Ep 131 MM: Learning to Trust Ourselves


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First off, if you haven't checked out episode 130 from past week on Radical Self Indulgence + Asking for What You Need, it's a must listen! It's probably one of my favorite episodes (this one is a close second) and I received so much good feedback on it, I know it's a message so many of us need to hear.

In fact, in less than 48 hours, it became the most downloaded episode of the Enoughness Revolution! Seriously.... go check it out!

Now... back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Learning to Trust Ourselves Again.

Why again? Because we were all born knowing how to trust ourselves, but somewhere a long life’s path, a lot can happen to interrupt our ability to self-trust.

Ever feel like you’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past? Maybe you have a pattern of not following through on things so you doubt your ability to follow through on them in the future. Or maybe you’ve had a gut feeling, totally known it, and betrayed your own wisdom? Like staying in a relationship when you knew it wasn’t right or having a feeling about someone being untrustworthy, but confiding in them anyway. All of these situations are areas where we actually have learned that maybe we aren’t trustworthy. And when we don’t trust ourselves, it is incredibly difficult to be steadfast in our decisions, know what the right decisions are for us and our life path, and to feel confident in our ability to navigate the journey of life when none of us were given a map. At least not one with pretty pictures and arrows that clearly mark the way.

So, our tendency to doubt ourselves doesn’t just happen. Not only do our actions and experiences as adults play a role, but our early childhood experiences play a major part too! For instance, if you grew up in a household where you had an anxious parent, an overly involved parent, or what we call a helicopter parent in today’s language, you grew up with a parent who very vigilant about protecting you from harm. All good intentions, right? But one message this can send to a child is “I don’t trust you to make decisions and stay safe so I have to make these decisions for you”. Over time, we begin to doubt our ability to make good decisions, be independent thinkers, or have good judgment in our lives.

Having the opportunity to make decisions for ourselves, make mistakes, and learn how to navigate them is such a big piece of not only building inner trust that we can figure things out, but also for building resiliency later in life.

If you add dysfunctional dynamics to all of this, like addiction for instance, this only gets more involved. The interesting part about this is that addiction/dysfunction doesn’t even have to be present in your current generation to still be having an impact. That means that if you have addiction/dysfunction anywhere in your family history (and most of us do) there could still be left over remnants of these rules today and these patterns will repeat themselves from generation to generation until someone takes it upon themselves to heal them. Dr. Claudia Black did a lot of work at examining dysfunctional family dynamics, mostly with addiction, and she came up with three main rules are common. Don’t think – you can’t trust the way you think Don’t feel – you can’t trust the way you feel Don’t trust – you can’t trust yourself or anyone else. Now these rules are never spoken. They’re never written. They’re implied. They’re implied when we think something is wrong, but we’re told “it’s all in our head”. They’re implied when we feel something and someone tells us “there’s no reason to feel that way”.

And in the most damaging cases, when we feel like we can’t trust the people we’re supposed to be able to trust to be there for us, to show up for us, to hold space for us, we learn that trusting others is dangerous. Or maybe the only person we can trust is ourselves, but what this really does is makes us skeptical of who can be trusted, including ourselves.

So, there’s a lot here! Obviously! Learning to trust ourselves is so incredibly important for building inner confidence and becoming the leader of our own lives so on today’s episode I really wanted to dive into how we start to rebuild trust with ourselves and our intuition.

Let’s start with trust.

One of the things that prevents us from trusting ourselves is the fact that we choose to trust or not trust based on our past actions. When our past is littered with a lot of bad choices, we don’t see a lot of evidence that we can make good decisions. So how do we fix that?

Since we can’t change the past, we have to focus on the present and making better choices moving forward. Over time, our present choices start to replace the past choices and we begin to see that we can trust ourselves to be accountable, to make sound decisions, to choose better and do better, and be in line with our morals and values.

Not to mention, we might have a tendency to find ourselves in a cycle we can’t just break like have you ever found yourself running back to an ex over and over again? Like no matter what you do, you always seem to end up back at their place or calling them late night to come over no matter what you do?

Over time, this kind of pattern totally wrecks havoc on our ability to trust ourselves. But the way we start gaining ground is setting firm boundaries with ourselves and start doing something different. The more we do something different, the more confidence we gain in ourselves and confidence is totally related to self-trust.

We can also reflect back over our past and see things through the lens of failure and when we perceive failure, there’s usually shame.

One of the best things we can do is to expand our lens beyond failure, beyond the black and white. What did you learn from your failures? What did they gift you? Have you taken on far too much responsibility for a life event blaming yourself for what happened and raking yourself over the coals, shaming yourself when it wasn’t all your fault? We have to realize that every single life event was a combination of factors. For deeper work here, check out episode 86 where I talk about forgiveness and letting go of the past. Lastly, there may also be times when we’ve had intuitive knowings, but chose to ignore them. This can be such a tailspin of I told you so’s in your head.

Was there that partner that you knew was cheating on you? Were you having dreams about their infidelity? And even when they denied this, you still couldn’t shake the feeling? That was me in my last relationship before I met my husband. For weeks I was having dreams about him cheating. It was a feeling I couldn’t shake. Every time I asked him about it, he’d deny, deny, deny. Yet, three weeks later, I accidentally intercepted a text message from one of his co-workers that said, “I don’t think we should be sleeping together anymore because you have a girlfriend.”

