Taking good care of your faith community and the relationships in it requires building trust among its members. A healthy level of trust within a social group is marked by a combination of honesty, openness, reliability and mutual respect. You don't always have to agree with each other, but through good communication, you can honor your differences and figure out the values you have in common.
The signs of self-trust closely reflect the things you look for in a trustworthy companion or community:
- Expression of true thoughts and feelings
- Clarity of values and purpose
- Healthy boundaries
- Diligence in pursuing goals
While this list may sound good, getting to the point where you truly trust yourself may be more challenging than it seems. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to build self-trust.
Start With Self-Care
A person you trust is someone who has your best interest at heart. This doesn't change when the person you're trying to trust is yourself. Understand your basic needs, such as eating good food, staying hydrated and taking care of your home. Safeguard your mental health by meditating, journaling and expressing emotions honestly.
Protecting your time is also an aspect of self-care that builds trust. No matter how helpful you want to be to others, agreeing to do too many things will eventually take its toll on your psyche. Saying no when necessary reinforces self-trust in your brain because it signals you are taking your needs into account.
Address Your Inner Critic
Some people find it easier to trust their own judgment. Others have an inner voice that second-guesses every decision they make. If that voice is loud in your head, you may have a hard time believing that you even know how to make good choices.
The good news is that you can overcome your inner critic by confronting it. To start, try to assess where the negative messages stem from. Do you hear them in the voice of a particular person? By identifying the source of the negative messages that run through your head, you may be able to address them and overcome them.
Make a List of Goals and Practical Ways To Achieve Them
Another way to build self-trust is to see yourself setting goals and meeting them. Track your plans to show yourself that you are someone who can be counted on. Even if you have negative thoughts, you ultimately can't really argue with tangible proof that you do what you say you're going to do.
Make a list of goals that range from simple, practical milestones to extravagant, long-term dreams. Break each of them down into smaller steps and give yourself a deadline for reaching each one. You will likely notice your self-trust grow with each point you check off the list.
Seek Additional Support
If these steps seem too daunting to try on your own, it may help to talk to a friend or mentor about them. Self-doubt is pretty common, but many people have found their way past it to lead full, meaningful lives. You may be surprised to learn that many people you look up to have struggled with trusting themselves and have tips for getting past barriers.
A professional counselor or therapist can also help guide you through the journey to self-trust. Mental health professionals are particularly adept at finding the root causes of an issue so that you can progress. If you don't know how to find a good therapist, your pastor or another church leader can probably refer you to someone.
Learning to trust yourself may be a long process, but it's a worthwhile one. You can become more confident in your decisions and relationships with the right tools and help.