It seems so easy for us to abandon a relationship with ourselves when we get into a romantic partnership/marriage. We say to ourselves we want to be with someone that knows and understands us. But at some point, we assume the belief that they know us better than we know ourselves. Our partners definitely get to know us in one of the most intimate and vulnerable ways; however they can never experience our feelings the way we do, they can just make assumptions about them.
The meaning of TRUST: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
That someone is you and that something is your feelings.
A belief I totally embody…
Whether the person is trustworthy or not we just give our trust over with no thought around them warranting it. Even more so; when we trust someone to dictate how we should manage our feelings by disregarding them it’s time to take a step back and explore that allowance.
When we abandon ourselves in our relationships, it can show up like this...
We stop speaking up for ourselves.
We don’t communicate with ourselves anymore and if we do it’s from a critical space in reference to something we need to change to make a situation better.
We don’t tap into our intuition like we should. If we recognize it just a little, we disregard that sense of knowing as if it has no value.
We don’t enforce boundaries we set if we created any at all.
We start to value their opinions of us more than our own because we need their approval or acceptance.
When you don’t maintain a relationship with yourself, you eventually create space for a lack of self-trust. Your own sense of personal worth is replaced by external factors; which then becomes an indicator of your self-worth.
When did you stop trusting yourself and start doubting that your feelings mattered?
A question I’ve had to ask myself before and still do at times.
This question definitely takes time to explore and that’s what I want to encourage you to do today; practice self-exploration. Specifically, in that moment in your relationship when you know, something doesn’t feel right emotionally, yet you ignore it and trust what your partner believes is going on instead.
My hope is that you will create a more authentic relationship with yourself once you allow the space to explore your lack of self-trust, then take steps to rebuild it.
I want to share an example of how a lack of self-trust showed up in my past relationship.
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was, how to trust myself. In my past relationship, I expressed a lack of self-trust and once I unmuted my voice and trusted my feelings more I was able to reclaim the courage I needed to do what was right for me.
You can’t explore a lack of self-trust without addressing self-doubt. At some point when we were growing up, we develop this doubt about our decision making. I know as children we are taught to rely on the authority of others to tell us what to do, and who we are. For some of us, that’s where the seed of self-doubt was planted. Some children rebelled against that (like my sister) and some us were obedient(like myself) which followed into my relationships as an adult.
We are rarely encouraged to recognize our own authority in deciding what works and doesn't work, what feels right and what doesn’t. I truly believe not having that freedom hinders our ability to trust ourselves more and instead we replaced self-trust with self-doubt.
How I've observed a lack of self-trust in others:
The more I work with women in unsatisfied relationships, I notice how easily they trust their significant other; even when the trust has been broken over and over with no action taken to create a sense of security around things changing for the better.
When a situation happens and a negative emotion is triggered, they express their feelings but it’s minimized by phrases like these...
“It’s not that serious” “what’s the big deal” “come on you don’t mean that” “it’s not that bad” “you’re overreacting” etc… The women eventually place that deep emotional pain that she was feeling on the back burner and trust her partner; who didn’t even take the time to validate her feelings, with how to manage her emotions.
We get to this place where we feel like we don’t know ourselves anymore and somewhere in that process of trusting someone else, we forgot to trust ourselves.
I understand that when we are in a relationship we want to trust the person that we are with and we should be able to. Trust is an essential part of any healthy relationship. However, I believe that trust has to start with ourselves first. When we can get back in touch with our inner self we can start rebuilding our self-trust.
Here are a few tips on how to start trusting yourself again.
Keep this meaning of trust in mind...
Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
That someone is you and that something is your feelings.
Understand that, trust is knowing that what you believe is real for you; therefore explore the things you are “deciding” to believe.
Create space to tune in with yourself. Find time in your day to be alone and observe your mental and emotional processes. Use a journal and pour your thoughts and feelings on paper without judgment or censoring your thoughts.
If something doesn’t feel right, do yourself the favor and explore where that feeling is coming from.
Create and enforce personal boundaries. Be clear about what actions you will take if those boundaries are violated. Back up your boundaries with action. Stay strong. If you give in, you invite people to ignore your needs.
Explore why you trust some things and people more than Wyourself? Go back to the beginning of the experience, where you lacked self-trust and ask yourself... did I miss a sign? Did I ignore a signal and called it something else?
If your intent and actions are honorable & honest...Trust what you feel because you are doing the best that you can base on what feels right to you. Your feelings will become clearer and your trust will grow.
You may be waiting for the approval of your partner before taking action since you’re working on rebuilding self-trust for today trust what you feel.
Trust your judgment. Trust yourself enough to know that even if what you are trusting doesn’t pan out or match what you wanted or expected, trust that you will make another decision that’s in alignment with your intentions.
Strengthen your intuition. Make a list of when you felt something wasn’t right, and when you followed through you were right.
When you don’t demonstrate a strong sense of self-trust in your romantic relationships it can be damaging to your self-esteem and self-worth. This will definitely cause you to doubt yourself when you know something isn’t working for you. This will always cause you to stay stuck in an unhappy and unsatisfied relationship.
Now you have practical steps you can start taking right now to rebuild self-trust and start reclaiming a relationship with yourself.
Here’s another perspective on self-trust: Martha Beck helps you figure out how to "trust people who aren't trustworthy" with a trust-o-meter quiz. you should definitely check it out.: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Martha-Beck-Warning-Moving-In-Together-Could-Be-Hazardous