Healthy relationships are based on trust, including your relationship with yourself.
Human interactions require a basic level of trust to function, and that includes interacting with your own brain and living your own life. Like me, however, you have probably made a few [million] mistakes during your years on the earth. If you dwell on them too much, or others like to throw them in your face, that can erode confidence. Eventually, you may start to doubt not only your abilities, but your character and your motives and whether or not you even deserve to take up space on the planet.
Without the confidence that comes from a primary level of self-trust, you become paralyzed. If you can’t trust yourself, how can anyone else trust you? If you can’t trust yourself, how can you trust anyone else? Your ability to manage relationships and lead your life begins here. Not that you see yourself as infallible, but you have a foundation of confidence from which you can build. Where does that come from? And how can you rebuild it when it cracks?
Thankfully, the elements of trust have been widely studied and are universally acknowledged. Trust requires three ingredients: credibility, authenticity, and empathy. And though typically when discussing trust we talk about how to build trust with others, today let’s look at how to cultivate these three elements in your own life so you can trust yourself.
Credibility: Be honest with yourself.
The first step to trusting yourself is to make sure that what you tell yourself makes sense and is true. Acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses, your successes and your failures. Most people lean too far in one direction. They either aggrandize or belittle themselves. It is not honest, nor does it build credibility and trust, to ignore either the positive or the negative. To build self-trust, don’t sugarcoat the negative, but don’t turn a blind eye to the positive either. You build confidence by facing reality.
How you speak to yourself matters. Stop lying to yourself!
And your self-talk, by the way, includes more than the verbal chatter going on in the background of your mind. It includes your nonverbal communication, too. Do you walk and talk the way a credible, trustworthy…