I am never surprised to learn that my clients don’t trust themselves; they subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) see themselves as liars. Lacking self-trust is so common that I see it in virtually every setting in which I work. The internal gap between trust and doubt is created by not keeping commitments and agreements with yourself. Over time, the more promises you don’t keep with yourself, the bigger that gap becomes. Eventually, your ability to believe anything you tell yourself is so diminished, you might not even set or keep goals at all.
Weight loss — who are you kidding? I’ve tried every diet and can’t last a week.
Taking time off — I know it would be good for me, but I have too much to do and bills to pay, plus I’ll get time and a half if I volunteer for the holiday weekend.
Spending more time with the family — Look, I want my team to know how important they are and giving them 24/7 access to me is a way for me to stay connected to them and what’s going on with our customers. I don’t think my family suffers from a few text messages during dinner.
Cleaning out the garage — I’ll get around to it eventually; I know I’ve been saying I’d do it for a while now, but when I’m off work I deserve a break!
Spending any time at all rationalizing and justifying your reasons for not following through and keeping your agreements with yourself is a great indicator that your reserves are low. Feelings of failing, being incapable, inadequate, unfit, not as good as, not meeting expectations, and/or unmotivated are common when that store of self trust has been depleted.
Most Important Point:
Know that you are not your failure or your performance.
A Simple Way to Rebuild Your Low Supply
Identify something that excites you right now that would be fun for you to do.
Start small. And by small, I mean really small. Before rushing out to commit to any programs, books or memberships, commit for today — just one day.
For example, if you’ve always wanted to lose weight, but feel daunted by the scope of the task, don’t set a weight goal that with the best of coaches would take you a year to achieve.
Simply decide to take yourself for a walk today. And that’s it.
Can you tell yourself you’re going to walk today and then do it? You’ve kept an agreement with yourself.
Now take a mental snapshot, a time stamp if you will, of this moment in time when you decided and went for a walk. This way, the next time that voice of self doubt comes forward (like tomorrow, for example), you need only flip open your mental file and access the experience of walking yesterday in such a way that it informs today’s decision. You can remind yourself that you can trust you. You now have proof that when you trust yourself and when you trust your choices, you create exactly what you want.
Rinse, lather and repeat that tomorrow and then again the day after tomorrow.
Every day you need only decide today to take yourself for a walk.
Do not set a goal farther away than one day.
Remember, this exercise is for anyone whose self-trust is low or non-existent. The objective is to build your trust to a place from which bigger and bigger commitments can be made and kept.
Consider the reasons you may be in the position you are currently: it’s due to the fact that in the past, commitments were made and not kept, some small, many large and over time those withdrawals created the current deficit.
Also note this works in any setting: personal or professional. Tasks and goals and dreams exist within us and want to be realized. The steps outlined above will get you to a different place of building yourself as a resource.
If you’d like some support on your journey, send me an email <firstname.lastname@example.org> and tell me your new goal for today and why you selected it. I’ll email something back to you that might be useful for you.