Trust. This issue has come up a few times this week, for both me and others. Especially, how do you trust yourself to make the right decisions?
What should I say to my kids so they will get this life lesson? How much do I open up to my spouse about my internal struggles without overwhelming them? Should I even mention to a co-worker or staff person that the story she is telling me has been repeated a thousand times in her life? What should I write about? Making choices and decisions in life starts with trust.
Trust is both a scary and powerful word. Scary because we have to let go of our need to control the outcome. We have to make a decision, even if it is to just let the outcome unfold by itself. Heck, we might be wrong. (But again, we might be right too!) Scary because we have to listen to our self. But trust is also powerful. Powerful because it reeks with benefits such as peace of mind and calmness just knowing that we aren’t stressing over making a decision. We can focus on other issues in life and not dwell on this one.
This quote from Walter Anderson struck a chord with me: “We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy”.
When we trust, we have to give something away. We have to become vulnerable and open ourselves up for failure. What we often forget is that we are also opening ourselves up for success. Why do we focus on the negative so much? From my research, this is a learned behavior. It is an internal mechanism for protecting ourselves from harm. In reality, we are shutting out the opportunity for happiness and joy to come into our lives more quickly.
Here are some ideas I personally use to help myself trust more quickly and completely. Maybe they will be helpful for you. (Trust me; this is a work in process!)
- Ask for divine guidance. Stop and ask for input. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Do this sooner in the process too. Do it right away when you begin to struggle with a decision. For me, this helps remind myself that I am not alone in this world and someone else has a grand plan defined for me. I personally don’t have to have all the answers. There is an immediate sense of less stress. It is amazing how I get input or a sense of direction most of the time – when I stop to ask.
- Just make a decision. There is no right or wrong. There is just a decision. The goal is some forward movement instead of stagnation. I ask myself “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Trying to visualize the very worst often makes me laugh because it really isn’t as bad as that nagging feeling I have inside. The struggle seems smaller now and I can trust myself to handle the worst case. You can handle the outcome and will deal with whatever comes your way. Heck, it might be great!
- Give praise. Right away – not later – acknowledge you stepped out in trust. Don’t wait! You did something. For me, I smile and say “I’m proud of you.” I have a tendency to always be looking ahead and I don’t stop to acknowledge the effort it took to get there. This goes a long way in your confidence for making future decisions more confidently. If you need positive reinforcement, then the others around you need it too. Tell your kids, spouses and co-workers when you see them trusting in themselves and making decisions. Verbally saying it to them is great, but email and text messages work too!
Trusting yourself to make the right decision is a process. You just need to start. Start with yourself.
If this post struck a chord with you, then share your thoughts. Please share what works for you or what your struggles are. We can help each other.
Have an effective day!