“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.”  – Bertrand Russell 

This month at On Point with Danielle, we are focusing on a key element of leadership: TRUST. In this post, as the title suggests, we’ll tackle learning to trust yourself. 

The quote above is kind of good news if you find yourself to be in the latter category as one who is sometimes (or often) plagued with doubts. You’re not a fool or fanatic, so – yay! 😊  

The Cost of Mistrust 

And yet, at the same time, it really doesn’t feel good to be constantly doubting yourself and full of anxiety that you might be screwing up, or missing something, or just all ‘round not good enough. Furthermore, truth be told, it costs you. Lack of self-trust costs you time, money, sleep, well-being, and even impacts your relationships, because, when you don’t trust yourself, it is unlikely that you have a high degree of trust in others. 

Prove it, you say. Okay (I say). 

When you don’t trust yourself to make good decisions in your business, you might grab at things, like systems or programs, that make big promises but cost a lot of money. These programs or systems could be a massive “overbuild” that you’re just not ready for, and then you’re stuck paying a monthly fee – or you dished out big bucks up front – for things that you can’t use. 

When you don’t trust yourself to make good decisions in people to bring into your business, you can fall prey to people who know how to talk a big game, but, at best, don’t deliver, or at worst, rip you off.  

I’ll bet you any money that, if you’ve been in business longer than six months, you’ve already had these two kinds of experiences, at least once or twice.  

Art and Science: Instinct and Curiosity 

Learning to trust yourself is part art, part science, and is founded in a one-two combo punch of instinct and curiosity.  

On the curiosity front, here’s the deal: 

Self-doubt says, “OMG, I don’t know how to do that. I should know how to do that! It’s embarrassing that I don’t know. I should hide the fact that I don’t know, pretend I know, or guess. I suck.” 

Curiosity says, “Oh, hey, here’s something I don’t know how to do. Let me try and learn it or figure it out or ask for help. Fun! I’m learning!” 

Kind of sciency, right? There’s nothing new under the sun, and someone else has figured this stuff out. All you have to do is be curious to learn and grow. 

As far as instinct goes, well, that’s the art part. 

They say that our intuition is like a second brain. I like that, because my first brain receives all its information through something called the amygdala, which is my threat radar. Based on my past experiences and limiting beliefs, my threat radar might cloud my judgment, keeping me in survival mode of what feels safe. But my intuition, my second brain, is “like a superhighway between the brain and the GI system [gut].”  Not to get too technical, but there are hundreds of millions of neurons connecting your enteric nervous system to your brain, and those neurons receive information through a multitude of neurotransmitters – even your very skin. It all happens in absolute nanoseconds, before your conscious brain has a chance to think.  

Your gut is not wrong. I have learned, through much trial and error, that the more I am willing to follow my gut, the more things work out in my favour. I used to override my intuition or instinct all the time because lack of self-confidence told me that other people must know more/better. The thing is – that rarely turned out to be true. The more I notice my body and feelings, and check in with my intuition, the more I make “right” decisions for myself. I’ve come to trust that. I’ve come to trust myself. 

Trusting Me, Trusting You 

Learning to be open and curious about things I don’t know, while keeping a close “ear” on my gut has led me to make much, much better decisions about the people with whom I choose to be in relationship, be it business or personal. Because I want to learn things, I will reach out to others with expertise. But because I trust my gut, I will check in with myself to see if the advice I receive fits for me. See how that works? I am not mistrusting of others, but I am wise about relationship and advice. I don’t let me needs or wants lead me by the nose; I set an intention and then listen for the path. Trust me (see what I did there?), it works. 

Are you learning to trust yourself? Or are you struggling with self-doubt and insecurity in your business and aren’t sure how to dig out? Connect with me to talk about it and let’s work out a plan to get you on the road to self-confidence and success. 

And, as always, Stay on Point!