Learning to trust

Why is it so hard to trust ourselves? Or maybe I should just speak for myself here. Maybe the rest of my readers have cracked this one already. If you have, I’d love to hear from you! I’m guessing some of the lovely ladies I featured in my past two posts have learned to trust themselves, but I’d also guess it wasn’t an easy process and it didn’t happen overnight.

I certainly find it hard to trust myself – to trust my gut instinct, to trust my intuition and to trust my ability to make a living from doing what I love rather than from doing what I don’t want to do. I also find it hard to trust that there’ll be enough – enough money particularly, but also enough security and enough love. As I wrote in my All will be well post, my default setting has been not to trust that all will turn out OK. I’ve gone through life with a sense that there won’t be enough and that I’ll have to constantly strive and struggle. Recently, I’ve started to get glimpses of an alternative way of living and thinking, but for now they’re only glimpses. I’m hoping those glimpses will become more frequent and, eventually, will turn into a different way of approaching life and work. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Of course, as I’ve also written before, trusting there’ll be enough isn’t a question of putting my feet up and waiting to be provided for. I have to take responsibility for my work, for the bills that need to be paid or the holidays I want to enjoy. But it would be so nice to say No to work when my gut is telling me to say No, instead of saying Yes and then resenting the fact that I have to do it. Or rather, at this stage in my career, I probably have to combine work I don’t absolutely love with work that makes my heart sing – it’s just about finding the right balance. It always comes back to balance!

I admit I’ve often struggled with the grown-up side of life. I’m not a fan of adult responsibilities. I know a lot of people who just get on with their adult responsibilities without kicking up a fuss or rebelling – they’re quite happy to do their tax returns well in advance of the deadline or do the necessary car, scooter, bicycle or home maintenance. And they diligently get on with work they don’t really love but they know is necessary. In my case, my inner teenager often throws a tantrum when it comes to those grown-up responsibilities. But as an adult, I’m not going to get very far if I let my inner teenager get her own way all the time. She can have her way some of the time – spontaneity can be incredibly freeing – but not all of the time!

One of my many adult responsibilities is to myself, to make sure I’m getting paid enough for the work I do. Recognising my own worth or value and then asking other people to recognise it is also something I’ve struggled with. I’m making progress on this but it’s slow. I guess, once again, it comes down to trusting that it’s OK to ask and maybe say No if I don’t get what I think I deserve.

I find I’m more able to trust myself when I’m more in touch and at peace with myself and connected to my faith. So prayer and meditation is one of my tips. Affirmations also help, although I don’t say them very often. But the affirmation that ‘all will be well’ is a good one for me. I’d say having a mentor or a coach would also help with the trust process – I know many people who’ve benefited from this. But a mentor or coach can only take me so far. Ultimately, if I want to take a leap of faith, I’m the one who has to leap.

If anyone has any other top tips on trusting oneself, trusting that everything will be OK and learning to follow one’s heart – good books to read, affirmations to say or other tactics – I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or elsewhere on this site.

In the meantime, I’m putting my ‘responsible adult’ hat on and heading off to work!

About Katherine Baldwin

I am a writer, coach, midlife mentor, motivational speaker and the author of How to Fall in Love - A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. I specialise in coaching women and men to have healthy relationships with themselves so that they can form healthy and loving romantic relationships and lead authentic, fulfilling lives. I coach 1:1, lead workshops and host retreats.
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8 Responses to Learning to trust

  1. Claire says:

    Hi Katherine,

    I have been following an email course by Jennifer Louden which is called Self Trust inspiration course, its free and you sign-up on her website: http://jenniferlouden.com

    There are some good tips there and I’d recommend it, one of the main things I have picked up is to keep checking-in with yourself to ask yourself how you’re really feeling at any point, rather than just keep going blindly and ignoring your instincts.

    Claire x

  2. Thanks Claire. That sounds interesting. And checking-in with yourself is a great tip, something I often forget to do. I’ll check out the link.
    Best wishes,
    Katherine x

  3. Hi Katherine (good to see you doing exactly what you love!!) so to start with trust life to bring you exactly what you need including the stuff you don’t want to do. I suppose that is what I do. Trust life instead of trusting me. I know that the challenges life brings is just what i need to grow as a woman, daughter, lover, sister, friend. I find when I look after my health (food, exercise, emotions) that trust comes more easily. See you on facebook x

    • Thanks, Paula. And yes, I agree we generally get what we need, even if it isn’t always what we want. Challenges are opportunities for growth and learning. Good tip also on looking after our health. I haven’t been doing enough exercise recently because I’ve been doing too much work and it doesn’t feel right. Balance!
      Best wishes, Katherine

  4. Well, ditto Claire! That speaks to me to Katherine. Thanks fro putting it into words. I’ll check Claire’s link, and also, I’d like to recommend this book that I’m reading right now, it’s really helps me: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Excuse-Me-Your-Life-Waiting/dp/0340834463/ref=sr_1_1?s

    • Thanks, Raphaelle. Your book suggestion looks interesting too. I’ll check it out. I’m going to add a ‘recommended reading’ section to this site soon so we can all share some good book titles. I’ve been given a few in the past couple of weeks.
      Best wishes, Katherine

  5. Sam McNern says:

    This post really resonates with me too. My inner teenager is constrantly waiting to get told off for not doing her homework – because she was wrapped up in her own projects instead. One thing I’ve found useful is to look for evidence that you can trust yourself. By listing times when you’ve followed through on something important to you(as opposed to a task imposed my someone else) and recognising that you can be trusted. I’ve still got a steep climb but everytime I achieve something I wanted to do its another notch on the self trust evidence chart.

  6. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for those tips. I agree, it’s important to take note of our achievements and to look for evidence that we can trust ourselves. I’m going to try and do that more often. I admit I haven’t done much of it thus far – although I did congratulate myself last night for doing something challenging and esteem-building so I must be getting better! I’ve heard that self-esteem comes from doing esteemable things and it’s well worth taking note every time we do.
    Best wishes, Katherine

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