Do you trust yourself to make the right decision? If you have decision angst or often second guess the decisions you make, I have some encouraging news! Self-trust can be learned. Here’s how you can start building your trust muscle right now.
Trusting yourself is something you learned how to do (or not do) very early in life.
And, while your primary caregivers may have had a big influence on how well you learned to trust yourself, that’s not the end of the story.
You can learn to trust yourself more often as an adult. In fact, trusting yourself is one of the most important self-management tools you can have when it comes to effective and efficient decision-making.
When you don’t trust yourself, big (and even small) decisions can take a very long time to make and really drain your energy! That’s because you are constantly second guessing whether or not you are making the “right” decision.
Self-trust is like a muscle that can be developed.
A great first step is to simply notice when you are trusting yourself. Notice what it feels like.
Every decision counts.
This gives you a reference point to strive for when you have a more challenging decision to make. It also shows that you know how to do it.
Sometimes the dread we experience around decision-making comes because we tell ourselves we’re stuck with it no matter what.
So, another important piece of building self-trust is to give yourself permission to reconsider if something about the situation changes. It’s okay to revise your original decision if you receive new information or inspiration. Or, you can give yourself permission to change your mind for no reason at all.
For instance, if you decide to go on vacation and a tropical storm strikes the week before your trip, you can make a new decision based on the new information.
This is a tool I call choose and choose again.
When you trust you can always make a new decision in the future, you grant yourself freedom to let go and move on once you have decided.
This allows you to choose based on what’s happening right now, rather than trying to account for a long list of unforeseen future developments.
So, what happens if the circumstances evolve and you aren’t able to change your original decision for some reason?
Well, then you simply acknowledge that you would make a different decision if you had the opportunity in this moment.
This is not a failure on your part, and it is certainly not a reason to stop trusting yourself.
In fact, now you can practice trusting that, at the very least, growth and learning will come of it either way.
If you are someone who experiences decision-making angst, make a commitment to yourself to start building your self-trust muscle, listening to what’s right for you and free up some precious energy for more productive and fulfilling pursuits.
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And if you know a friend or neighbor who could use hearing the advice in this article or needs The Job I Love Toolkit, please forward this to them.