:: what self-trust isn’t (and why it matters in the midst of a pandemic) ::
Self-trust and pandemic… not necessarily a PB&J-level pairing at first glance.
In fact, a pandemic — this one in particular — may seem to call for a little less trusting of selves and a hell of a lot more trusting of educated experts.
But the hidden beauty of self-trust is that it isn’t an either-or, zero-sum situation.
You can absolutely trust yourself AND seek counsel from those better equipped to provide important guidance. In fact, it’s a must. You simply cannot know everything, friend.
Self-trust in a case like this comes in trusting that you have:
- identified trustworthy sources
- done any necessary research
- questioned any inherent biases or instances of misinformation, and
- checked in with yourself to see how it lands in your body — if it feels aligned, right and true.
Sure, that last one may cause logically-reasoned eyes to roll, but it’s important. Your body and the way it reacts and responds can provide powerful insight that you’d frankly be foolish to neglect.
Sometimes (like when you feel a lightness or a bubbly excitement inside, or when you literally start unconsciously leaning toward a thing) it can reveal or confirm that you’re eager, on board, and ready.
Others (like when you feel super tense, constricted, or physically repelled by a thing), it can give you a visceral indication of what is a very large NO for you. At least for now, at least like this.
Of course this is all quite simplified, and even when you get the clear YESes and NOs, there may be other factors at play that need to be addressed — I’m not suggesting you only ever trust your body’s immediate impulses for a thing. But they certainly can provide useful information for further exploration, at the very least.
So back to what self-trust isn’t.
Self-trust isn’t about ignoring the real wisdom of others, doing what you want in your own little bubble, or petulantly pushing ahead when things don’t work out how you planned.
It’s not a static, here’s-your-single-simple-answer thing, but a perpetual living practice of checking in, engaging and evaluating. With yourself and the world around you.
Something like trusting educated experts can be a very powerful act of self-trust in the midst of a pandemic — when you’ve done the due diligence around research that I listed above.
Another way to exercise self-trust in the midst of a pandemic is to get very real with yourself around where you are and what your limitations are.
Reflect on what your pandemic experience has been:
- What’s the journey been like for you over the past many months?
- Where are you emotionally, mentally and physically right now?
- Where are you struggling?
And what does all of that mean for you now?
For me, as restrictions started lifting in phases, I started Zooming less and venturing out more. Masked and socially distanced, but out.
With the phased relaxing of regulations, it felt safe to relax my personal boundaries, just a little bit. Daring a masked hug here, slightly cheating the 6-foot rule there. VERY selectively, for sure.
But when all the wrong metrics are rising, relaxed vigilance is roulette. It’s messy, selfish and dangerous.
So. That’s where I’ve been and where I am now.
How could I possibly trust myself from here, especially with stakes so high?
By being honest with myself about my limitations, facing the truth that comes (even though it might be uncomfortable), and owning my actions from there.
Truth is, I don’t trust myself to maintain vigilance in spaces where I’ve been a little bit relaxed, with people I’ve gently crossed some of those safe-social-distancing boundaries with.
So until I do again, I’m not going there — literally or figuratively.
THAT’S a very powerful act of self-trust, to recognize where you cannot yet be trusted and provide the structure needed to support your own success.
To outside eyes it likely looks like I don’t trust myself at all right now. When in fact I trust myself enough to know when I need help, to be honest about it, and to take appropriate action and corresponding care.
Self-trust isn’t about what the world around you sees, but what YOU see and know to be true in + for yourself.
How you align the human you want to be with the one that you are.
How you reconcile the disparity between the world you want to live in and the one that you do.
Navigating it with intentionality, fierce grace, and a commitment to owning your part.
Whether or not it shows to outside eyes.
➡ wanna trust yourself more? i’m in the process of creating my next coaching offer, and it’s going to center around exactly that. sign up to hear updates first AND have a say in what it’ll actually look like! https://thriveandbloom.com/nextoffer