It’s not new, I have deep-seated self-doubt. Situations from the past haunt me. I think about what I should have done differently in hopes of manufacturing a better outcome. I even have a recurring dream about my days of waiting tables and spilling a Bloody Mary on a woman wearing a completely white suit. OK, my brain tells me that a smart woman wouldn’t wear all white…and certainly not drink something with tomato juice as the main ingredient. But the deep down part of me re-lives the whole bad experience from when I was 20. It’s hard to trust yourself when you think about snappy comebacks after the fact or reason out a better way days later.
While working on myself I’ve done much soul-searching and research on some basic human fundamentals. Things like shame, vulnerability, trust, isolation, failure, and growth dominate my thoughts late at night just as I’m falling asleep.
I’ve lived in the shadow of Husband #2’s business for a decade. Now that it’s gone I’ve given myself the goal of finding out who I am once again. Part of that is learning to listen to my instincts, to start trusting my decisions and not agonize over the road not taken.
After running a search on “How to trust yourself” I found a very pertinent article on PlanetOfSuccess.com. The most important part for me was:
Acknowledging one’s responsibility for the mistakes and failures in life should come hand in hand with the willingness to forgive yourself for these. Instead of blaming yourself for the mistakes you committed in the past, try to discover the lessons these failures/mistakes might have taught you. Thereby, you will understand the higher purpose underlying each and every one of your failures. It furthermore will help you to avoid making similar mistakes again.
A synopsis of the steps for learning to trust yourself:
- Take responsibility for your life
- Forgive yourself
- Come to terms with your past
- Follow your heart/intuition
- Trusting yourself vs. seeking advice from others
- Become the master of your life
Part of all of these changes I’m making is the understanding that it will be a life-long effort to be a better person. Just like marriage, self-improvement is not a list of items that get checked off as you do them. Self-improvement is a process, sometimes a daily (or minute-by-minute) struggle to recognize dangerous habits and escape the deep ruts that we’ve made for ourselves.
It takes commitment, forgiveness, love, and patience…all starting with me first.