Years ago someone I trusted suggested that I learn to trust myself. I don’t know about you, but I had learned to look outside for answers. And guidance. And validation. I had somehow decided that everyone knew better than I did. About everything. Even everything that had to do with me.
“You have to trust yourself,” she said. “You have to try it. It’s the only way you’ll learn if, and when, you can trust yourself.”
What? She wanted me to take a chance at being wrong, just so that I could learn that sometimes I knew what was right? My fear of screwing up did not like that option. My fear of dropping a ball, choosing a wrong path, or letting other people down – especially letting other people down – reared it’s ugly head and screamed NO!
But her words stuck with me. They’ve stuck with me for nearly thirty years. She was someone I admired and trusted. Someone I looked to for answers and guidance and even validation. And she was turning me back towards me.
So I tried it. Probably on a few small things at first. I didn’t want to go someplace that I was “supposed” to go? I didn’t go. I didn’t want to do something that I had promised to do? I didn’t do it. I wanted to try something new? I tried it. I had an idea – for work, for life, for my family? I offered it up.
My trust experiments grew. I found myself more willing to color outside the lines and follow my own guidance. To know that even when other people thought I was wrong, or crazy, I often knew what I wanted or needed. Or what was best for me. I even learned that when I didn’t know, it was okay to admit it.
I found myself willing to make my own rules, and to break my own rules. To trust when I knew I was right (at least right for me) and to admit when I was wrong. Even wrong about having been right. I learned that, as always, there isn’t generally a right and a wrong – there just is. I also learned, most often, to pick and trust the easy, fun, challenging, exciting, fascinating, passion and enthusiasm inducing choice – even when it might take more effort or courage.
I learned to trust that I had it in me to get there. I learned to trust myself.
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