Do you constantly second-guess yourself? Are you always changing directions? Do you want something else but find yourself behaving completely differently? You are probably aware that you don’t trust yourself and often wonder how to trust yourself. This article lists signs you don’t trust yourself (in case you still don’t know!), why you don’t trust yourself, what lack of trust in yourself can lead to, and what you can do to build trust in yourself.
Signs You Don’t Trust Yourself
According to Psychologist Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, the following signs indicate a lack of trust in yourself.
- Instead of paying attention to how you feel about a situation, you turn to others for reassurance and advice.
- When you make an important decision, you ask others for their thoughts.
- You delay making decisions and put them off because it’s less stressful to be uncertain than to worry that you made the wrong decision.
- You disconnect rather than pay attention to your needs and desires.
- You overestimate other people’s viewpoints and undermine your ideas and feelings.
- After making a choice, you feel excessive guilt and perpetually worry that you’ve chosen poorly.
- You ponder what might have happened if you had chosen a different course.
- You compare your decisions with those of others.
- If you don’t get confirmation from others, you won’t think your choice is wise.
- You tend to accept unfavorable opinions of yourself quickly.
- You undermine the effect of your decisions.
- You don’t acknowledge and believe in your inherent value and worth.
Why do I not trust myself?
Lack of self-trust causes one to miss out on so much in life. It’s important to know why you lack trust in yourself.
You ruminate over the past.
Maybe you have a bad habit of dwelling on the past, especially past mistakes or misfortunes.
Many people convince themselves that to prevent making the same mistakes again in the future; they must constantly reflect on and replay their past errors.
Unfortunately, constantly dwelling on your past failures and mistakes not only makes you anxious and depressed but also reinforces the belief that you are untrustworthy.
Excessive worry about the future.
Often people convince themselves that their persistent worry is necessary or even inevitable because, well, somebody’s gotta worry about the bad stuff, right?
But worry differs fundamentally from sensible preparation and problem-solving. Although planning and problem-solving can be challenging, they are productive and generative and produce results. Worrying only produces stress and anxiety in the present and low self-esteem, and a lack of trust in the future.
Worry also gives people the impression of control. It is terrifying to face your limitations and helplessness and all the grief that would come with it, so people resort to worrying because it gives you a sense of power and ability. But in the end, it’s a trap because you have far less control than you would like.
Your emotions control you.
People tend to romanticize emotions. However, they are only one of many aspects of the human experience, no more special or authoritative than any other mental capacity, such as sensation, perception, or logical thinking.
Emotions will lead you astray as often as they will guide you. While you’d certainly benefit from increasing your emotional self-awareness, blindly and impulsively trusting them is a recipe for suffering and low self-esteem.
If you hold yourself to impossible standards, you’ll never be able to trust yourself to meet them. Why do so many people fall into the perfectionism trap, despite the stress, anxiety, and lack of self-confidence it causes? Perfectionism is about feeling perfect rather than doing perfectly.
Most perfectionists will admit that their unrealistically high achievement standards are completely unrealistic. But they continue to hold themselves to them. Because deep down, perfectionism is more about a low tolerance for feeling like a failure than being afraid of failure itself. Perfectionism makes it difficult to trust yourself because it destroys your emotional confidence—your belief in your ability to do the right thing even when you don’t feel the way you want.
When you procrastinate and break a promise to yourself, you condition your brain into thinking that you can’t be trusted to keep your promises.
Is it any surprise, then, that if you’re a chronic procrastinator, you also struggle to trust yourself? Procrastination is sure something that can be easily overcome. It can be a difficult problem with various subtle psychological causes.
But, at the end of the day, you must address your procrastination if you want to overcome your issues with self-trust.
You seek reassurance from others.
Seeking reassurance is essentially delegating the difficult task of managing difficult emotions to someone else. In addition to causing resentment and conflict in your relationships, seeking reassurance can destroy your self-confidence and ability to trust yourself.
If you routinely avoid dealing with your own painful emotions, you’re telling your brain that you can’t handle them alone. There’s nothing wrong with relying on others for emotional support from time to time. However, doing so at the expense of working through issues on your own is a recipe for low self-esteem.
Be careful of using other people as a crutch to manage difficult emotions that are ultimately your responsibility.
You suppressed your curiosity.
Many abandoned childhood dreams and passions because their parents or other authority figures did not approve of them.
What are you telling yourself if you spend decades suppressing your genuine interests and curiosity in favor of what society or your family considers important? You have essentially taught your mind—yourself—that what you want and are interested in is unimportant. Worse, your desire is not as important as other people’s desires. And that is a recipe for long-term difficulties with self-trust.
