You’re at a stage in your journey where you’ve defined who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. That’s incredible! Few people ever take the time to do that. Take a moment to celebrate your hard work, your determination, and most of all, your commitment to you.
Now we’re going to take things up another notch. To get you to a place where you can live your Purpose with confidence, undertake new projects, and make decisions that serve YOU, we’re going to take a month to develop the superpower of Trusting Yourself. And make no mistake about it, it IS a superpower!
You see, when you actually start to Trust Yourself, you become more aware of yourself, your needs, and how the outside world conflicts or aligns with your values. You start to see things you hadn’t seen before, and you start paying attention to warning signs that you’re on the wrong path or in the wrong place. You start making on-the-spot decisions that serve you.
Building Self Trust is a task in and of itself, which is why I’ve decided to dedicate an entire month to it. And we’re going to focus specifically on that famous “gut feeling”, your intuition, that people go on about. That gut feeling that you can’t quite come to terms with because, let’s face it, yours seems to always be wrong.
Realistically, how can you Trust Yourself when you keep giving yourself wrong information? If someone was constantly wrong (or even worse, perpetually giving me advice that kept getting me in trouble), I wouldn’t turn to them as a trusted advisor. I would be insane to listen to them!
But Queen, what if the problem wasn’t that your gut is always wrong? What if you’re just not feeding your intuition relevant information?
You see, I believe we are spiritual beings and your intuition, that “gut”, is formed by your own personal and spiritual experiences in life. It is how our subconscious mind communicates with our conscious mind. How our Higher self informs the lower self. As you navigate life, you collect data on a subconscious level, from a whole bunch of different sources. Cautionary tales from parents, personal trials and errors, accidental discoveries, lessons at school, religious teachings. Those all provide us with data that we assimilate.
Our brains process and analyse information at an insane pace, and whatever new experience we go through, our brain provides us with advice based on the previously collected data. This happens in a matter of seconds. Our eyes land on an attractive possible mate, and we get butterflies. We’re faced with a decision, and we have a sudden stomach ache. We get ourselves into a fight, and we’re somehow compelled to make it worse by not shutting up and walking away. All those experiences are new, but our brain gives us advice on how to react that is based on the most similar previous experiences that we’ve had.
Which means that no two people are going to have the same “gut feeling” towards something. You might have a consensus that something is right, but it probably won’t be for exactly the same reasons, and that conclusion will be built on data points that are unique to you.
It also means that if you’re not keeping yourself current, you’re more likely than not getting feedback from a gut that’s operating on outdated information. While it might be helpful to draw on some life experiences (e.g. fire=danger, fine), the strongest information we get is from our childhood, our formative years. Those are sometimes fraught with specific perils that relate to our very real inability to protect and care for ourselves… and trust ourselves. Simply put, our childhood experiences do not provide us with data that’s relevant to the adult world. No wonder we don’t really want to trust our gut!
The good news is that intuition, because it is based on data we have collected, is ever-evolving, and it can get better and stronger! You can teach your intuition the information it needs to feed you correct information, information that’s relevant to you here and now, and that’s aligned with the core values that you’ve developed. Think of it a bit like programming a computer with regular improvement updates.
Now, a lot of us learn to distrust our gut. There are a lot of reasons for that, and I won’t get into them in this post, but think for example of a time when you were chastised by a mentor for doing something “stupid”. You had a pull to do that thing, and you did it, and you might have narrowly suffered some terrible consequence of the action. Or maybe it just annoyed a caregiver. Maybe it was something that actually hurt you. And the mentor or caregiver called you out on being stupid. Distrust in the gut is often times not as a result of a one-off situation, but repeated feedback that we naturally tend to be wrong. Whatever the reason for losing trust in our instincts, the fact remains that we still have them. But, in order to protect ourselves from what we see as a “fault” in the gut that can or will get us in trouble if we listen to it, we instinctively start doubting our gut.
Let’s try overriding this doubt, and get back in tune with our intuition. This week, I’m going to ask you to take more of an observational role, to really listen to your gut, and understand what it’s saying to you. Here’s how:
1. Affirm your values. By now, you’ve developed a strong sense of what you expect from yourself, who you want to become, and where you want to get to. That doesn’t mean that those factors are permanent, it just means you have a strong sense of them in the here and now. You know what your boundaries are, and you know what is important to you. It’s time to sit with yourself and set out, in writing, your core values. This is an important list, so absolutely DO NOT move on to the next steps until you’ve given the proper time to this exercise. Your core values will help you navigate your intuition, understand why you’re pulled to or pushed away from things or experiences, and lay the framework for you to make decisions in a way that builds your trust in your instincts. Now, I can’t tell you what your core values are, but here are some questions you can think about to help you make your list:
- How do I want to be treated? Am I treating myself in this way?
- How do I expect people to treat me? How do I want to treat other people?
- What have I done previously that has made me feel a sense of purpose? What am I doing now that makes me feel a sense of purpose?
- What brings me happiness and joy? What about it brought me happiness and joy?
- When have I felt a sense of peace? What had brought about that sense of peace?
- What are my beliefs about a creator, a source or higher power? Where does that belief come from? How does this belief system impact me?
- Who are the people that I look up to/admire? What traits do these people have that I would want for myself? How can I practice and integrate these traits into my life?
2. Listen closely. Our gut speaks to us often, and most of us just don’t realize it – that’s how out of tune we can get! It could be in the absolute smallest of decisions in life, and definitely in the biggest. Which coffee to order, whether to turn around when we feel someone behind us, whether to quit a job, whatever the scenario, the gut is chattering away. All we need to do is listen. So, listen. The next time you’re finding yourself in the process of making a decision, pause and listen to what your body is telling you. Make it a habit to tune into that voice, even if it’s to decide what Netflix series you’re putting on. The more practice you put into listening to your gut, the louder and clearer you’ll hear it.
3. Go exploring! I told you that your “gut” is shaped by experiences, and the good news is that it’s possible to continue learning and strengthening your gut instincts. In order to do this, you need to accumulate new experiences, and test your gut along the way. So, explore. Start off intentionally making small decisions while listening to your gut. The next time you’re thinking about lunch, explore the options you have around you, listen to what your gut is saying, and make a decision. Understand that decision, and its impact on you. Say you decided to splurge on a nice lunch, even though you don’t have anything to celebrate. How does that make you feel? Was your decision to splurge aligned with your core values? How did your decision ultimately serve you? Have you learned anything from that small decision that you can apply elsewhere? Keep a curious mind, and say ‘yes’ to new experiences. Try something new that you wouldn’t ordinarily try. You don’t need to invest in sky diving lessons just yet, but have you tried smiling at a stranger and asking them about their day just to see how they would react? This one is a bit weird, but have you tried purposefully doing something embarrassing, just to see if you would, in fact, really die of embarrassment?
4. Take stock. Evaluate how your gut performed, and whether you found it helpful. Keep score, how many times have you overridden your gut and felt you got better results? How many times did you feel you should have listened to your gut? How many times did you trust your gut and have things turn out well? How many times did you just trust your gut without trying to control the end result and just allowing what will be, to be?
To support this month’s theme, I have a bunch of courses for you in the Confidence Queen’s Academy here. There’s a really helpful course that’s called the Confidence Formula, here, it’s a 3 minute video introducing you to a comfort zone challenge where you can literally put trusting yourself into action by trying new experiences to expand your comfort zone and tracking your progress in the workbook. Give it a try, surprise yourself, and don’t forget to leave a comment to let me know how you get on.
All right Queen, get to working!
Fix your crown.