Maybe you’re thinking of a different person for each of those questions. Maybe you’re thinking of one person for all of them or maybe you’re thinking that no one fits the bill for any of them. Our level of trust with another person often comes from our experience with that person. For example, if someone always recommends their favorite movies but we find we don’t like those movies when we watch them, we don’t ask that person what to watch. On the other hand, if we know someone whose recommendations are always right on track with our taste in movies, that’s our go-to person for just that one thing, movies!
It’s important to have people in our lives who we can turn to for advice, feedback, recommendations, and support. We are so wholly invested in every little aspect of ourselves, we often can’t get an objective view of the big picture without some outside help. Without other people we could feel isolated, alone, and often overwhelmed with trying to do absolutely everything by ourselves. We would need to be experts in every aspect of life and that’s an unrealistic expectation! So, we develop trust with other people. And we develop a different level of trust with each person according to our experience of them and according to their strengths and abilities.
We also develop an ability to trust ourselves with different aspects of our lives according to our experience. What if we ask those same trust questions of ourselves? Do you trust yourself to pick a movie you’ll like? Do you trust yourself to be objective about your performance and provide your own feedback? Do you trust yourself with your children’s care? Do you trust yourself to maintain good health? Do you trust yourself to always pick the slowest line at the checkout or take the longest road home? Do you trust yourself to go deep within, to honor and to face your deepest thoughts, fears, and desires?
Again, the answers to those questions may vary. One of the things I hear when talking to people who are trying to lose weight is that they can’t trust themselves where food is concerned. They don’t feel confident that they can manage their weight on a consistent basis. They don’t feel confident they can stick with any food or exercise plan for any length of time. Believe me, I understand and I have felt this way myself many times in the past!
There is some value in looking into the past, into what happened in our lives to bring us to this place of distrust with ourselves. But that’s not the focus of this topic. My question is, what can we do about it now? How do we regain trust with ourselves? What concrete steps can we take to re-establish our self-confidence and learn to trust ourselves? Because honestly, this journey of self-care is deeply personal. Doesn’t it make sense that we would be the one person best suited to trust with our physical size, our health, and our own desires and dreams? Why would we ever think someone else could do a better job than we can do for ourselves?
Find something you’re good at and feel confident about.
Previously I asked you to think of something you’re good at. This was that skill or ability that you can do in your sleep and if you had to stop doing it for 5 years, you know you could pick it right back up and be good at it again in no time. Bring to mind that feeling of confidence in your ability now. Think about what it took to get good at it, how much time you spent learning and practicing, and what kept you going when you failed or had a setback.
Give yourself kudos! Resonate in the feelings of confidence and accomplishment. Trust that you can get good at reaching and maintaining weight goals also. You have the ability to learn. You know it takes practice. You love what you’re doing for your body and for your life, so any little stumbling block you run into just doesn’t have the power to stop you from sticking with your plan.
Take it one step at a time.
It’s a cliché, but that’s because it’s so true. Instead of thinking about the end goal and how far you have to go, think about what you want to accomplish today, or this week. If it’s using a food or calorie tracker, do it today. One meal at a time, log your food today and only today. Practice that one day at a time until you get good at it and until it feels natural. If it’s exercise or moving more, get up today and take 10 more steps than you usually do. Practice that today and only today. And when tomorrow is today, get up and take those 10 extra steps. Practice getting up and moving every day until it feels good and it’s a natural part of your routine. Work on what’s right in front of you because the only time we have to work on anything is right now, this day. You’ve worked toward other goals in your life. Trust that this process is the same, in that one step at a time will get you to the feeling of accomplishment.
Release the need to judge.
This one can be tough, but we can do this with practice. Listen for the words “good” and “bad” in your thoughts, in your language, and from other people. Practice making those statements neutral. For instance, if you think, “I was so bad for eating ______,” turn that into “I made a choice to eat _____.” If you think, “that’s a good food” turn it into “that’s a food choice.” Listen for the judgments you make about yourself, your performance, the food you eat, the things you do and the things you don’t do. Give that judgy voice a rest! Accept yourself for who you are and acknowledge the choices you make. Guess what! You can choose again, over and over, in every moment of every day. And the less often you judge those choices, the more often you accept those choices, the closer you get to your goals and the happier your life is. Each time you acknowledge a choice without making it a statement about yourself, you are building trust in your ability to make choices that you love.
Release the need to compare yourself to others.
One of the biggest trust busters we can use is to compare ourselves to others. This is also one of those old clichés but it’s true that you’re better at some things than others and somebody else is better at weight management than you are. This is all about you! This is intensely personal. No one else has your desires, skills, or passion. No one knows you better than you know yourself. You have within you everything you need to get good at reaching and maintaining weight goals. No one else will do this exactly like you do it. How great is that! You get to be creative! You get to innovate! You get to learn about yourself, your body, and about what motivates you! It doesn’t matter if you choose to take a quick path, a slow path, use an established food program, get a personal trainer, use videos, read books or hire a private coach. It’s all your choice and you can’t get it wrong. Find the place in you that gets excited about doing it your way, with no one telling you what to do, and trust that person you truly are to have all the wisdom you can imagine!
Find your joy.
Because that’s what this is all about. We all want to feel good. We want to love how we look and love the life we are living. When you are tapping into joy, when every choice you make feels good, when you find yourself looking forward to each day and noticing the beauty and abundance all around, you have found trust in yourself. You realize you’re no longer on that learning curve, you’ve mastered this. You have mastered this! You found trust inside yourself, you tapped into your strengths, you accepted the choices you made along the way and you did it your way.
Now go back to the beginning and ask yourself some of those questions again. Do I trust myself to make joyful choices? Do I trust myself to nourish my body lovingly and with care? Do I trust myself to go deep within, to honor and to face my deepest thoughts, fears, and desires?
I bet you do. I know you can count on yourself. You are whole. You are resourceful. You are creative. You’ve got this!