As a 20-something I was often wracked with indecision. I would spend days/weeks/months agonising over what I should do (or should have done) about particular parts of my life. By my early 30s, as I balanced on the edge of the cliff that was my slowly destructing marriage, my indecision had reached a crescendo.
I spent so much time seeking the advice of everyone else about what I should do with my life. My faith in my ability to make the best decisions for me about major life situations was extremely limited. I thought everyone else was wiser and more sensible than me. I didn’t trust myself and it just got worse and worse.
This was hardly surprising because, as my marriage began to splinter, my own behaviour spiraled. I made decisions that weren’t reliant on good judgement. My recklessness sometimes scared me. It was only later that I’d realise that this woman who seemed just a little out of control was simply breaking the chains that had held her captive for too long. I was breaking the chains that I’d tied myself up in for a very long time.
I could say these were the result of being an eldest child, getting married young, low self-esteem, anxiety, my family upbringing, a strong perfectionist streak and a long list of other reasons. And maybe some of those things contributed to me being the way I was.
But honestly, I think I was just never shown how to go within and trust myself. So one day the Universe gave me a solid kick up the you-know-what and shocked me out of the life I’d created. Forces bigger than me knocked me out of my sensible shoes and serious suits, and showed me a glimpse of something else. If you want to know more about that process, you can read my book, The Men I’ve Almost Dated, when I self-publish in the near future.
But the point I want to make is about what happened the day I decided to leave my marriage and every day since. The day I made that decision I chose to trust myself implicitly. It was an incredibly hard thing to do particularly as I knew a lot of people (including my family and many friends) would disagree with my choice. It was the first day I truly chose to back myself no matter what.
Choosing to do that takes courage when you’ve never been shown how to do it. It means you have to take a risk, choose yourself first and know you might still get it wrong.
Over the ensuing years I’ve continued to grow that trust in myself. Like a garden in the Brisbane heat, it often needs watering, weeding and fertilising. There are times when I’ve almost let that garden become a desolate wasteland because I’ve fallen back into the habit of trusting other people instead of myself. I’ve been challenged again and again, to return to my inner voice and trust it even when the dissenting opinions of others scream more loudly.
Self-trust is a lifelong journey. It’s a challenge and sometimes feels like the longest and loneliest march into a foreign world. But if I could go back now and talk to my 20-something self, I’d tell her that no matter what she must learn to trust herself. I’d advise her to listen to that inner voice that tells her when she’s going the wrong way and to take notice when that same voice tells her to keep going or have faith when it seems like madness to everyone else…even if it seems completely loopy to her very rational and reasonable brain.
Trusting myself is my biggest source of strength and my inner voice always speaks the truth. But the thing to remember is that ‘truth’ is ‘my truth’ so it’s not always going to make sense to anyone else. And it doesn’t have to.
The most important thing is that I know that my inner voice, my intuition, is always there to help me to learn, to grow and experience the beautiful things this life has to offer. It is my protector and the character that holds my hand as I leap off the next cliff into another adventure.
It is for me and me alone and will always be there inside. I just need the courage to listen for its soft tones.
Are you interested in building your self-awareness and trust in self? My intuition mentoring program can help you on your journey.