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The Importance of Self-Trust

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist renowned for founding the person-centred approach in counseling and psychotherapy, firmly believed in the potential of every individual to achieve true well-being. Rather than viewing well-being as a final destination, Rogers saw it as an ongoing process—a continuous journey of growth and change. He emphasised that true well-being requires effort and commitment in the present moment.

Rogers once stated, "As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves." He encouraged us to take responsibility for ourselves and embrace new experiences. Additionally, Rogers identified five characteristics of a fully functioning person, someone capable of reaching their highest potential. While all these characteristics hold value, we will focus on one for the purpose of this discussion: trusting our feelings.

Despite being the authorities on our own experiences, trusting ourselves may not always come naturally or easily. Self-trust is not something we consciously think about on a daily basis, nor may we be aware of any deficiency in it. Our childhoods, external influences, and past experiences can all affect our ability to trust ourselves, often leading to inner conflict and anxiety.

So, what does self-trust entail and why is it important?

Self-trust does not mean acting with absolute certainty or claiming to possess all the answers. It involves acting in alignment with our feelings, dreams, and goals, while believing in our ability to be kind and compassionate toward ourselves regardless of the outcomes of our actions.

Self-trust holds significance because it fosters a healthier relationship with ourselves. The more we understand ourselves, the more our self-confidence grows, enabling us to act with conviction and positively impact our interactions with the world around us. Furthermore, self-trust unlocks our potential, allowing us to become the individuals we aspire to be.

When we constantly overthink and doubt our decisions, we create internal conflicts and anxiety. It is crucial to listen to our feelings and trust ourselves—we are our own experts, after all. Our bodies possess an emotional intelligence that guides us each day, even if we don't always notice or recognize it. The answers often lie not in analyzing and deliberating our choices, but in our gut, in our feelings.

We can cultivate self-trust by turning inward and nurturing our innermost thoughts and emotions. While we cannot control external events, we can develop curiosity and inquire about what is happening within us instead of reacting in frustration or anger. Self-trust helps us view moments of crisis as opportunities for growth and development, rather than setbacks or situations with only one right or wrong choice.

Through practices such as meditation, guided hypnosis, and guided imagery, we can dedicate time to introspection and tap into our emotional intelligence. This process ultimately enhances our ability to trust ourselves when making decisions, both significant and minor, leading to increased confidence and satisfaction in our lives and within ourselves.

Click here to listen to some guided imagery designed to encourage self-trust.

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