Trust Yourself

I’m part of The Domino Project‘s #Trust30 – Trust Yourself Writing Project. It’s a 30-day writing challenge where 30 writers and thinkers provide writing prompts for 30 days, inspired by Emerson’s classic, Self-Reliance.

Today that thinker is me!

My prompt:

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

***

Self-trust is the golden ticket to living an interesting life that’s yours.

We can forget, in our fast-paced culture of “experts,” how to rely on ourselves – in a centered “I trust myself to handle what life brings” way.

When we forget this, we can get lost in a loop of self-improvement, hiring people to tell us what to do with our businesses, our emotional lives, our diets; but because we aren’t taking time to see if what we are learning resonates with us, nothing satisfies. Before long, we start the cycle again with a new coach, another book, another business idea.

The way out of this depleting loop-de-loop is simple and elegant:

  • Slow down.
  • Ask “What do I know about this?”
  • Listen – not so much to your mind but more to your felt knowing. Your gut. Your heart.
  • Act on what you learn. As in take action.
  • Pause and notice what you know now.
  • Repeat.

Skip any part and self-trust goes into hiding.

If you keep going at 1000 miles a second, you can’t hear what you know.

If you don’t take action, self-trust isn’t cultivated because you’ve got no skin in the game: thinking doesn’t count.

Take action and then forget to notice how things are different? No input from reality = self-indulgence, not self-trust.

Building a practice of self-trust doesn’t give you six-pack abs or 15 minute orgasms. It’s not a life hack.

What it does give you is deep faith. Faith in yourself, faith in your choices, faith in your ability to create a life that is yours and no one else’s, faith to recover, faith to try again.  It gives you a way to anchor yourself in the darkest times, when your husband leaves, your dad dies, you lose your biggest contracts, and your cat is eaten by coyotes.

It gives you a way home.

I have lots more to say about self-trust, and I say it in my fab self-trust course – no hype, just a very brief series of emails on how to cultivate more of good ju-ju. Get it here.

Now to paraphrase Mr. Emerson, go forth and let your heart vibrate to that iron string.

P.S. Reading Self-Reliance is like getting a master lesson in self-trust, a transmission across time.

Visit the #Trust30 site today and be inspired by the incredible gathering of voices, including Ralph Waldo Emerson’s of course!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Eric - June 20, 2011

Jen
Thank you for underlining the distinction between “a practice” and “a hack”. Hacks do have their place – as you suggest earlier – like when you want to learn a nifty way to crack eggs for your molten cake without getting shell in the batter. But, these technical tips aren’t the recipe for how to live with depth, presence, and joy. That’s a practice.

Practice is never-ending. Though not tedious. Practice is intimacy with your life. Ever-deepening intimacy that ushers you into the revelation of the present moment. Not necessarily a 15-minute orgasm. But, you never know . . .

Only symbol I’m not sure of . . . iron string? How about copper? Silver?

Reply
Janine - June 20, 2011

I would like to read this at least once a year for the rest of my life! Thanks for the great reminder!

Reply
winsomebella - June 21, 2011

Practice makes perfect.  Thanks for your insightful suggestions. 

Reply
jenniferlouden - June 23, 2011

Me too friend me too!

Reply
Willo O'Brien - June 23, 2011

I resonate so deeply with this, Jen! Love love love it.

Reply
Leave a Reply: