How to Build Trust With Yourself…
Take a moment to think about how you build trust with a close friend, significant other, or relative. This might look different for all of us, but there are some qualities we look for in relationships that are quite common. These include loyalty, acceptance, kindness, humor, playfulness, dependability, nurturing, empathy, the list goes on! Have you ever reflected on what exactly results in you trusting another person? For some this might be when someone can demonstrate they’re a good listener, show up when they say they will, make you laugh, make you feel seen or heard, or check up on you often. You might also find that these are things that come naturally to you as well, in terms of what you provide in your relationships to others. Many of us can agree that all relationships require a level of commitment and time. And just like most commitments, relationships can produce stress because they require effort to maintain. So wouldn’t it make sense to remember that maintaining your own well-being takes effort, time, commitment AND can produce a little stress as well? What would happen if we started viewing self-care as forming a relationship and building trust with oneself?
It’s a common struggle for people to stay committed to goals they have for themselves, or make time for self-care, or stay motivated about things that make them feel good. We can often lose sight of our needs, forget to check in with ourselves, avoid listening to what our body is telling us, or forget to show up for ourselves and the things that are important to our well-being. But what’s interesting about this is that you often don’t experience that same lack of motivation when it comes to a favor for a loved one, friend, co-worker. So then, why is it so easy to neglect your own needs? What if you began building trust with yourself around the things that feel important to you as an individual? And you could do this by beginning to show up for yourself and slowly prove that you can depend on you.
It’s common for people to get frustrated with themselves about this. Maybe you hear yourself saying things like “Why didn’t I just go to bed on time like I said I would? Now I’m so tired the next morning.” Or “Why did I over commit myself to projects at work and social outings this month? Now I have zero time for rest.” The frustration might come from the fact that you have enough self-awareness to realize your lack of self-care here, but yet the same problem continues to repeat itself despite acknowledging it’s an issue. Well, did you know that some of our most stubborn habits are actually products of our neural plasticity in the brain? Meaning, our brain can quite literally be hard-wired to continue with what’s familiar despite having the knowledge it’s not good for you. One of the most effective ways to improve your neural plasticity is by encouraging our brain to form new neural pathways. And one of the most efficient ways to form new neural pathways is by PRACTICE. New neural pathways won’t be encouraged to form unless you practice repetition of new habits.
Let’s begin by re-evaluating the goals and expectations you might have for yourself. One of the biggest mistakes someone can make when goal setting is not being realistic about what they’re asking of themselves. Take an honest look at your obligations, responsibilities, and how your time is spent on a daily basis. Are you getting enough sleep? Eating enough? Socializing? Resting? Working? Once you have an honest look at your time commitments, evaluate where too much time is being spent versus how little time is left for you to show up for yourself. If you’re having a hard time being honest here, try responding to yourself as you would a friend or loved one. If you were sitting with someone you cared about and were taking an honest look at this schedule, what would you think? Can they be spending less time doing something unproductive? Could they use more down time or self care?
Once you have taken an honest look at how you’re balancing your time, begin to reevaluate your goals/expectations for yourself. Ask yourself: “Do I have enough time or energy to do this now?” To help with time management when balancing your commitments, try setting a timer next time to better stop/start your time allotted for certain things. You might also ask yourself, “Am I doing this for myself or others?” It’s important to check in with ourselves about what is motivating us to show up to our commitments and if it feels unbalanced you might set a boundary next time. Start each day with a moment of “daily intention setting” to organize yourself, ask yourself these questions, and set boundaries in order to strengthen your relationship with yourself. By beginning to PRACTICE these ways of showing up for yourself more often, the more your trust in yourself will grow.