How many times have you decided you wanted to do something only to have the thought fade away as quickly as it came? How many missed opportunities have you had because you haven’t felt as though you were good enough, or accomplished enough, or smart enough to get it done?
Driving down the highway yesterday, I thought of how often we trust people and objects around us, when we so often forget to trust ourselves. As I thought more about it, I was startled at the realizations I was having. Of course, in addition to being our own biggest fan, we are always our own biggest critics, too. And when it comes to starting something new or risky, that critical mentality really comes out to play.
Think about how many times you’ve missed out on an opportunity, vacation, aspiration, or goal, just because you’ve thought to yourself that you couldn’t do it. Probably hundreds, if not thousands of times over the course of your lifetime. And as the years go on, think about how many more opportunities you’re going to miss out on if you don’t start trusting yourself and having the confidence to accomplish them!
“I would love to do, go, see, experience [insert activity here], BUT…”
How many times have those three letters held you back? “But.” BUT, what? If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a friend or colleague tell me they wish they could do something, followed by such a simple, yet crippling word, I’d be a rich woman. Seriously friends, it’s time you stopped using this word as a crutch and start trusting yourself to know what’s right.
Take a moment to think about it. Put it in a scenario that fits you in particular –
- If you’ve been wanting a to look for a new job, it probably means you’re hating the one you currently have. What are you waiting for? Start applying!
- Have you been dreaming of taking your ultimate vacation for what seems like a lifetime? Start saving a little bit of money each month so you can have something to look forward to!
- Worried about that business opportunity you’ve been thinking of exploring? Calculate your potential return on investment, and if it seems like it could be promising, what’s still holding you back? Sometimes writing down your pros and cons can help too – and if your pros outweigh the cons, make the move!
- Are you interested in moving to a new city or starting out fresh somewhere else? If you are thinking about it, you are craving a change in your life. Even if you start out small by moving to a different apartment, or to a different part of town, any change could be good!
We trust everything else – BUT ourselves!
I know I’m not the only person out there to have trusted in a friend of significant other, only to be hurt in the end. Does that mean I’m never going to date again or never make a new friend? Of course not. But think about the same thing applied to ourselves – why are we so afraid of failing that we aren’t even willing to try?
It dawned on me yesterday, as I was thinking about all these things, that I was speeding down the highway at 70 miles per hour, in a metal box that I trust with my life! Every day, millions of people get in their cars, trusting this manufactured machine to get them from point A to point B.
We trust that the planes we take on vacation will stay suspended in the air. We trust that our place of employment isn’t going to fire us. We trust that the food we get at a restaurant is safe to consume. We trust our doctor to diagnose us with the correct disease. We trust that our significant others won’t hurt us. We trust our friends to keep our secrets. We trust our electronic devices to work and keep our information secure.
Think of how many different moments of your day are spent trusting in objects or people other than yourself. The impact is mind blowing. And just think about how you have no control of the outcome when trusting in any of those objects or people! Imagine if you trusted yourself that many times a day – you’d be freaking unstoppable, there’s no doubt in my mind! Also, as long as you’re honest with yourself and realistic about your goals and what you want to accomplish, there won’t be any surprises or secrets along the way!
Believing in Yourself is Rewarding
I obviously can’t remember the first time I trusted myself to make a decision, but I do know that with each successful accomplishment, comes more self-trust. Of course, there have been many failures and speed bumps along the road for me, but where would I be if I hadn’t even tried?
Even at age ten, as I handed out fliers to my whole neighborhood advertising my petsitting and babysitting business, I faced trials that I’m glad I trusted myself through. I was made fun of by the neighborhood kids, had to learn how to properly deal with my “clients” while standing my ground (not the easiest feat as a puny ten year old), learn how to negotiate payments and rates, and the list goes on and on! Had I not taken that initial leap of faith, I wouldn’t be the same woman I am today.
I’m not just saying that, either. I truly mean it. I know that every one of the risks I’ve taken in my life has gotten me to this point, and with each new goal that I accomplish, my self-trust increases that much more. I already consider myself pretty successful for my age, and I’m obviously super proud of myself for where I am today, but those feelings compound each and every time I accomplish something else! It’s like that sweet, juicy cherry on the top of my ice cream sundae – awesome to accomplish my goal, but even more amazing to know that I had faith in myself, and actually did it!
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. -Karim Seddiki
Often the hardest and most challenging part of any goal or aspiration is the initial act of getting started. Before diving into the actual task at hand, we need to get past all the doubts and fears that so aggressively hold us back. We need to learn to stifle our doubts and trust ourselves to take the leap of faith.
So, what are you going to do on this beautiful day you’ve been given? What are you going to do this month? This year? This life? I know you have dreams, as we all do. Today is the day to crush that doubt, embrace your idea, and have the empowerment in your own self to start nurturing that self-trust. Start small and with each achievement you’ll be ready to take on something a little bigger and . That little voice in your head that tells you you can’t do it? Tell it to shut up, it’s totally lying to you!
“Do your thing. Do it unapologetically. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. You probably already know what they’re going to say. Pay no mind to the fear of failure. It’s far more valuable than success. Take ownership, take chances, and have fun. And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing.” – Asher Roth