5 Tips for Building Self-trust
We often think about trust in regards to our interpersonal relationships, but what about trust in ourselves? You are your own closest companion, and if you don’t trust yourself, you might experience deep fear or anxiety about your choices. Self-trust is often overlooked as a positive quality to work toward, but it’s one of the best traits you can possess if you’re trying to build your self-confidence and approach your life with more conviction.
Some people naturally have a stronger sense of self-trust than others. If you tend to doubt yourself or criticize yourself, self-trust may not be the area where you thrive. No one is perfect, and we are all on different paths to self-improvement. Fortunately, self-trust is something you can develop over time. You should understand what self-trust is, why trusting yourself is so important, and what you can do to build up self-trust.
What Is Self-trust?
Self-trust is your belief in yourself to make your best effort in life. You don’t need to be completely confident that you’re making the right decisions all the time to have self-trust. Instead, self-trust is the understanding that you will strive to do what’s right and that making mistakes won’t get in the way of your growth. Even in situations that feel uncertain, you believe in your integrity.
Why You Need Self-trust
People with a strong sense of self-trust tend to navigate life’s challenges more easily than those who lack self-trust. When you believe in your ability to learn, grow, and persevere, you won’t feel as anxious or overwhelmed when facing tough choices. The idea of failure doesn’t bother you because you trust yourself to learn from a mistake and pick yourself back up again. Because self-trust empowers you to take risks and go outside your comfort zone, it can lead to self-improvement.
Self-trust can improve your interpersonal relationships, too. If you struggle to believe in yourself, you might find yourself looking for external validation. While you should be able to trust the people in your life, you shouldn’t rely on them more than you rely on yourself. When you develop self-trust, your relationships become stronger because you feel more secure and fulfilled.
How to Build Self Trust
Your trust or lack of trust in yourself is a deep-rooted belief, so you can’t just tell yourself to feel more confident. To truly develop self-trust, you have to put in the work. It’s not always easy to change your underlying opinion of yourself, but it is possible if you’re patient and reflective.
Here Are Five Strategies You Can Use to Build Your Self-trust and Self-confidence
1. Make and keep commitments to yourself.
Making commitments to yourself reminds you that you’re worth your own time and energy. When you put effort into self-care and self-improvement, you’ll increase your confidence. You’re working hard to make yourself and your life as great as possible, so why wouldn’t you have faith in yourself?
There are a few helpful ways you can make commitments. One strategy is to block out your calendar at specific times for specific tasks. For example, if you plan to go to the gym on Mondays at 6 pm, mark it in your calendar. This gives you a concrete reminder of your venture, and it encourages you to follow through with the commitment.
When it comes to long-term commitments to yourself, it can be easier to set smaller and more achievable goals than to make broad statements about your plans. If your goals are too far away or too ambitious, you might start to doubt yourself if you don’t reach them. Instead of telling yourself you’ll go to the gym for an hour every day, make a plan to go to the gym twice this week. Don’t worry too much about your plans weeks or months from now. Focus on what you can do today to work toward your goals, and you’ll feel a stronger sense of trust in yourself to follow through and succeed.
2. Allow yourself to feel your emotions.
Self-doubt is the enemy of self-trust, and telling yourself that you’re not allowed to experience certain emotions is a sure-fire way to plant the seeds of doubt in your mind. When you try to avoid or suppress your emotions, you’re confirming to yourself that you can’t be trusted to feel things.
It’s virtually impossible to stop yourself from feeling certain emotions, so it’s far healthier to acknowledge and validate your experience. By allowing your emotions to unfold naturally, you express to yourself that your thoughts and feelings are real and that you trust your emotional instincts.
This doesn’t mean that you should act on all of your emotions, though. Acknowledging how you feel internally is different from allowing negative emotions to cause you to lash out or act self-destructively. However, validating your own emotions is the first step toward processing and coping with them, which can improve your outward emotional regulation.
3. Adopt a growth mindset.
People who doubt themselves often jump to the worst case scenario when thinking about risks or challenges. When you’re facing a difficult decision or considering trying something new, you might think only about everything that could go wrong. Changing your mindset in these moments is the key to building self-trust, though.
If you start to imagine all the ways a situation could go wrong for you, try to reframe it in a positive way. Don’t think of mistakes or failures as embarrassing moments that should never have happened. Instead, think of every misstep as a learning opportunity. If you never made mistakes, how would you learn and grow as a person?
It’s easy to let the shame or anxiety creep in when something goes wrong. You can acknowledge and validate these feelings when you experience them, but try to learn at least one lesson from every mistake. By turning mistakes into learning opportunities, you’ll start to worry less and less about failure.
4. Advocate for yourself.
Speaking up for yourself can be incredibly difficult if you’re naturally a shy or self-conscious person. This is a crucial skill if you want to develop self-trust, though. You have to trust in yourself that you know your needs and wants and that you have the ability to advocate for yourself.
Trusting yourself means believing that your needs, your values, and your opinions are just as valid as everyone else’s. If someone says something that deeply hurts you, you’re allowed to speak up about it. If you have a suggestion or idea during a meeting at work, you can mention it. Your mind might try to tell you that your opinions or ideas don’t matter, but you have to ignore this voice. It can be scary at first to start speaking up if you’re not used to it, but it will get more comfortable over time as your trust in yourself increases.
5. Talk to a therapist.
Sometimes, building up your trust in yourself is difficult to do on your own. When your critical inner voice gets too loud, it can feel impossible to ignore. If you feel like you just can’t let go of your self-doubt no matter how hard you try, it might be time to speak with a therapist.
A therapist can offer you a number of helpful strategies for dismissing your negative thoughts and increasing your self-confidence. They can help you look at specific situations in your life that made you feel particularly doubtful and break down exactly what you were thinking and feeling in the moment. Then, these situations become learning opportunities so that you can relate more positively to yourself and the world in the future.
Building self-trust is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your mental health and improve your life. Menachem Psychotherapy Group offers counseling for individuals who are working on self-confidence, self-trust, and a wide variety of other goals. To learn more about our practice or to connect with a therapist in Los Angeles, contact us a call today.