A psychic named Aurora told me I doubt myself.
In retrospect, it was rather obvious.
I had gone to a metaphysical fair some years ago in hopes of gaining some clarity.
I had some big decisions to make. I knew I made better decisions when I was centered and peaceful, but instead I was stressed and worried.
These were BIG decisions. With BIG consequences if I got them wrong.
A sweet white-haired woman sat at a small table, talking earnestly with the client across from her. She beamed motherly love and acceptance.
When my turn came, I took the open seat across from her. She closed her eyes and held my hand for a few moments. Then she opened her eyes.
“I’m hearing that the biggest issue for you is trusting yourself. You want someone to tell you what to do, but that’s not how life works. You’re the one living your life, not other people.”
I nodded. Of course it would be easier if someone told me what to do. Then I wouldn’t have to make the decisions. I wouldn’t be responsible.
“You’re afraid your decisions will be the wrong ones,” she continued, “but look at your track record. Do you usually make wrong decisions? What percentage of your decisions have been the wrong ones? Fifty percent? Eighty percent?”
“No,” I admitted. “Probably 20%.”
“Then you can trust yourself, can’t you?”
Why Is Trust So Hard??
Trusting ourselves is one of the hardest things we’re called to do.
To trust yourself, you have to believe you can make good decisions.
You have to believe you can deal with the outcome of those decisions.
And you have to be able to filter the feedback and opinions of others.
It’s easy to trust yourself in the little things, like which shade of lipstick to buy or what to cook for dinner.
But the bigger the decision, the harder it is to trust your own judgment.
Decisions about the future—like which job offer to accept, which man to marry, or which house to buy—have lasting consequences. Get those decisions wrong, and you could ruin your life.
Or could you?
Afterwards, I saw a quote on social media:
“On days like this, it’s nice to know
my survival record for bad days
Clearly, the universe was trying to tell me something.
Even if my decisions had bad consequences, I’d survive.
Who Decides For You?
Trusting yourself is not so much a matter of having confidence in your decisions as it is having confidence in your ability to deal with life’s obstacles.
When you’re afraid of bad things happening, that’s when you lose trust in yourself. You look for something bigger than yourself to bolster your confidence.
It’s how we were brought up.
As kids, we were taught to defer to parents, teachers, and other adults. We were taught that what we think and feel is less important than what adults decide for us.
Once we’re grown, we’re taught to defer to experts, employers and other authorities. We hand over our power to people who know better than we do. We assume they’ll make better decisions than we could because of their superior knowledge or position.
But no matter who makes the decisions for us, we still end up dealing with the consequences.
It’s Not Your Fault, But…
For example, let’s say you were worried about choosing a college, so you let your parents decide for you. It wasn’t a good fit, and you dropped out after your first year.
You could blame your parents for choosing the wrong college, but you were the one who gave them the power to decide. Even if none of it was your fault, that doesn’t change the fact that you have to figure out what to do next.
It’s hard to trust yourself when you hand over decision-making power to others.
Instead, make the best decision you can with the information you have, then accept the consequences. Affirm, “I can handle whatever happens, even if it’s not perfect.”
Because life doesn’t depend on making the right decisions.
Life depends on being able to cope with whatever happens.
Resilience Is Better Than Perfections
If you want to trust yourself, work on feeling more confident in your ability to deal with the fallout of your decisions.
Don’t waste time by making sure all your decisions are perfect, because all it takes is one bad decision to blow that trust to smithereens.
Trusting yourself helps you tune out the voices warning you that you’ve made the wrong decision.
Does your best friend think your new guy is a waste of space? That’s fine. If he turns out not to be who you thought he was, you can end the relationship. You’ll cope.
Does your family think you’re making a big mistake by changing careers? That’s fine. If your new career doesn’t pan out, you’ll do something else. You’ll cope.
You don’t have to have a perfect track record to trust yourself.
No matter how many bad decisions you’ve made in the past, you’ve managed to survive. You’ve made it out the other side. You’re still here.
You don’t need a psychic to tell you that. 😉