Cultivating Self-Trust

How many times have you broken a promise to yourself?

Whether it is due to a careful negotiation of whether or not you truly deserve what you’ve promised, or whether it just goes by the wayside in the busyness of your daily life – we have a tendency not to follow through on the promises that we make to ourselves, both small and large.

In a recent email, coach Jennifer Louden stated:

Self-trust grows from a history of promises made and kept.

Which got me thinking, how do we break our own trust on a daily basis?

What is the effect on our own understanding of what it means to be fed and nourished, when we ignore our own hunger cues?

What kind of withering impact does ignoring our intuition have on the passion that we expect to feel on a daily basis?

What is the real result of saying yes (again and again and again) when we wish we were saying no?

When we ignore our own inherent wisdom, we are consciously and unconsciously silencing ourselves, telling ourselves that our opinion, our feelings, and our thoughts don’t matter.

If self-trust grows from a history of promises made and kept – how are we experiencing breaks in self-trust when we live a life isn’t authentic in reflecting our own dreams and needs?

When we head off every day to a job that we don’t like.

When we wake up every morning in bed next to someone that makes us cringe at the thought of spending just one more second with them.

When we shove food in our mouths far past the point of being full.

When we decide not to raise our hand in class, just in case we are wrong.

When we make the choice not to ask for what we really, when we are truly vulnerable and honest with ourselves, need out of those around us.

When we tell our families that we’ll fix it, we’ll shoulder the burden, we’ll smooth it out and make it better.

When we fake orgasms, because we feel badly for making our partners work to please us.

When we lie about how much we weigh on our drivers license or put up a picture of us that is carefully photoshopped on a dating site.

When we bury ourselves in clothes that are sizes too big for us, because we can’t stand the silhouette of our own body.

When we ignore ourselves, tucking our wishes, hopes, needs, and desires far away in a corner where no one can find us – we are sending ourselves a powerful message about what we deserve out of our own lives.

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17 thoughts on “Cultivating Self-Trust”

  1. Hi, this is my entry for the contest. I’ve already liked you on facebook (of course!).
    What I want to shift in my life is the overwhelming feeling that I am not good enough. I’ve dedicated a long time to understanding my own thoughts and I can now recognise when I’m having negative or irrational thoughts that are just my lack of self-esteem/depression speaking, and that really, aren’t quite true. But I’m not managing to make the shift between knowing that my thoughts are holding me back and getting rid of them. I’m scared to ask people if they want to share a house next university year, because I’m convinced that they’d say no, or just say yes out of politeness. I’m convinced I’m the friend no one likes. I’m convinced that my work will never be good enough and sometimes that means I don’t try because I feel defeated before I’ve even begun. I’m constantly needing my partner to reassure me that, no, he isn’t just putting up with me because he doesn’t want me to get upset. I’ve had enough now. I want to get rid of that little voice inside me that says ‘no absolutely not you are not good enough. And now look you’re even more of a failure because you ate a big dinner and now you have a food baby. You’re clearly totally unattractive. And what’s more you’re never going to pass your exams and no one will take you seriously ever again. Those friends of yours? They don’t really like you.’. That’s what I want to shift, and I’ve been trying for years and it’s just not happening. It’s not working for me, it’s not working for the people I love.

  2. Hi there – first off I have to say that the universe is sending me a very strong message, in connecting me with this post today. For starters, my 27th birthday also happens to be this Thursday, March 8th. (I can send you my drivers license to prove it 🙂 The serendipity was a bit of a wake-up call.

    I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit working on myself: learning to accept and love myself, overcoming emotional eating, and finding my little voice of intuition again that whispers my hopes dreams and desires. I’ve grown so much and am very grateful to have been able to make those changes. The biggest obstacle I’ve been grappling with lately is how to turn my hopes, dreams, desires in to action, to start living them. I’ve held on to some notion, somewhere, that I don’t deserve to live my dreams. It’s caused me to sabotage myself at every turn. I’d really like to shift this idea that I can’t follow my intuition and make my own dreams come true. I have this fear that it’s “not for me.” I think learning to trust myself is the key to working through that and I would really love some help making my dreams, hopes, and wishes a little more real in my every day life. Thanks for this!

  3. this: What kind of withering impact does ignoring our intuition have on the passion that we expect to feel on a daily basis?

    is what i have been thinking about every day. what happens when i ignore my intuition? what takes its place? how does it impact my life? how does it impact my relationship with trust and myself?

    i love this post. thanks again, mara, for making me think.

  4. I’m so glad I found your blog a few weeks ago, and have been enjoying reading through it and how thought provoking it is!

    I kind of feel like I am drifting in life right now. I’ve lost my passion, and don’t really know where to go from here. I hate being jealous of my friends who are being successful and actively achieving their dreams, when I can’t even seem to figure out what I want. It is a bit overwhelming, especially when I have an intense desire to create a list and a plan and stick to it-but I can’t even seem to figure out step one.

  5. Liked! I’m not overly active on facebook, but I love seeing you on my stream. And thank you for such a beautiful, heartfelt gift on your day of birth. You are so full of love!

