Do you trust others? Your spouse? Your friends? Your co-workers? Your children? If trusting others is hard for you, maybe you don’t trust yourself. Trusting yourself is the first step to trusting those around you. Why don’t you trust yourself? Listen to this episode to find out why and what you can do about it.
One of the biggest problems I see with clients is the ability to trust. They struggle to trust their spouse (sometimes with good reason and sometimes not). I talked a lot about this in Episode 166. But usually the biggest reason why we don’t trust others is because we don’t trust ourselves first. To have a good sexual relationship, trust is imperative. So why do we struggle so much trusting ourselves? The easy answer is that you have been taught not to.
When you were born, you were perfect. You already had everything you needed inside of you to become the person you were meant to be. Of course it needed to be nurtured and developed, but it was already there. But often, by the age of 8-10, we are taking in the world around us and we change from the person we were created to be, into what church, family, and society tells us we should be.
You should be quiet.
These are the feelings you are allowed to express.
This is how you should act.
This is the body you should want.
This is what you should believe.
These are the people you should love.
These are the people you should fear.
This is the life you are supposed to have.
You need to fit in.
(Untamed by Glennon Doyle)
We want to be good. We want to be loved. We want to be accepted. So we do what we can to fit in, often without realizing that we are denying parts of our true self.
I know personally I was told that I was too much. Too loud. Too bold. So I had to temper myself to be accepted in certain situations. I was not being true to myself. So I began not trusting those parts of myself.
Others may feel the opposite. You were told to speak louder. To put yourself out there more. That you needed to be different in order to be liked, loved, and accepted.
Whatever it was that was told to you, to be different than you are, that started the process of you not trusting you.
We were often taught that we needed to be careful with what we thought, what we said, what we did. That we need to follow the rules, not question. Obedience was the most important thing. We were told over and over that we can not trust ourselves. And when we don’t trust ourselves, we can’t open up and be vulnerable and create intimate relationships. It’s too scary for us because we don’t trust how we are going to act or react if something happens.
Why would people…good, well-meaning people, teach us not to trust ourselves? Because they wanted us to trust THEM. They knew better. Right? Or they think they do. But I don’t think that is what God actually wants for us. To trust others more than we trust ourselves. I think God wants us to trust ourselves beyond anything else. Trust Him. Align ourselves with Him. And that may look different than aligning ourselves with any particular person or entity.
Learning to trust yourself is one of the most important skills you need in order to create the life you want. We were all born with an internal compass. You need to learn to follow it. When we choose to follow that internal compass, it is the best path to long-term happiness and satisfaction. But we don’t trust ourselves. We second-guess ourselves. We listen to others instead of that internal compass that we were born with.
- We poll our friends and family
- We Google
- We look to Church leaders
And I’m not saying any of those things are inherently bad. But when we look to outside sources instead of trusting what comes from within, we are doing ourselves a disservice.
Here’s what a lack of self-trust looks like:
- Feeling like you are not good enough.
- Coming down hard on yourself when criticized, feeling guilty and ashamed.
- Difficulty making decisions and constantly asking others for guidance.
- Being afraid of making the wrong choice or disappointing others.
- Following the advice of an external authority, even when it’s harmful to you.
- Hiding your authentic self, feeling overly self-conscious.
What does self trust mean?
Self-trust means consistently staying true to yourself. At its very core, trusting yourself means you look after your own needs and safety. You treat yourself with love and compassion, rather than strive for perfection. You know, deep down, that you can survive difficulties (and you refuse to give up on yourself).
Here’s what self-trust looks like to me:
- Awareness of your thoughts and feelings
- Expressing yourself openly and honestly
- Sticking to personal standards, ethics, and core values even when it is hard.
- Knowing when you need to take care of yourself first
- Confidence that you can get through difficult times and feel any emotion
- Pursuing your dreams, without letting others stop you
Trusting yourself isn’t about being bulletproof. It’s not about eliminating self-doubt. It means reclaiming the power you surrender to your fears. It means standing up from a place of confidence. You start to lean into your fears, and harness that personal power to carry you forward.
How do you rebuild trust in yourself?
When it comes to trust, you can’t rush things. Be patient and nurture trust in yourself. Over time, you will develop self-confidence. Just give yourself the time. Small steps and daily action will help build confidence and trust in yourself.
- Develop a self-care routine and good daily habits.
- Practice regular communication with yourself.
- Counteract your inner critic with self-compassion.
- Be more vulnerable and authentic with people.
- Work with a coach to help you identify your past conditioning.
Learning to trust yourself is so empowering. When you quit listening to the world and others around you and learn to tune into yourself, validate yourself, and know that you will take care of you, no matter what is the absolutely best thing you can do for yourself.
If you find yourself not doing this, not doing what you say you will do, don’t make excuses. Practice self-compassion and seek understanding of why.
Building trust with yourself takes time. It’s a process. But when you can trust yourself, you are going to be willing to open up yourself more and be more trusting of those around you. This will strengthen your marriage and your sexual relationship.