Exercise Your Trust Muscle
I was thinking the other day about how many times I've made a poor decision when deep down inside something was telling me not to. Hell...I've made some not so great decisions when everything in my being was begging me not to. Usually my poor decisions were a result of me not having a strong trust muscle. You see usually the story goes something like this:
I decide that I want to do something one way, They say that I shouldn't/couldn't/can't so I stop and consider Their point of view. They outline all of the risks. They tell me what happened when Suzie tried. They buy me a drink or give me something to pacify me and I slow down a little bit. I don't necessarily stop, but I begin to move at a cautionary pace.
After a while They see that I'm contemplating not doing my "something" so they treat me to another gift...doubt. Doubt's sole purpose is to render you immobile. Doubt is large and heavy and malformed. It's hard to get a good grip of. Doubt is kind of like that movie "The Blob." Remember how the blob was just big and nasty and consumed everything in its path?
Well in the past I didn't have a strong trust muscle. Your trust muscle is that part of your anatomy that tells you what is and isn't good for you. Your trust muscle protects your best interests. It's in constant communication with your heart and your mind. A strong trust muscle can scoop up doubt and throw it faaarrr away. Your trust muscle is your defense against They, Them, She, He and Doubt. When life starts to throw you blows, your trust muscle fights off insecurities and poor decisions.
But like all of your other muscles, your trust muscle must be exercised and properly nourished. You need to know that you can depend on your trust muscle, that it's strong and durable and that it won't let you down. I learned to depend on my trust muscle and now we have a wonderful relationship. I listen to me first and when They start bringing the drama, my trust muscle fights off the doubt and keeps me confident.
So here are five tips to help you exercise your trust muscle:
1. Get Quiet! Your trust muscle is one of those cavalier and quiet types. It's not going to do a lot of shouting and screaming. If you want to communicate with it you need to spend some time alone...in quiet. Meditation is a wonderful tool in many levels and it is an absolutely vital part of getting to know the inner you. If you're not ready for a full blown meditation session, start with implementing intentional quiet time. Pick 30 minutes a day that you turn off the music, television, cell phone, and other distractions and pick up a mirror. Talk to yourself. Look at yourself. Smile!
2. Pay Attention! Do you recognize the physical changes that your body goes through when your trust muscle is trying to warn you about a potential bad decision? Some of us get goose bumps. Your hair might stand up on the back of your neck. Your stomach might feel nervous. You may sweat. Pay attention to what happens when your trust muscle is communicating with you.
3. Journal! By journaling daily you begin to compile a record of your thoughts. It's amazing how many times I've watched clients read their journals and realize that they knew that they were entering into a bad situation or had thoughts about a person that they should avoid, but didn't listen to that small voice and now they're reaping the consequences. Once you see that there is wisdom in your trust muscle you start to lean on it a little more.
4. Take Baby Steps! Trust yourself on something small. When something tells you to grab your jacket or you have a brief thought that you should check to see if you have your cell phone charger...just do it. Like an underutilized employee, after a while your trust muscle will just stop producing for you if not properly used. Go ahead...give it a little try!
5. Jump! There is power in the leap. So pick something that you really, really want to do and repeat steps 1 – 3 with that something in mind. If, after you get quiet, pay attention and journal, you still get excited by the thought of it...go for it. Just jump. Life is for the living and only you can live your life.