Let's start caring for your emotions!
Tune in and join me as I chat about how to understand and manage your emotions.
I'm an emotional health mentor, edu-preneur and coach who loves teaching you how to understand, manage and embrace your emotions.
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Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Time to Feel. It’s been a little while since our last episode. I’ve had some intense months recently. I unfortunately lost my dad around Thanksgiving and have been on the roller coaster of grief. But I’m back now, and I’m so glad you’re joining me.
So today, we’re going to be talking about how to build self-trust.
This is an important topic to me, because trusting yourself is absolutely crucial to having inner peace, feeling good about yourself and having a version of life that feels right for you. So, let’s get right into it.
My first tip to start trusting yourself is to start making one small promise to yourself on a daily basis, and keeping it no matter what.
When I first started paying attention to my emotions and getting to know who I am, I was very intentional about rebuilding trust with myself. Up until that point, I had spent my life trusting everyone else more than I trusted myself. I thought everyone knew better than me. So, after 20 years of being in a codependent relationship with my dad and my entire family, my self-trust was very deteriorated.
So, I wanted to prove to myself that I could rely on myself no matter what. So, I decided to do one simple thing each day at the same time to start establishing that trustworthiness, and in turn, my own confidence.
I started with something very low-stake. Meaning, if I missed doing it, I wouldn’t lose anything. What I chose to do was say the Lord’s Prayer every single day at noon.
At that time, I was a nanny in Boulder, Colorado. So, midday, I knew I would be eating lunch with the little girls I took care of. I would glance at the clock and as soon as it hit noon, I would say the Lord’s Prayer in my head.
And I did that every day for many years. Even today, I still see the clock strike 12 and I’ll think that Prayer to myself.
What I established from keeping this promise was two things. One, I proved to myself over a long period of time that I could trust myself to do one tiny thing each day no matter what. That gave me a lot more confidence than I expected, because by doing it, I was providing myself with concrete evidence that I could start trusting myself. And maybe if I could do this small thing, I could probably trust myself to do bigger, more important things.
The second thing I established by keeping this specific promise to myself was that I could do something on my own without any external reminders. I didn’t use an alarm or any notifications on my phone to remind me to say the Lord’s Prayer at twelve exactly. It required me to use my own will forces to dedicate my energy to something that was important to me. So, it also strengthened my will.
If you choose to do something every day to start building trust with yourself, you don’t necessarily need to do it at the same time like I did.
But start as small as possible and choose something low stake that you won’t have any negative consequences from. You could promise yourself to flip a light switch off and on when you use it. Or to click your pen three times sometime during the day. Just little, silly things that don’t make a difference to anyone but you.
Over time, you’ll start feeling different toward yourself. Not only will you slowly build trust with yourself, but you’ll also start feeling more connected to yourself because you’re dedicating time to your own growth.
So, that’s my first tip – to make one small, inconsequential promise to yourself every day, and keep it no matter what.
My next tip to build self-trust is to pay attention to what your emotions are trying to tell you, and to honor those messages.
Your emotions are an important part of your inner guidance system. They’re here to help you live a life that’s aligned with your personal truth. So, if you deny them or push them away, then you’re pushing a part of your inner wisdom away.
Also, when you bottle up your emotions, you send the message to yourself that a part of you isn’t trustworthy, the emotional part.
I can attest to this big time. I pushed my emotions away up until I was about 20 years old. I hated having emotions. I hated feeling. I never wanted to feel anything. And I believed that my feelings were the source of my issues. If I could only get myself to stop feeling, then I could go about my life the way I wanted to and could just stay focused and be stable.
However, when I decided to stop pushing them away so much and slowly started allowing myself to feel them, I realized that they connected me to my truth – something that I had been longing for and was disconnected from for so long.
And what truth do your emotions connect you to? Your boundaries. When your boundaries are breached, your emotions always let you know. Also, your desires. When you want something, your emotions will tell you. Finally, your emotions connect you to your needs. If you have a need that isn’t getting met, your emotions will also tell you. All of this combined leads you to the truth of who you are, what you need to live your version of a healthy life, and what desires you have to help you experience the joy you want.
One example of how listening to my emotions changed my life comes from when I was in college. When I first went to university, I decided to major in biochemistry so that I could go to pharmacy school and become a pharmacist like my parents.
So I enrolled in the University of Nevada in Las Vegas my freshman year to start my studies. And I absolutely hated it. I didn’t enjoy any of my classes, I had no energy and I just felt like I was dragging myself through the experience.
A year into college, I knew for sure that I didn’t want to become a pharmacist. So, I decided to move to marketing because it sounded fun. I knew when I thought about it that I felt light and hopeful, that my life was full of possibilities. The minute I did that, things changed. I started enjoying myself. I loved the classes, I got an amazing internship at PBS where I met one of my dearest friends/and now adopted godmother Mary, and things just felt right.
My emotions were no longer trying to give me the message that I needed to make a change. By honoring that message, I got to a place that was much better for me.
Honoring your emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you do whatever you feel like. No. Honoring your emotions means that you acknowledge they exist, that you’re having them, and that they are legitimate even if you don’t always understand them.
Once you start honoring your feelings, you get to a more honest, whole place with yourself. From there, you can start planting the seeds of self-trust.
To recap, tip #2 for building self-trust is to acknowledge and honor your emotions.
My last tip is to forgive yourself for the times you break your own trust.
If you’re listening to this, chances are that you have broken your own trust before. I know I definitely have.
Breaking your own trust means doing something that goes against what feels true for you.
So for example, when you say yes when you’d really rather say no, you break your own trust. When you don’t speak up for your needs, you break trust with yourself. Or when you don’t keep a promise to yourself, you break your own trust.
But as you start rebuilding or strengthening trust with yourself, you’ll most likely make mistakes along the way. It’s totally normal, and it’s totally ok. It’s how you learn.
So, for those times where you say yes when you want to say no, forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. BUT! Learn from it. Remember how it feels to break your own trust, and recommit to do better for yourself next time.
Just like how a plant can’t flourish without sunlight, you can’t thrive without being kind and gentle with yourself.
And when you’re kind to yourself, you establish even more self-trust because you show yourself that you have your own back, even when you make mistakes.
So, let’s do a final recap on how to build self-trust.
#1: keep one small promise to yourself every day and keep it.
#2: acknowledge and honor your emotions.
And #3: forgive yourself as you rebuild trust. You’re only human.
That’s all for today’s episode! Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next time.
If you want more information about how to understand your emotions, check out my eBook and workbook, called How to Identify and Process Your Emotions. Podcast listeners can get 30% off the regular price for the month of January, with code PODCAST30. Visit hollysoulie.com/shop to claim your discount now.