I just returned from a retreat this weekend in San Diego. It was a deep immersion into serenity at the Omni La Costa Spa, also known for having Deepak Chopra’s ‘Center for Wellbeing’. Not a shabby place to spend a long weekend connecting with like-minded individuals.
The retreat was part of a yearlong program I’m in called the M.E. School of Flow. Our mastermind was an opportunity for students from all over the world to meet in person and connect at a deeper level. It was an event filled with inspiration, flow, abundance and love.
The weekend also presented students with a choice point…that ‘fork in the road’ moment that comes up from time to time that feels heavy with gravity because it may alter our course forever as we move forward. It’s a moment many of us have anxiety around. We may even feel a little sick to our stomachs because we don’t want to make the wrong decision. Choice points often come up around our decision to be in a relationship or to leave one, start a new job or find a different one, start a business, go back to school, invest in a coaching program, and on and on. Fear creeps in and we often deliberate back and forth while doubting our ability to make the “right” choice. What is going on when this seesaw effect happens? A lack of self-trust. But why…if we make hundreds of thousands of decisions over our lifetime, are we so poor at it?
We grow up in a society that loves to tell us what to do. It begins with our parents. “Pick up your toys. Go outside and play. Don’t wear that. Get a good education…” It continues from there with our teachers and friends and, after we graduate college, our spouses and bosses. It’s tempting to say it eventually wears down our ability to know and trust ourselves but the reality is that muscle was barely developed to begin with!
Comparison to Others
We also fall prey to using others as our guide post for what decision we should make. As though they somehow know something we don’t and will arrive at the correct answer while we muck around in the confusion. The truth is most people are just as confused as we are so it’s the blind leading the blind yet we hope they will have an insight that may work out to our advantage. At the end of the day our choices are solely ours to make and none of us have the same path to walk so it’s completely irrelevant what someone else is doing. We have to live with the consequence of every choice we make and to put the onus of responsibility on someone else is ludicrous! But that doesn’t mean we don’t try…
The challenge of having a third dimensional demonstration (i.e. life) of the cumulative effect of all the great and not so great choices we’ve made up until this point is that it doesn’t always work out to our benefit. It’s hard to argue with reality, although the temptation is there. ‘The past’ that we carry around with us, often like a lead weight thrown over our shoulder, rears its ugly little head whenever we find ourselves at a choice point. It asks questions like “Didn’t you screw up the last time you did this?” “You never commit to anything, why will this be any different?” With such uplifting dialogue going on internally, it’s a shocker that we vacillate between “I’m inspired, I want to do this” and “Your history would strongly encourage you to take no action, that way you’ll have less of a chance of failing.”
We become immobilized, stuck in the middle between expansion and contraction until one voice wins out.
So, given our complex internal and external reality, how can we start to develop self-trust?
The MOST important component for self-trust IS and will always be to know yourself. If you don’t know who you are, what you want, where you’re going and why than chances are you will waiver on making decisions along your path and you will subjugate this very important role to other people to include family, friends, coaches, intuitive’s or anyone willing to decide for you. Without self-knowledge, you don’t really know if the decision you are making is aligned for you or a giant waste of your time and resources. Unfortunately this aspect of awareness isn’t taught to us as a foundation like reading and writing, however I feel its importance cannot be overstated.
Make learning ‘you’ the most important goal you’ve ever pursued and self-trust becomes sooooo much easier to navigate.
Own Your Truth
With a firm handle on knowing who you are, you can now begin to own your truth. What does that look like?
- Speaking up
- Being seen
- Navigating your life in a way that demonstrates your beliefs and values
- Making choices that align with your authenticity and sense of self
Connect with a Vision
I’m amazed (than again, not really) that we are not taught to develop a life plan or Vision for what we’d like to create during our time on this planet. Most individuals fall into the category of ‘drifter’ or ‘builder’. Society benefits when we are drifters because we spend money on every new thing that comes along because surely this will bring me the happiness I so desperately crave! We aren’t anchored into our truth and we are easily enticed to consume without additional thought on whether it takes us closer to our Vision or further away from it. Developing a Vision allows us to step into the builder role AND foster a sense of trust that our next choice aligns with the future we are trying to create for ourselves.
Commit to Showing Up
If knowing yourself is the most important component for self-trust, than showing up is a close second. Every time we show up for ourselves, we strengthen our knowing that we will. Every time we don’t, we strengthen our subconscious mind’s evil plan to continue steering us towards flakiness. Please take a moment to check in and be honest with yourself about which aspect of you, you tend to work out at regular intervals. The last time you committed to doing something, did you do it? Did you give yourself a lot of justifications for why you couldn’t? Committing to showing up is just that – a commitment! It means you do what you say you are going to do even when you’d rather be watching an episode of House of Cards or going out with friends. Every time you let yourself off the hook it becomes easier to do so. Of course you aren’t going to be perfect because no one is, but you really try to make an effort. Once you’ve fully entrenched yourself in the habit of showing up, you can’t imagine life any other way. Self-trust becomes incredibly simple because you know whatever challenge you take on, you’ll do it to the best of your ability because that’s what you do!
Developing Self-Trust is a cornerstone of living a fulfilled life. It becomes so much easier to navigate the millions of micro decisions we have to make as well as the thousands of larger ones when we know who we are and what we want.
When I checked in with myself at the retreat in San Diego about whether to invest in a yearlong program called ‘Personal Mastery’, a continuation of M.E. School, the answer was a clear YES! What could have been a tortuous decision became an easy one. A ‘yes’ was very much aligned with my Vision and path forward. Others have different truths. I’m curious, are you able to connect with yours?
To have a conversation about further developing your self-trust, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary Discovery Session.