    What I would like help in shifting is actually taking action for my dreams/hobbies. I create ideas over and over again, and then place them all on the back burner for fear of failure. I want to learn how to do henna art work, I want to paint my furniture all one theme, I want to take dancing lessons, I want to be more active, I want I want I want, I want! And all these wants are told to hush up so I can get home and do nothing (except take inspiration from others and want more). And while I cognitively understand the reasons why I don’t step into the scary territory of doing, I am having trouble shifting from the old ways of thinking into the new ways of doing. My email is MichKcampbell [at] gmail [dot] com.

  6. you know when sometimes you find answers to things you weren’t even aware were questions? that happened when i read this, especially these:
    -What is the real result of saying yes (again and again and again) when we wish we were saying no?
    -When we tell our families that we’ll fix it, we’ll shoulder the burden, we’ll smooth it out and make it better.
    -When we decide not to raise our hand in class, just in case we are wrong.
    i’ve been saying yes when i mean no a lot lately, which has made me an increasing resentful, begrudging, overburdened person than i like being. i feel like somehow i became distrustful of myself recently and i’m not sure how to get back to a place where i’m not struggling so much with my inner voice.

  7. What a beautiful account of how we can begin to trust ourselves. I find this is something that keeps coming up with women I work with (and even myself), perhaps we are afraid of being rejected if we say no, and our inclination is to want to be liked- even if that is at the expense of our own health, sanity and well being. It is all about trusting ourselves, whether it is our body telling us it wants to be fed tasty food instead of rice cakes (which we ignore), or our bellies telling us we are full and satisfied (which we ignore), or our voices that long to speak our truths… I think there is a consequence for mistrust- for the stuffing down of emotions and food, and that is really the numbing ourselves of life, of something better, of our own potential that is just waiting to be expressed.

    This was so wonderfully said, I don’t even know what to add, except thank you for sharing it with us!

    “When we ignore our own inherent wisdom, we are consciously and unconsciously silencing ourselves, telling ourselves that our opinion, our feelings, and our thoughts don’t matter.”- love it!

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  9. Liked! And I’d like help figuring out what things I should be saying “no” to, and what things I should be saying “yes” to. It’s hard to tell which are the good opportunities sometimes, and which are the time-suckers that turn out not to be worth it.

  10. First of all, happy birthday and congrats on being engaged! Being engaged (and later on married) is totally awesome! I’ve been married almost 3 and a half years and I love it.

    Well, as for what I have to share… I’d say that I need help with my self esteem, mentally that is, as I am always holding myself back from really giving my life and my dreams a real shot at happening. I actually keep saying yes to other people and no to myself and this needs to stop. My husband tries to help me by encouraging me to follow my dreams but I’m still not there yet. I could really use some advice/help in that area to stop holding back and really start living. After all, I am about to turn 28…it’s about time!

    Also, thank you for your blog it is very inspiring. I recently started a blog of my own as I seek to better myself and start saying yes to my dreams: http://livingleanandinthegreen.wordpress.com/

  11. I am 62 and I still need to continually affirm a love for my everchanging body. My yoga practice takes me to a place of accepting my imperfections. Your work is so full of love that I feel it coming through my computer! Thank You

  12. Oh the burdens we face in life. The inner demons we fight so we can be accepted. Loved. Needed. Wanted. ! We try to fit the mould. I will be what you want then you will accept and love me. ! Giving up our own ” knowing ” they know better. ( The Church , The Partner. ) and we squash our voice. They brain wash us. Abusive relationships. And the Warrior Woman becomes a suicidal Mess. ! Then we climb out of the pit again years later we face the stigma of mental diagnosis. We face the judgement of the righteous hypocrites. And we face the guilt as a mother for dysfunctional children. And then we grow strong and beautiful again. We flourish. The little shoot starts to bloom again and we even see the fruit of our suffering. The strength. Courage. Tenderness. Humility. Mercy. Grace. Understanding. And we learn to trust again and little by little the hand is extended. You have faced your worst nightmares and survived. Your worst horrors and survived. Your worst heartaches. Screaming in Lamentations into the night driving. You are a survivor of one hell of a life. And you feel strong. Then a car slams into your b

  13. I wasn’t finished my post I got cut off on a roll. …., Then a car slams into you at 70 k and u Suffer brain injury and other physical injuries chronic pain. And your daughter in passenger seat who already has 3 diagnosis gets hit too. And a year of recovery later and dozens of medications later. … And you’re their beautiful teenager uses street drugs to cope and you watch her sinking but you can barely help yourself or your 14 yr old. Some days the pain of life screams inside

  14. And then along comes a guy and u think u found the dream. And he bails on you. And u look and see that every day of that fucked up mess you helped others. You spread joy. You walked thru pain and you thought about others. But you never ever really loved yourself. There was never quite enough to go around to you too. You keep the home and the girls and you are put on the shelf by yourself. You have no down time because what time you have you go out into your world and give to others. Now I look and say. I have loved the world. Given them the best of me. I love people. But now. I need to know how to cherish ME. Cos I realise no one is going to do it for me. Always what I have in life I give and pass along and share. Right now my reserve is empty. I need a refill. That’s my song. Xo The end. 3 posts later. :))

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