How to trust yourself, despite what others think you should do.

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One of the most common ways we undermine our self-confidence and amplify self-doubt is by allowing others to tell us who to be or what to do. For instance, when friends or family give us their opinions or advice - even when they are trying to be helpful – it can make us question our own thoughts or feelings. Self-doubt can also come from comparing ourselves to others, from our social or family conditioning, or from the internalized voices of criticism (which often come from experiences that happened years ago, but are still living inside our heads). Whether someone is actually telling us how to live, or the pressure is coming from inside of us, the impact is that it separates us from our true nature, our intuition and emotional guidance, and our instincts for authentic growth and expression. We allow the messages we receive from outside of ourselves to take priority over our own inner knowing. But we can reverse this by re-building that trust in ourselves and valuing our own truths over the opinions or expectations of others (or the beliefs and values we have internalized from our culture that don’t actually align with who we are).

What You'll Need

  • None needed

What You'll Do

  • Re-connect with your intuition and inner knowing. Get out of your repetitive mind and connect with your deeper awareness. Listen, open up and receive. Here are some ways to do this: Meditate, move your body, do some yoga, get outside into nature, journal or free write, pay attention to synchronicities (meaningful coincidences), do a body scan or an emotional check in, notice any flashes of insight, creative urges, or sudden inspiration, take notes on the thoughts and feelings that seem important to you, write down your dreams, etc. You may already have ways of connecting in with yourself and your intuition, and I suggest you use the ones that work for you. And try exploring new ones as well!
  • Inquiry: choose specific questions or topics to explore, and then dedicate a few days or weeks to it. You can write about them, reflect on them, do some artwork around them…whatever helps you connect with your deeper knowing and experience. You my want to explore a certain feeling you keep having – like guilt, fear, or sadness. Or a recurring situation in your life. Here are some prompting questions to inspire you as well: Where are you making compromises in your life? Where are you not saying or doing something because you worry about what other people will think? Where are you holding yourself back out of fear (that you will stand out, be rejected, make a mess, upset the apple cart, etc.) or the need to please someone else? What is your secret dream? What do you wish you could do, be, have – but it just feels so out of reach? How do you really feel about the people and situations in your life? What topics excite or upset you? When do you feel passionate? Where do you wish you could be more honest – with others or with yourself? What stories are you telling yourself about life and how things are supposed to be that don’t actually come from you? What is actually true for you? What gifts might you bring to yourself and to others if you trusted your own way of being/doing? What could that open up? What could that transform? Sometimes our greatest gifts are the things we fear will make us too different or unacceptable. But the world actually needs your expression and point of view. Your greatest contribution may come from moving beyond the status quo and trusting your own ideas.
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