I got new glasses recently. They are pretty cool—Tom Ford’s with a fancy detail on the hinge. When they came in, I had that scared feeling in the pit of my stomach “Oh no, what if I didn’t get the right pair of glasses?”
Well, luckily, there are no spectacle police out haunting the suburbs in Texas, ready to throw me in “bad-look- for-you jail.”
The only one coming down hard on my choice of glasses is me, myself and I.
In the big scheme of things, glasses are pretty minor. But the fact that I’d already bought them and was wearing them meant I should have put that decision behind myself and moved on. I should have trusted my decision in the first place.
This lack of trust shows up in so many ways. The other day, I had a meeting with a potential client and was getting some bad vibes. She seemed nice enough and clearly wanted to work with me, but I had a gut reaction that was saying no. My rational side was saying “Laura, her money is just as green as anyone’s,” but my intuition was telling me to run and hide.
Your Intuition Matters
Jen Sincero talks about intuition in 10 Secrets to Being a Baddass. She says “hone, listen and trust your intuition” and recommends asking for guidance from your intuition.
Personal friend, life coach, mojo whisperer and author of Little Book of Big Mojo says “When you learn how to trust your intuition, you learn how to trust yourself.” She warns that intuition whispers to us, it doesn’t shout and that when we ignore it, the results show up in bad jobs, unhealthy relationships, poor health and money problems.
Why is it so hard to trust yourself?
Truly, I believe we start out in this world trusting ourselves, sure of our position in the world and knowing exactly what we want to do. Yet we unlearn this quickly by the constraints of society and of loving parents who want to keep us safe.
We learn that pleasing others is the safe route.
That choosing money over happiness is the safe route.
That hiding in the back of the classroom is the safe route.
Ego is the culprit. Ego wants everything to be about ME, how I look, how I act, my reputation. It controls and manipulates us, judges us and can stop us from taking important actions to protect us from vulnerability, embarrassment, and shame.
Give Credit Where Credit’s Due
Take some time and think about where you trust yourself and where you don’t.
Do you drive a car? Check. You trust yourself to navigate to a location, through the elements and the other crazy drivers out there.
Do you swim? Check. You trust yourself not to drown.
Do you work? Check. You trust yourself and your abilities to get the job done.
Do you recommend a movie you like? Check. You trust your opinion and don’t fear judgement from someone who disagrees.*
Do you post on social media? Check. You trust that your comments are worthy.
While these may seem mundane, the nuggets of self trust are there. Start noticing when you don’t want to do things—and see if it is related to your trust in yourself. Then decide what you need to do.
There are times I don’t trust my ability to climb a ladder, to stand up for myself or to use the bbq grill (I have a fear of fire). Evaluate which areas of these are self-improvement projects and which are things you can work around. I can hire someone to climb a ladder, my husband is great on the bbq grill, but as for standing up for myself. I need to trust myself for that. It’s pretty important.
Empowerment Starts with Trust
To be empowered, you must trust yourself. You must know you’ve got what it takes. You must know that that inner voice, the one that whispers but doesn’t shout, is worth listening to. That inner guide will take you places your ego won’t — and who knows what you’ll discover on the way?
*True story. I used to never give my opinion of things out of fear of judgement. I didn’t trust my opinion and I cared too much about what others thought. That was before I became empowered.