been so painful in the past and that it has been abandoned and therefore thinks abandonment is inevitable. So, it is trying to save you from the pain of getting attached to something you are inevitably going to lose. No part of you, even the ones who ‘hate you’ are actually against you. To understand this in-depth, watch my videos titled: There is No Such Thing as Self Sabotage and Self Hate, The Most Dangerous Coping Mechanism.
Build your self-confidence. Self-confidence and self-trust are very good friends. When we use the word confidence, what we mean is your ability to depend upon yourself. When we understand that lack of self-trust, goes hand in hand with lack of self-confidence, we see that not trusting ourselves is often a self-worth issue. It is an issue of devaluing and invalidating ourselves One of the reasons that we do not trust ourselves, is that we do not accept our own abilities, talents, intentions, and value. This means, take time to recognize and acknowledge your abilities, talents, positive traits, and thus value.
Part of this confidence is allowing yourself to do what you are good at and what comes easily to you. Everyone is good at something. We don’t often allow ourselves to do what we are good at however because we have all been raised in societies with very specific values. Our strengths may not align with the values that those around us hold. And on top of this, most societies today value effort. Most of us think it is weak to do the things that come easy to us. But for us to learn how to trust ourselves, we need to allow ourselves to do what we are good at and what comes easily to us. If we always feel as if it is a struggle to do things, we will always feel behind the pack and lack confidence. So, own up to the things which you excel at, and then focus on designing your life around those things. Give yourself permission to take pride in them and give yourself credit for your successes. And realize that sometimes, we have to look for the people who will value what we have to offer. To learn more about this step, you can watch my video titled: The Value Realization (A Realization That Can Completely Change Your Self Worth).
Listen to your feelings. They always have important messages to share. Most people view feelings as a menace; something to fight, something he or she is powerless to, a drawback, and even something to distrust. The average person does not know what purpose they serve. The result is, many people are living in a tug of war between being a slave to their emotion and flipping around to wage war with their emotions. We have a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry set up to make a profit from chemically aiding people to suppress their feelings and change them. This is especially sad considering that your feelings are the compass guiding you through this venture called life. Emotions are the carriers of personal truth. They never ‘come out of nowhere’. They are the exact reflection of the truths belonging to parts of you. I am not saying that the thoughts, perspectives and opinions of parts of you are always accurate and a perfect reflection of objective truth. But they are always real and important and they always exist for a valid reason. You have to notice and listen to the truth being carried by a feeling to recognize that a part of yourself is activated and to hear that part of you out. You cannot do what is right for you or in your best interests if you don’t ‘hear out’ the truth being carried by your emotions. And consciously choose what to do given that information.
Let go of the idea of “the” right answer and just look for “your” right answer. People who don’t feel as if they can trust themselves, often defer to others. They tend to become preoccupied with the idea of right and wrong and it paralyzes them. They tend to fear making the “wrong” choice so much, that they procrastinate making any choice, and they trust other people’s opinions rather than forming and “owning” their own. Gain perspective by eliciting other people’s opinions, but do not “weigh them” in order to make your final decision. Instead, make your own decision. Use inquiry to question your current perspective and consciously choose a perspective, which serves your highest good. Every single person, experiences the world in their own way. So we make decisions about what is right based on our own individual assumptions, judgments, perceptions and past experiences. This is why no two perspectives will be the same. And no one can see the situation from your perspective. You are also never going to have all of the information that you would like to have in order to make ‘the perfect decision’. You can’t know everything and so sometimes you have to take a risk by making a choice anyway. If you are looking to develop self-trust, stop trying to find the right answer. Find your right answer and be open to it changing as you develop and become more and more aware and evolve.
Take risks, even if taking those risks results in making “mistakes”. We have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes in life. One day during my sports career, I was in a panic about racing as usual. At that point in my life, my self worth was completely tied up in performance. As a result, I had the habit of getting such bad performance anxiety that I did terribly in races and sometimes didn’t even show up for them. But on a chairlift on the way to the starting gate, I had an epiphany. The epiphany was this: I have lost 100% of the races that I didn’t run. This is the case when we don’t take risks. We like to think that if we don’t take risks, we don’t fail. But the truth is the exact opposite of that. If we don’t take the risk, we have already failed. While it can be scary for us to take risks in life, it is one of the best ways we can build our capacity for self-trust. Taking risks takes courage, and courage makes us feel better about ourselves. It allows us to see what we are really capable of, which in turn helps us to trust ourselves. You won’t know that you can trust yourself unless you take a risk and see that you can.
Compile a list of all the ways that you do trust yourself. Our level of trust is often different relative to different things. For example, we may trust our instincts relative to some things, like driving our car; while we doubt ourselves relative to other things, like making a good impression in an interview. Take some time to compile a list of all the ways that you currently know you can trust yourself. Compile this list by filling in the blank as many times as you can. “I trust myself to________”. For example, “I trust myself to be loyal to the person I have committed to”. Or “I trust myself to be loyal to my own happiness regardless of whether or not that means breaking a commitment that I have made to someone”. Some other examples might be, “I trust myself to care for my pets”. Or “I trust myself to do exactly what I say I’m going to do”. Or “I trust myself to make a breakfast which tastes good”. Nothing is too small or too large to include in this list. Any kind of trust, no matter what it is in, is important because it is trust. We have the tendency to ignore the ways that we actually do trust ourselves, when we become aware of the ways that we don’t trust ourselves. This corrodes our self-concept. It disables us by making us feel bad about ourselves, instead of simply allowing us to incrementally build trust in the things we don’t currently have trust in.
Develop boundaries. And to develop boundaries, you must develop authenticity. Having a sense of self vs. other is part of participating in this physical dimension. The individual perspective and experience is what is currently serving the expansion of this universe. And so, we perceive a difference between ourselves and the rest of the world. This individual perspective is a kind of boundary that defines us from everything else. A boundary is not a fence. Boundaries are simply the imaginary line that uniquely defines your personal happiness, your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs, and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. When I say my favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, that is actually a boundary, because it is something that defines me vs. other. But if someone else said their favorite ice cream flavor was coffee, I wouldn’t lose the boundary. It would just be something the defines us both and that we both happen to have in common.
As it applies to authenticity, something that is authentic is not copied. It’s genuine, real, and true. As authenticity applies to a human being, you must accept the fact that each and every person, including you, comes into this life as a unique expression of source consciousness. We can’t really be ‘in alignment with ourselves’ and therefore trust ourselves if we are not being that unique expression and living according to what is true for us. The simplest way to understand authenticity (beyond it being an uncovering of your personal essence) is that authenticity is the conscious mending of the incongruencies between one’s inner self and outer self. So, authenticity is when your inside matches your outside. You must live according to what is true for you. You will come closer and closer to your genuine authenticity throughout the process of the integration of your parts and the inevitable self-awareness that process brings. So, consider your authenticity to be something that is unfolding. And with that, boundaries to be something that is developing. But the more you live in alignment with your personal truth, the more self-trust you will have! If you want to learn more about boundaries and authenticity in depth, watch my videos titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries) and How to Be Authentic.
Trusting yourself is a process. Let it be a process. Trusting yourself is not something that you can suddenly wake up and decide to do. It is the inevitable byproduct of gradually improving the internal relationships taking place within your system. Just remember that the better it gets, the better it gets.