Cindy going down escalator. NYC, 2018

How to Trust Yourself

Cindy going down escalator. NYC, 2018
Cindy going down escalator. NYC, 2018

Dear friend,

One of the most difficult things in life is to trust yourself. How do we learn to trust ourselves more, and why trust ourselves?

What is ‘trust’?

First of all, let us define ‘trust.’

To me, having trust is having a strong belief in something — whether a person, an idea, or a concept.

I believe it is trust which is the glue and bond which holds humankind together. Without trust, society, economics, and politics could not function.

What is ‘self-trust’?

cindy walking red scarf and green wall, NYC

To me, the most important type of trust is ‘self-trust.’ To have faith in yourself, your beliefs, crazy ideas and dreams and life, and to have strength in your personal ideals.

It is easy to trust others; difficult to trust ourselves.

We must take responsibility for our own lives

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Why is trusting ourself so difficult, or scary?

This is my theory:

Trusting ourself is so scary/difficult because we run the risk of failing, and if we fail, we can only blame ourselves.

In other words, to trust ourselves is to take responsibility of our lives and to put ‘skin in the game’.

Why ask others for their advice/opinion?

bright lights, new york city, abstract, blurred, out of focus, bokeh

Often when we ask others for their advice, what we are really doing is out-sourcing our blame for our potential future failures.

What I mean is this:

Let’s say you have an idea for a business, and you ask for feedback from a friend. You might be asking your friend for advice just in case you fail… you have someone to blame (your friend).

To trust yourself, and have belief in yourself is more difficult and scary, because once again — if you fail in any of your pursuits in life, you only have yourself to blame.

It is easy for us to blame others. It is damaging to our self-ego and our self-esteem when we blame ourselves for our own failures.

Why I never blame others

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However at the same time, I find only blaming yourself in life as a liberating thing. Why?

If you only blame yourself, you take 100% control of your life.

If you fail, you just blame yourself, learn from your mistake, move on, and make a positive change.

When I say ‘blame yourself’ I don’t mean to self-flagellate (to just keep whipping yourself, and inflicting pain upon yourself). When I say ‘blame yourself’ — I mean, take full responsibility of all the actions in your life. We cannot control the outcome of our actions, but we can control the actions themselves.

Just focus on driving your own life

new york city public library architecture

Taking back the conversation to trusting yourself– trusting yourself is scary because you must take responsibility for yourself and your life. You no longer have the ability to blame anyone else, which means you control the steering wheel of your life– you decide which direction to steer your life. You cannot control whether others will crash into your car or not (after all, you can only control your own car).

Which means, you can be the best driver of your own life, but others might try to crash into you and derail you — or sometimes bad shit just happens to you for no reason. But don’t let that upset you — just focus on driving your own life.

Why I trust myself

I trust myself, and I believe in myself. How do I do that? Let me explain my reasoning.

First of all, I know that not all of my beliefs are “right” — because I believe that all beliefs are just opinion. I don’t believe any beliefs to be factually “right” or “wrong” in life. Rather, to have a belief in life is simply to assert your own opinion, and to be the change which you wish to see in the world (Gandhi). Thus, when I believe in myself, I don’t run the risk of being “wrong”, because I am simply following my own opinion.

Secondly, the only way to innovate and create new things is to follow your own gut, and your own inner-intuition and beliefs. Why? Because if you have “crazy” ideas/thoughts, you probably have ‘divergent thinking’ from the masses. That means, you might fail in your crazy idea, but at least you’re thinking differently (thinking different is one of the most important things in innovation/driving society/culture forward).

Thirdly, I know that I run very little risk or downside for believing in myself, following my gut, and following my intuition. At worst, I’m going to have some people make fun of/criticize me. That is pretty much it. I know even if I fall into financial distress, I can still survive off eggs, coffee, and wifi (which doesn’t cost much). By realizing my biggest possible downside is not so bad, I feel more brave to take bigger risks in my life.

Fourth, I know that my life is limited and short. At best, I will live to be 100 years old. At worst, I will die tomorrow. Thus, I know the best use of my time on planet earth is to use my skills, talents, mind, and resources to help mankind — whether I share ideas, thoughts, words, or create empowering information. I thus gain more confidence in myself, knowing that I am living for something greater than myself– for all of humanity, and future generations of humanity. Once I care less about my own personal self, I actually gain more confidence and brazenness to do bold things in life.

Why NOT believe in yourself?

Why not belief in yourself? What do you have to lose? You have nothing to lose, everything to gain.