What happens if I don’t trust myself?
Your physical and mental health may suffer if you don’t trust yourself. Dr. Romanoff lists the following as some of the adverse effects you might encounter:
Mental health problems
People who don’t trust themselves often experience high levels of anxiety, depression, and guilt.
People who have trouble trusting themselves are also more likely to have sleep problems because they may obsess over big and small life decisions right before bedtime when they cannot get assurance from others or find other sources of distraction.
Physical health issues
The stress and anxiety that uncertainty causes can harm a person’s physical and mental health, eventually leading to memory loss, heart issues, and diabetes.
What Are The Benefits of Trusting Yourself?
You’ll be more aware of yourself.
Trusting yourself encompasses admitting when you’re not so great at something. Instead of ignoring your problems, you’ll be able to work on them and avoid problems in the future. And you will also be told when it’s time to try something new if your old methods aren’t working.
You will be more confident.
You will naturally feel more confident if you learn to trust yourself, especially over time. Confidence is one of the best ways to ensure career advancement, and it’s easy to see why when you consider all the opportunities that require high levels of confidence. Above all, leadership roles necessitate the ability to believe in yourself and trust that you’re making the right decisions at the right time to tell when it’s time to try something new if your old methods aren’t working.
You learn from mistakes.
If you make a mistake that affects you in any way, it is essential that you accept it, analyze how you can do better the next time, and move on. Trusting that you can do better and that a mistake will not ruin your life will benefit you greatly in your professional and personal life. Believe in yourself, and your mistakes will be nothing more than blips on your journey’s radar.
It makes your life easier.
Not everything will go your way, but believing in your ability to handle problems will help you worry less. It’s easier to go through life when you don’t feel like everyone, including yourself, is out to get you. You don’t have to believe that your actions are always right – in fact, you should always be willing to admit when you’re wrong – but you should stay positive and trust that everything will work out in the end.
How Do I Rebuild My Trust In Myself?
Spend some time by yourself.
If you neglect to take care of yourself, losing confidence is simple. Make sure to take time to engage in your favorite hobbies or invest in self-care. Burnout at your job or school will increase your annoyance and trust in yourself.
Give yourself a night a week to indulge in your favorite activity. Watch a movie, stroll in the park, or cozy up with a book in your favorite recliner. Do whatever it is that you most enjoy doing. Every night before you go to bed, set aside some time to write down three things for which you are thankful. Play some music and prepare coffee or tea for yourself to make it a more enjoyable practice.
Recognize your values, interests, and skills.
Get out a notebook and pen, find a quiet spot for yourself, and make a list of your top personal values, interests, and abilities. Write at least five items in each category. Bring this list out whenever you feel doubtful or pessimistic about reminding yourself of your positive characteristics and driving.
Whenever you have a doubt about a decision, consult your list to see if it aligns with your values and overall goal. Remember that everyone’s list will be unique, and it’s okay if you’re different from others. Keep a list of your accomplishments and strengths so you can reflect on what you’ve done well in the past. For example, you might write that one of your values is always being compassionate, that one of your hobbies is reading, and that a skill you have is being a good listener.
Don’t break the promises you make to yourself.
You have to act like your best friend if you want to trust yourself. You must therefore honor the commitments you make to yourself. Making and keeping a promise will help increase trust in yourself.
Just as you would keep a promise to meet a friend, keep a promise to yourself to go to bed earlier or take a brief walk every evening. You may occasionally need to break a promise to yourself due to unforeseen circumstances. Just be careful not to develop a pattern of consistently breaking your own promises.
Pay attention to yourself and your body.
Take the time to reflect on your mental and physical well-being. Allow yourself time to process negative emotions, such as sadness or anger, before reacting. If you give yourself some time to feel and think about what you’re feeling, you might notice that strong emotions fade or transform into something else entirely. For example, if you receive poor test results or a negative performance review at work, you may feel a heaviness in your heart and want to speak negatively to yourself.
Try to resist the urge to react and allow yourself to be sad. When the feeling subsides, consider how you can avoid it.
Respecting your own boundaries, particularly if you feel pressed to say yes to something, will help you trust yourself more. If you don’t have the time or energy to do something, it’s okay to decline politely.
Here are some tips for establishing boundaries.
- Practice self-awareness: Define your needs, likes, and dislikes. What makes you feel at ease? What frightens or upsets you? What circumstances in your life influence those emotional triggers?
- Recognize that your needs are important.
- Communicate your needs to others in a clear and concise manner.
