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Learning to Trust Yourself
Last night I was on the phone with a friend, and she sounded kinda bummed. She confessed that she had recently confided in a mentor (a friend she really respected and admired) about problems in her new-ish romantic relationship, after which the mentor emphatically replied, "Why do you always choose the wrong guy? You should drop him, he's never going to change."
My friend reluctantly agreed none of her recent romantic relationships had been working out, and gave a defeated, "Hmmm, maybe you're right?" before hanging up the phone. After that convo, my friend acted really cold and distant to her boyfriend, which only furthered their problems and made her feel worse.
So I asked her, was the mentor right?
After some thoughtful pauses, she said, "No, I don't think so. This guy isn't perfect, and I don't know what will happen between us, but life is complicated and I know he cares about me, so it doesn't feel right just to cut him out of life."
More importantly, she went on to say that the way in which she interacted with her current beau was by far the most mature she had ever been in a relationship. So even though the relationship wasn't perfect, her handling of it (until she spoke with the mentor) was in fact thoughtful and patient. Behaviors she hadn't exhibited in the past.
So why didn't she explain this to her mentor then?
Because unfortunately like many women, she didn't speak her truth and instead succumbed to the opinions of others.
I like to think of myself as a confident, self-possessed woman, yet I'll still go to get my hair cut and walk out with a totally different hairstyle than the one I wanted when I walked in. Even when I had a picture in my purse! Somehow when I get in that chair, I lose my power, or rather give it away to this "authority" figure who obviously knows better than me.
Years ago Mac had an amazing campaign promoting their "Power Book" laptops. One of the commercials featured celebrities and artists and notable figures saying what "power" was to them. I vividly remember the director Oliver Stone saying, "Power is the ability to think for yourself."
Truer words have never been spoken. NO ONE knows whats best for you except YOU.
So we have to begin to exercise this muscle of self trust. We can start small. Next time we're at a store and can't decide between the blue dress or black dress, rather than snap a photo and text a friend. Breathe and think to yourself. Which one do YOU want? Which one do YOU need.
It will feel weird at first but confidence grows like a muscle. I am not saying we don't need the advice of others. Not at all. President Obama had a team of trusted advisers. Rather we need to be able to take advice, input, suggestions from others and the world, while still trusting our intuition and listening to our OWN internal advice as well.
Because at the end of the day, it is us who has to live with our own decisions and actions. And even if the outcome isn't what we hoped, it still feels a hell of a lot better knowing, it was our own decision. Because if it comes from our own heart, it really can never be a bad one.
If you need to talk to someone about improving your decision making, we are having a "Resolution Revolution" giveaway and offering $20 off our Digital Diary membership, which is a great way to unload your burdens and get some great feedback from trained professionals.
The coupon code is RR2012.
Sign up and change your life for the better, NOW!
Please share any experiences you've had with making decisions and being influenced by others!
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