How to learn to trust yourself.

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“When I started saying I was going to do something, even something as small as brushing my teeth, and then I did it, I started teaching myself I could trust myself again.”

I’ve owned Gabrielle Bernstein’s book May Cause Miracles for at least four years. At some point in that four years I read all the way to page 17, which I know because that’s where my bookmark was left that I found when I took the book back off my shelf this past weekend.

For those who haven’t read it, even though it feels like everyone in my community has except for me, it’s a 40-day guidebook of morning exercises and evening exercises that are designed to create positive shifts in your thought process.

On Sunday, August 23, 2020, I decided I would start the book again. Gabby recommends reading the intro on a Sunday and starting the exercises on a Monday, so basically I was right on time. But bigger than that, I decided I would start the book again and stick with it for all 40 days.  

Today I’m on day five. About five days beyond how far I got in the book the first time. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t two nights this week where I was lying in bed in the dark and thought fuck, I didn’t do my evening exercise. Both times I tossed back and forth the idea of just doing the evening exercise in the morning, because it would still be getting done, who cared when it got done. But it turned out I cared. I cared whether my word to myself meant something this time or not. Because if it doesn’t mean anything right now, when is it going to start meaning something? 

So both nights, I turned my light on, got up and grabbed the book and my journal, and did the evening exercises. And turned my light back out feeling peaceful and grateful.

I started teaching myself I couldn’t trust myself every time I chose a boy over me, which started when my first boyfriend chose someone else and I begged him to change his mind. Every time I believed depression when it told me it had control of my life and I would never get it back. Every time I told myself or someone else I wouldn’t throw up my food and then I did. Every time I got drunk to forget that horrendous breakup, which was most of 2009. 

Every little (and big) thing added up until I couldn’t trust myself to brush my teeth or complete a 40-day guidebook. 

But I’ve been rebuilding that trust for awhile now. It started out small; like getting out of bed when I was too depressed to but told myself I would. Even if that meant getting out of bed to go lay on the couch. And then it became a little bigger than that, like learning to keep my food down. And then it became even bigger, like wanting to publish a book and doing it. And as the trust builds, it makes me wonder what else I’ll be able to do. 

This all to say, sometimes the trust we need to work on is with ourselves.

What is one thing you can do this weekend that will remind you that you can trust yourself? Does that mean starting the book you’ve been telling yourself you’d read since March? Does it mean asking your partner to put the kids to bed one night so you can put a face mask on like you told yourself you’d do once a week back in January? Or is it bigger, is it prepping to send the manuscript that’s been on your hard drive for three years to a publisher?

Start where you are. Choose something manageable and tell yourself you’ll do it.

And then do it.

This is how we build. Here’s to us. xx