- Make an effort to communicate assertively. Instead of blaming others, try to use “I” statements.
- It takes time to establish boundaries. They are not fixed in stone. If things don’t go as planned, don’t give up. Maintain clear and healthy communication and have patience.
- Remember that you have control over your life and can leave anytime.
Put an end to negative self-talk.
Everyone struggles with negative voices in their heads. Instead of speaking negatively to yourself and focusing on all the negative aspects of yourself, focus on the positive aspects of yourself. If you make a mistake, tell yourself that the next time will be better.
Being gentle and understanding with yourself when you make a mistake allows you to be kind to others when they make the same mistake.
Stop trying to be a perfectionist.
Trusting yourself does not imply that you will always say or make the right decision. You don’t have to be perfect and shouldn’t try. The best way to learn to trust yourself is to keep fighting to improve yourself.
If you say something that you later regret, apologize. But keep in mind that it is not a failure. The fact that you are sorry and want to make amends is a sign of growth.
It makes sense to conceal aspects of yourself to avoid rejection or criticism. You conceal yourself because you are self-conscious. And you don’t want anyone to notice how vulnerable you are. You don’t want to admit when you’ve erred.
However, putting on a false exterior makes it difficult to trust yourself. Would you trust someone who was two-faced, who said one thing and did another?
Authenticity is essential for developing long-term relationships and self-trust. The more genuine you can be, the more you’ll discover about yourself – and the more others will discover about you.
Recognize what really matters to you.
You have an inner conflict when you don’t understand your most important principles. Outside forces pull you in various directions. You end up making decisions based on the opinions of others rather than your own.
Three-quarters of one’s success comes from within that deep-down inner wisdom. The remainder is derived from outside sources: feedback and perceptions of others.
To trust yourself, you must first understand where you stand. Take the time to create a list of your core values and beliefs.
When you examine your beliefs and values, you can begin to match your actions to your beliefs. You are certain of who you are. And you understand when to say “yes” and when to walk away. You gradually gain confidence in yourself.
Learn from your mistakes.
Something that goes wrong once does not guarantee it will go wrong again. Don’t consider your mistakes to be failures. Consider their learning opportunities.
Consider what you can do to avoid making the same mistake again the next time something similar occurs. Learning from your mistakes will help you gain more confidence in yourself. Even if you repeat the same mistake, consider it a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Be kind to yourself. Consider what you can do differently the next time to avoid making the same mistake.
Take a break from whatever is overwhelming you.
Concentrate on something entirely different. Taking a break from something and focusing on something completely different can sometimes help bring a new perspective when you return to it.
Moving around, listening to music, doodling, scribbling, or playing with your cat or dog can help you unwind.
Begin by taking small risks to build your self-confidence. Then, with each success, build on it by taking a bigger risk. Don’t be afraid if you don’t always succeed.
For example, if you want to learn to play ice hockey, go to a roller skating rink with some friends first. This is a small risk; you’ll have a good time with your friends while learning to trust yourself on skates in a warm environment. Then, take a bigger step by enrolling in ice skating lessons. Finally, join a recreational ice hockey league in your area once you’re comfortable on the ice.
Get the support you need.
Taking care of yourself and accepting responsibility for your mistakes is important, but you don’t have to do it alone. It is equally important to seek help from others. If you are experiencing self-doubt, talk to your family, friends, or a professional therapist. They can offer you helpful advice and encouragement.
Tell someone you trust about your doubts the next time you don’t feel good enough to do something, like apply for a difficult job or take an advanced class. People in your life are often better able to see your positive qualities and inspire you to push your limits and try new things.
Look for people to encourage and support you. Avoid people who undermine your self-confidence. Consider the people you allow into your life and try to avoid those who do not support you or your dreams.
The Ending Note
One of the most wonderful things you can do for yourself is to trust yourself. It can boost your confidence, drive others to trust you more, and make decision-making much easier. However, many people lack self-trust. Several reasons can cause people to lose trust in themselves, such as: dwelling over the past, worrying excessively about the future, inability to regulate emotions, trying to be perfectionists, procrastinating, seeking reassurance from others, and suppressing their curiosity.
Lack of trust in yourself can affect your mental and physical health and cause sleeping issues, whereas trusting yourself makes you more aware of yourself, increases your confidence, helps you learn from your mistakes, and makes your life easier.
All it takes to trust yourself is a little effort, self-love, being true to yourself, learning from your mistakes, and establishing boundaries, among other things.
It is beneficial to maintain a regular self-trust practice while reconnecting with yourself, learning new skills, or spending time alone to support you on your journey toward deeper self-trust.