I Stopped Trusting Myself For A Year. How I started Again.

People will doubt you. They will second guess and question you. They will rattle your cage. They will poke holes in your explanations. And if you are not solid you will fail.

And when you do, you feel like a small person who never has the “right” answer. This is what happens when you stop trusting yourself. This is what happens when you loose your sense of inner guidance. Feeling like you never know the right answer is awkward and uncomfortable.

When my discomfort grew so painful, I found ways to trust myself.

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Determine Your Best Way For Dealing With The Awful

When you are going through a terrible experience – be it the end of a relationship that was once meaningful to you, a serious health problem or injury, a traumatizing experience, loss of a loved one – no matter what darkness has presented itself, it was there and it was terrible.  Eventually, you find a way through this. Maybe you journal, paint, meditate, see a therapist, seek support from friends and family, whatever it is, you somehow move through and eventually past this misery.

Exercise: Call to memory or jot down a trying time in your life.


Realize How You Expanded

Once you have come out of this, you are a changed person. You are now someone who was given a choice – to deal with it head on or remain stuck and in denial forever. You got through it and have healed. You learned something powerful about yourself – that you are able to rise to a rough occasion, and are now a changed person because of this experience.

Take a moment to be insightful, your future trusting self will appreciate you. It will not be the last time something challenging presents itself to you, however, when that moment comes, you now have the benefit of your previous triumph to remember. Recognizing that you prevailed in the past will boost your self-trust.

Exercise: Reflect on what you did to conquer that occurrence.

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Next Time, Prepare

When I told a boss I was leaving, I practiced what I would say in the mirror that morning. When I ended a meaningful relationship, I scripted out what I would express before our conversation using the DEARMAN dialectical behavior therapy tool. When I couldn’t decide with whom to spend a holiday, I declared I would make my decision the following day, pausing the situation.  I was torn – I wanted to see my boyfriend yet I had already committed to being with my family. I am a serial mind-changer; I determine better options all the time!

Exercise: Practice pressing pause before reacting.


Do What Makes You Love Yourself

In the previous holiday example, I decided to take a breather until the following day, when I elected to keep the plan as it originally was and spend the holiday with my family. I felt proud, like I choose with integrity. If you feel great about it, then it was the right decision. It does not matter what you select, what matters the most is how YOU feel about your resolution.


When you act with integrity, and trust and love yourself, you will always know and do the “right” thing.

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Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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