“Self trust is the essence of heroism.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Being ambitions and reaching for high ideals is really good. If you want to go somewhere, be someone, a great starting point is to think about where that “somewhere” & who that “someone” is, what it looks like and… how to get there…
Otherwise, if you lack this self-knowledge, before you now it, you might end up anywhere… and then ask yourself: How on earth did I end up here?
This is called drifting. Been there – done that.
When you have done the inner work required to know what you’re all about, the next step becomes to do the things you’ve set out to do, to make the small daily choices in integrity with your values & dreams. This is where self-trust is truly essential.
But what is self-trust, actually?
Self-trust is a mental capacity or character trait of doing what you’ve set out to do and making choices that you set out make.
* You cultivate self-trust when you do that workout that you set out to do, even if you don’t feel like it…
* You cultivate self-trust when you do what you know is right rather than what’s easy & convenient at the moment.
* You cultivate self-trust when you listen to what you believe is right instead of others expectations of what you should do & who you should be.
* You cultivate self-trust when you actually cross out those to-do’s on your daily list.
* You cultivate self-trust when you decide to do something and you follow through on it.
* You cultivate self-trust when you say you’re going to do something, and you actually do it, no matter how you feel…
Self-trust is the very act of making conscious decisions, decisions which you can look back on and feel proud of.
If you feel like you’re often:
* Not following through on what you set out to do, doing that workout, helping that person, taking care of your needs, being honest & real….
* Doing things that create shame and guilt.
* Setting goals that truly speak to your heart but constantly falling off the path…
If this is the case, self-trust is the most powerful muscle you can build on…
Because ultimately, nothing and no one is going to change your life but you, and what you make of it, what you do with the cards you’ve been dealt, the choices you make, the actions you take.
Viktor Frankl said it so well:
“At any moment, man must decide, for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence.”
My Story & How I’m Building Self-trust
I’ve had real challenges with self-trust as growing up, and Im still working on it… I hope I will always be working on it though… Because as I’m setting out to doing more difficult and uncomfortable things, I will have to continue work on this muscle… Train it daily… To follow through.
This is what Im now doing and advising others to do in order to cultivate this muscle of self-trust:
1. Commit to a simple, meaningful task daily
I have committed to writing one little post every day, as a way for me to explore what truly matters to me… And the way i build self-trust in this way is that I actually do it, i follow through, without exception…
2. Commit to one small healthy habit daily
I have committed myself to doing certain things I have found raises my state, elevates my energy and presence, everyday… Why everyday? Well, because I believe it’s easier to stay accountable to my commitments & choices if I do them daily.
I’ve created a very simple habit-tracking system to track the process.
If you don’t have clarity yet on what this habit could be, or feel paralysed because there are so many to choose from… Then ask yourself which one you are most excited about?
Is it starting a daily meditation practice? Going for a daily walk in the forrest? Reading a little bit daily? Or is it something else that you believe would benefit from dong daily?
This depends on what you love to do and what your goals, values & priorities are…
Would you be able to answer me what your three core priorities are in life? This is very helpful to define and gain deeper clarity on, to get a sense of direction to make choices towards….
3. Take a cold shower – daily, do something uncomfortable, scary or difficult, but objectively speaking, fully safe.
This helps you deal with one of the strongest enemies of self-trust. It’s called “irrational fear”… We all have it more or less… It’s what holds us back from taking most meaningful action… We think we will die, that we will break, freak out or be ridiculed and despised…
But the fact is, when you actually do that scary, difficult or uncomfortable thing… you actually start getting used to it… And this is where you power lies… Now the very thing that hindered you from taking action can be seen more like an adventure or growth experience.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
Every day I do, for me, uncomfortable & scary things, outside of my comfort zone like…
* Swim in ice-cold water.
* Reach out to someone I look up to and ask for advice & follow their advice.
* Wake up before everyone else wakes up to focus on my priorities & move forward on my essential projects.
* Do a 30 min workout when I come home from work
* Take breaks after every 20 min of sitting. (my clock beeped just a second ago to remind me to stand up)
* Journaling at the beginning and end of the day to see more clearly what’s essential and what isn’t.
These are becoming my disciplines, things that help me grow in the directions of what matters to me, my priorities. And the trick is… I do these disciplines even if I don’t really feel like doing it in the moment… And this is the key…
“The size of our lives is in direct proportion to how uncomfortable we’re willing to be.” – Jon Levy
When it comes to challenging yourself for growth, going out of your comfort zone and following through on your decisions… you have to be careful so that you, make sure you make moral decisions… What do I mean with this?
F.ex if you notice that the decision you tool will put you i a really dangerous position, and you follow through on the commitment just because you’ve “already decided”, you have to be flexible and wise about it… Make sure you do things for the right reasons, for example:
* “It will be a bit scary but I will grow stronger & braver because of it” (like taking a cold shower)
* “It will be a bit uncomfortable, but I know that no one will really take harm from it.”
* “It’s hard but I know its the right thing do do.”
Ok, get out there and make some bold decisions… and stick with them… see it as a practice in self-trust, self-discipline & harvest the fruits of integrity, joy & confidence that follow.
I wish you all the best growth & adventure,
Daniel J. Galovan
ps. Read more about The Science of Adventure.