Seeking our own reassurance

On the back of my last post, in which I reported some positive changes in some habitual, unhealthy behaviours, I thought I’d record a few more. It seems I’m on a roll so why not celebrate the good stuff for a change? After all, any victory, whatever its size or significance, is worth noting.

Well done me!

We spend so much time berating ourselves for the bad stuff, why not congratulate ourselves when things go well also? It’s common knowledge that focusing on what goes right and being grateful for it is good for our mood.

So, on a number of occasions in recent weeks, I’ve been on the verge of sending a text or making a phone call to a friend at a moment of doubt, indecision or when faced with a problem I didn’t know how to handle. I was going to use the word crisis but, on reflection, I think that would be over-egging it a bit. It may have felt like a crisis to me in the moment (I can be a drama queen at times), but, putting things in perspective, it really wasn’t.

As soon as a problem has hit in the past few weeks or I’ve been faced with a big decision to make, I’ve immediately started typing out a text or dialling a friend’s number, in search of support and guidance. But, contrary to my usual behaviour, I’ve actually stopped myself, paused for a moment, and realised exactly what I was doing. I was seeking reassurance. I was looking for someone to convince me it was going to be OK – whatever the situation was – and to help me to decide what to do. On some occasions, I was probably hoping someone would tell me what to do. I didn’t feel I could make a decision on my own and wanted someone else to solve things for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of talking things through with friends, of giving and receiving support and of getting honest feedback. I think sharing our problems is a healthy thing to do – I do it all the time! But there’s a difference between running things by a friend, partner, relative or colleague for a bit of input and doubting our own abilities to make a decision. There’s a difference between testing out our ideas and trusting others opinions’ over our own.

This is something I’ve done quite a lot over the years. I’ve believed others knew best for me. I haven’t trusted myself. I haven’t had faith in my own abilities to solve my own problems. And I haven’t listened to my instinct. Often, of course, that instinct has been buried deep under distracting behaviours so it’s been quite hard to hear. I guess it’s now finding its voice.

I’m starting to believe that I can trust myself to make the right decision or to solve a ‘crisis’. And if I don’t make the right decision, I’ll learn from it anyway. I guess asking others to tell us what to do means we don’t have to take responsibility for ourselves and it also gives us someone to blame if things go wrong. But then we never learn from our mistakes. And if we’re practicing acceptance – of our mistakes, of our imperfections – then getting things wrong is just part of our growth.

As my previous post was rather long, I’m keeping this one short and sweet. But a quick reference before I go to the author, speaker and coach Steve Sisgold who wrote the book ‘What’s Your Body Telling You?’ I haven’t read his book, but given that was the title of my last post, it seems I’ve already taken some of its teachings on board.

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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