Aha! I knew it!

And it’s totally easy to trust ourselves when we find the evidence to back ourselves up, but what about if that never comes? Can you trust your intuition enough to follow it even when there’s no evidence to support your gut feeling?

One of the biggest areas I work on with clients is trusting themselves. One of the most common areas this shows up is when they’re wondering if a relationship is the right one for them or which decision is the right one when it comes to their life path. How do we know?

The thing is things may look great on paper. Take the relationship for instance…. Their partner may be a really good person, but something just doesn’t feel quite right. Is love supposed to feel this way? Am I crazy for wanting something more? Is it me?

Tough questions to answer and every situation is different, however, there are some definite patterns to be aware of…

That guy I mentioned? I said verbatim to him the month before we moved in together, I don’t think we’re the right ones for each other. I knew it back then, but why did I stay? Because I thought he was a good guy. On paper, we made sense and I really wanted to be in love. So much so, I was willing to stay in a half-hearted relationship vs. opening myself to the real thing. I was afraid to be on my own. What if this was the real thing and I was just being impossible to please? We can go round and round here justifying things to ourselves, settling for this idea of love, or trying to make someone be “our person” more so for the sake of having one vs. how they really make us feel.

What I’ve come to learn is when something feels off, it usually is. Whether that means this relationship is the wrong relationship for you, there’s a pattern within you that needs healing, the relationship needs some coaching/healing, or there are toxic dynamics like gas lighting going on – your intuition is telling you something.

So how do we learn to trust that intuitive nudge?

First of all, know that intuition lives in our body. It’s a different type of knowing. When we’re disconnected from our bodies, disembodiment, we miss out on the subtle cues that act as our red flags for internal information. Learning to sit with our bodies and gain awareness of how our gut feelings feel is super crucial to learning to tune into our own wisdom. That’s why meditation is so powerful. It allows us to be inside our bodies, quiet our minds, so we can tune into the other information (or types of knowing) available to us. Second, learning to discern between anxiety and old patterning and anxiety and intuition takes practice. Notice that I use anxiety in both cases because sometimes our anxiety can be caused from old programming and fear and sometimes it’s a big red flag that our intuition is trying to keep us safe. So how do you tell the difference? This area is one of the most common areas I work on with my clients. How do I know when I can trust my thoughts? How do I know when I can trust my feelings? One of the things I’ve noticed about learning to trust myself is that when I’m responding to old programming, I tend to get spun up and there’s this sense of being out of control. My mind tends to go in over analyzing mode or what I call rumination. What if’s are usually super prevalent! I play something in my mind over and over and tend to become a bit obsessive about it.

When I’m responding to my intuition, there’s this consistent feeling or thought that I just can’t seem to shake. I keep arguing with myself by trying to prove myself with all the facts (usually the good stuff on paper) yet something just feels off. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I don’t even know why I feel the way I do. I’ve come to learn if something feels off and there’s no evidence to support why, it probably is. When something feels off and it’s related to old programming, I can usually connect the dots and recognize the pattern, but in order to do this, there needs to be enough self-reflection to know your patterns to begin with.

Do you have a hard time trusting others? Do you tend to think the worst of people? These are some of the patterns that can interrupt us from accurately discerning between fear and intuition.

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is when I feel something, I give it value. I don’t dismiss it. When I think something, I double-check it to make sure I have all the facts. When we respond to things, our heads are usually the first piece of ourselves that go into old programming. Our feelings, however, are deeply connected to our instincts.

Lastly, when it comes to trusting our intuition, we have to trust that are in fact trustworthy. We’re wise. We’re whole. And the only way we get there is to feel connected to our sense of self. This means being in tune with your feelings and learning to feel them and honor them instead of dismissing them.

How do we feel our feelings?

I’ve struggled with this so much in my life because I felt for sure emotions would overpower me. And because I was afraid of them, I didn’t live in my heart. I lived in my head where I could be rational. There are so many messages about emotions being irrational, but this is how our intuition speaks to us. Learning to live in our hearts, or the practice of embodiment, is learning to experience the depth and breadth of emotion. Can you accurately label your emotions as you’re feeling them? This is such a great place to start. You can use a feelings list to start practicing this more and asking yourself daily, “what am I feeling today?” You can also spend more time in your body because emotions are felt in the body. When you’re anxious, sit with it. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? Tightness? Tension? Butterflies? Where? Your stomach? Your chest?

What does an intuitive knowing feel like when you just can’t shake something? Is it fluttery? Is it heavy? Where? Your hips? Your heart? Your diaphragm?

Learning to be in your body, feel your feelings, and trust your feelings is all a part of learning to trust yourself and your intuition.

Join me for a short meditation to get into your body, feel your feelings, and trusting the wisdom that's there for you.

As mentioned on this episode, join me for my next free masterclass, Radical Self-Indulgence - the radical act of asking for what you need, knowing what you need, and reigniting your inner compass. It's all happening tomorrow at 11:30 am CST and YES, there will be a replay if you can't attend live. You have to sign up to get the replay though so I know to send it to you. Come join me! You can register below <3

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