Your World Your Way – Trusting Yourself In Business
by: Ann Kelly
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
You cannot have peace of mind or have a healthy business if you don’t trust yourself.
Trusting yourself is having a true sense of who you are, clarity about what you want and the presence of mind to honour yourself.
At times the pressure from being in business and just living itself, can cause you to make decisions you can’t really stand over. Not trusting yourself enough can leave you out on a limb because you’ve compromised yourself.
Say you’re negotiating a big contract– Don’t you need to be rock steady to make the best deal for you?
Not trusting yourself is not unusual; self-trust is something we build up over our lifetime, through our experiences and by consciously working towards it.
Why is self-trust so vital?
When we don’t trust ourselves enough, we lack a core reference point from which to operate. We may lose our sense of ourselves and ebb and flow according to other’s agendas. A small example of this is, once I agreed to accept payment from a client by cheque versus by standing order. I got burned by not being paid on time, month after month. When all is said and done I exposed myself unnecessarily. Ultimately no one was served.
We need self-trust most when we are in situations where we are unsure. We may be in the company of people who are more influential than we are, or we may be under pressure because we need something. For some reason or other, we’re off-centre.
If we only knew it, these are the times when it’s really critical for our business and our peace of mind that we trust ourselves.
In my opinion, if you’re not aware of what you’re doing, or not able to stop yourself even when you know you should, you cannot trust yourself. You are not in control. Whatever is on your mind is in control, not you.
Trusting yourself gives you a rock-solid foundation, which guarantees that decisions you make are beneficial.
How Do I Gain More Self Trust?
In any situation or circumstance.
- Stop for a moment
- Stand in the centre of the situation and check whether you are comfortable or not.
- Stay present to the situation yet detached enough to tune into your gut instincts and also see the bigger picture.
- Remain detached and clear about what you want.
- Choose from that place.
For instance take the client who paid by cheque. On reflection, how could I have avoided putting myself in that situation?
If I were trusting myself, I would have
- Realised I was uncomfortable
- Reflected on the potential problems that might arise, by listening to the messages my gut was sending me
- Remembered what I really wanted
These are five tactics you can use to make sure you can trust yourself, even when the tendency is not to.
- Observe yourself – this means in your mind’s eye, take yourself out of the situation and look at how you are in it.
- Never make a decision you’re not ready to make. When you’re not clear, walk away, and come back to it after you’ve thought about it.
- Know your danger zones – what throws you off centre.
- Ask yourself, does this fit with me? Is it fitting nicely into place or is it a huge effort. When you feel easy about something and it flows easily it’s right for you.
- Take white space
You need to build self-awareness, which is all about becoming an observer of yourself and watching how you respond in different situations and environments. Once you are conscious of your own danger zones, you can set up ways to change what you’re doing, to get the result you want.
How Do I Identify My Danger Zones?
Take time to reflect on experiences you’ve had where you didn’t trust yourself enough and ended up with problems. Check what was on your mind at the time. There are always warning signs, (gut responses) or intuitive messages you got. You probably ignored them at the time. Usually we only truly acknowledge them with hindsight.
Another way is to observe yourself in current situations and see how you operate. You’ll soon recognise your pitfalls. Then you can change your responses and build more self-trust.
It looks like you need to have presence of mind to be able to trust yourself.
Yes and this is where white space comes in. We need to stop and take time out just to be with ourselves.
What is White Space?
- A designated chunk of time, for you alone. No ‘shoulding’ on yourself! You do whatever you want.
- At least two hours, twice a week, with nothing scheduled or planned for it.
- Blocked out in your diary for the coming year.
- Built up over time to two hours/day or a half day/week or two days/week.
You need to commit to it and also to shift your perception. You are not being self-indulgent. You are being responsible and empowering yourself to have choice and freedom.
How do I use White Space?
The decision on how you use it should come in the first moment you are in it. If you are unsure, just sit and be present and see what comes up. You will learn to be more spontaneous. It’s a bit like clearing clutter. Until you clear it, it’s hard to see what you have currently and what you can eventually have.
To trust yourself, you’ve got to know yourself well. Knowing yourself means you are aware, you understand, you are conscious of what’s going on around you and how you are responding to it. It means you know what you want in any given situation. You learn to read signals and adjust your responses as necessary.
When you slow down and take time and space to build awareness, you will notice that you are:
- Observing yourself
- Eventually able to watch your mind in action
- Learning that when nothing is working, to do nothing
- Trusting yourself more and more
- Taking the pressure off and more sure of yourself
- More surefooted and strategic.