Updated: Sep 2
Feel the need to control yourself or the way others perceive you?
Yup, this one's for you...
All the above are shallow streams that can often be traced back to a singular, deep-flowing river: self-trust.
Self-esteem and self-worth get all the fame. But self-trust is the foundation which self-esteem is built upon. (How could you value yourself when you don't even trust yourself?)
So first, let's understand how these behaviors/traits start from low self-trust...
How low self-trust rears it's head
Indecisive- You don't trust your own intuition, so you have to make sure you choose the right option. You may fear your own self-judgement if you choose wrong.
Nervous/controlling- You don't trust your ability to adapt to life, so you need to be in control because if things go out of control, you may not survive. Because of this, you also cannot trust God/the universe/flow of life or others, because life does not always unfold in a way which you can predict or control.
People pleasing- You don't believe in your own worth, trust your ability to validate yourself or survive on your own. Therefore, you appease others as a way of achieving the validation you don't trust to give yourself.
Overthinking- Rumination, or overthinking, is a self-preservation mechanism, which aims to protect by and manifests as the above behaviors/traits of people pleasing, nervousness and indecisiveness.
Alright, we understand how low self-trust is a common, underlying issue. Now, let's investigate and understand just what self-trust really is...
(P.S.: If you would rather see my video on this topic, click here)
What is Self-Trust?
Self-trust means believing that you have your own best interest in mind.
Think of someone you trust. I'm sure you believe they want the best for you.
But sometimes, you find parts of yourself that you believe don't have your best interest in mind. This is called 'self-sabotage'.
Self-sabotage is when some part of you is driving you to behave in a way which isn't in your best interest.
And if you believe some part of yourself doesn't have your best interest in mind, you won't trust yourself to do what is best.
You'll have to control yourself. And around others you'll be wary, because you know you don't have control over how they might influence you. You must protect yourself. You must think long and hard about how best to avoid the pain you have felt.
There's no such thing as self-sabotage.
In reality, every part of yourself does have your best interest in mind, but different parts have different opinions about how to protect you or make you your best.
This is because the subconscious part of you that is traumatized by your parents vicious fighting, for example, truly believes not allowing you to have an intimate relationship is the best way to protect you from the pain it remembers.
So every part of you DOES have your best interest in mind. It's just that not every part of you agrees on the best way to serve you as a whole.
Therefore, self-sabotage is a misunderstanding, and self-trust can be restored with deep understanding and self-compassion.
Building self-trust requires self-inquiry, waking up to your automatic responses and building a foundation of connection and alignment between your head, heart and your gut.
If you want that. That high level of confidence & congruence that comes from the transformation of self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-transcendence, contact me for a free discovery session.
Let's drive home the lesson, shall we?
Last week, my client, let’s call him David, came to me with a feeling of paranoia. He said, “I just want to trust myself. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore or have to control myself out of fear.”
After some penetration into the subconscious mind with some powerful and evocative questioning, what we found was that his paranoia stemmed from his fear of his own opinion of himself.
He would punish himself with negative self-talk whenever he felt weak, childish or unproductive. And because this part of himself didn't receive acceptance and compassion, he hid from himself.
Thus, his lack of self-acceptance, which was an attempt to hold himself to a higher standard through contempt, only perpetuated the avoidant behavior he was trying to prevent.
Yet, because he was unaware of this incongruence, and had not yet integrated these two layers of himself into one conscious awareness, he continued this cycle subconsciously.
And here’s the breakthrough that helped him to get to a place of self-compassion and self-love...
We got curious and vulnerable about what drove those two parts of him to act this way, and what we discovered is just two different ways to protect him.
His “Strong, adult, responsible” side was trying to create change in the inner child by pressure and negativity.
The “childish, weak, avoiding” side was simply trying to protect itself from the hate and rejection it was receiving.
The key insight here is that both of these parts of him were acting for the greater good that is David as a whole. Both sides of him were acting out of the same impulse toward self-preservation. And with this understanding, both sides of him deserve compassion.
His self-trust was low because he subconsciously believed that these two sides of himself did not have his best interest in mind, and so he had to punish his weak side and avoid his self-flagellating side.
But in reality, there was no self-sabotage, no side of him which wanted was bad for the whole. Only two opposing ways to self-preserve.
So if you can become aware of the reasoning behind the simultaneous, and sometimes contradictory, impulses the drive you, and integrate them into a single whole, you can build a bridge to self-trust...
To me, this story reflects the beauty of insight.
With true understanding, conflicts resolve themselves.
The knots we tie ourselves become untangled.
So next time you feel controlling, catch yourself avoiding responsibility or frustrated and frozen by indecision, take a moment to acknowledge and understand what’s happening.
Understanding that self-sabotage is simply a miscommunication between two parts of yourself is crucial for building self-trust. I hope the importance of this one really punched you.
Remember, every part of you has your interest in mind. Simply inquire.