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5 Simple Ways To Build Self-Trust

Building trust with yourself and others can be a challenge.

You don’t have to trust yourself to trust others, and self-trust can be a way to repair harm so that you do not replay patterns in your life that are no longer serving you.

Trust is another form of reliability. You can still show up for yourself even when a circumstance may not meet your expectations or go your way.

Consistency can be key when it comes to building self-trust, especially if you don’t have a template for trust from your childhood.

If you have trouble moving on from patterns that are harmful to you, this may be a sign that you don’t fully trust yourself yet. That is okay.

Here are 5 tips to building trust within yourself.

1. Fulfill Promises.

Building trust with yourself is a commitment to you, and you don’t have to be perfect when it comes to building trust with yourself.

You may fail, screw up, and make a mistake.

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Self-trust is about making a mistake or failing and still being able to try again in a new way.

It can help you to build confidence and maintain a healthy self-esteem when you practice fulfilling promises to yourself and others.

Think about your patterns with trusting others. If it takes you a while to warm up to another person, you may experience that with yourself too.

If you are quick to trust someone and then feel disappointed, you may reflect that back to yourself.

How you trust others may help you identify the ways in which you trust yourself.

These patterns don’t have to be identified as good or bad, and they can indicate how to proceed.

If you make a commitment to yourself, keep the commitment.

If you consistently flake out on plans you make, people you wish to see, and places you want to go, self-trust may feel difficult.

To create a new pattern, which may include being consistent and fulfilling promises to yourself and others, you may have to get uncomfortable. This doesn’t have to look perfect, and you can take accountability for your actions.

Feeling anxiety and depression can be reasons that you don’t want to commit to obligations. Be honest with yourself about your willingness to make and keep plans.

It’s better to say no initially than continually cancel and disappoint yourself by saying yes.

Honor yourself through reasonable commitments as well as expectations for yourself and others.

2. Listen To Yourself.

You likely have a sense of what you like as well as dislike, how you react to situations, and why certain things really matter to you.

If you are feeling unsure, you have a lifetime to explore.

Learning to listen to yourself can be very difficult at first, especially if you have been told or lead to believe what you feel, think, believe, want is wrong. These are hard messages to unlearn.

Not everything has meaning or needs to be examined closely. Sometimes, you may just need to listen to your tiniest voice for the biggest results.

By listening to yourself, you can improve your mental health and build self-confidence.

You can gaslight yourself when you ignore, minimize, dismiss, or don’t take your inner voice seriously.

It may be as simple as ignoring your needs when you have to go to the bathroom. You may push yourself to wait until the time is more convenient for you or others. You may not want to disrupt anyone.

A way to build self-trust is to start listening to your basic needs. Start small.

If you need to use the bathroom, go when you need to do so rather than ignoring it or minimizing its importance.

Listening to yourself can build self-trust because you are acknowledging that what you feel, say, and do matter to you.

You don’t have to please everyone else to be heard. You can start with listening to yourself and explore from there.

3. Take Healthy Risks.

A sign of self-trust is taking healthy risks.

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Sometimes, you may need to feel uncomfortable for a moment to have a different result.

When you shut down the possibility of something occurring because you are afraid of the result, you diminish the opportunity to trust yourself.

Your inner critic may takeover.

This can lead to feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, learned helplessness, and low selfconfidence.

You can start small in healthy risk taking. Not every gesture has to be grandiose to be meaningful.

It can be as simple as ordering a new dish at one of your favorite restaurants.

It could be awful, it could be wonderful, and likely it’ll be somewhere in between.

Taking healthy risks can give you a fresh perspective to an old pattern, and when you are willing to take a chance, it can be beneficial for you.

4. Learn From Failure.

You will not be perfect throughout your lifetime.

It is not humanly possible, so when you fail, you have options.

One of the options is to learn from your mistakes and try again. It is risky to keep trying when you have already failed, and it can be a way to unstuck yourself, especially if you are building self-trust.

If it feels like you are going in the wrong direction, take a pause. Reflect on what you have done and evaluate your next steps.

You may get a sense of a better direction or you could feel your best option in your gut. Instead of condemning yourself for failing, follow-up with positive affirmations.

They may feel funny at first, and they can be a way to switch your thinking.

Instead Of: I am such a screw up!

Try This: That didn’t work out this time, and I can try again with the knowledge I have now.

Instead Of: I am an idiot!

Try This: That choice didn’t work for me this time, and I have new options now.

Instead Of: I always get things wrong.

Try This: It felt like I got it wrong this time, and I know I have succeeded in the past.

Instead Of: When will I ever learn?

Try This: I am learning a new pattern, and that takes time. I can be patient with myself.

5. Identify Your Boundaries.

Your boundaries may not be for others. Sometimes, they are for you.

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You get to identify what you are willing to accept, tolerate, and how much effort you put into people, places, and things.

Boundaries are flexible and can be adjusted at any time. You don’t have to work boundaries perfectly in order to practice them.

In fact, practicing boundaries means that they are not perfect.

To build trust within yourself, identify how you treat yourself using boundaries of your choice.

If you consistently miss deadlines, show up late, and flake out on meetups with friends; you may have porous time boundaries. This means that the patterns in your life are demonstrating that you may need to strengthen your time boundary.

If you give money to friends, borrow money from family, and have late payments with your bills; you may need to strengthen your material or financial boundaries.

Think about what you are willing to accept and be willing to adjust accordingly. If you haven’t thought about your boundaries yet, you can start now.

Building self-trust can take time, and you are worth the effort. Think about your relationship with trust and begin from that point.

You don’t have to rush ahead so that you feel more confident immediately. Take the time to adapt, change, and reclaim patterns in your life so that you can show up for yourself each day.

You may start to notice emotional growth when you make progress with your self-trust.

If you are struggling with trusting yourself, it may be because you have been told throughout your life that what you experience isn’t true.

Your parent’s or other caregivers may have spoken for you or rescued you from tough situations.

You may have experienced manipulation, gaslighting, stonewalling and other harmful relational behaviors from others that lead you to doubt yourself.

If you are struggling with learning to trust yourself, a therapist can help.

You may need to think about a pattern in your life differently, and a therapist can offer a different perspective.

You may need to come to terms with unhealthy experiences you’ve had with others who have contributed to your self-doubt. A therapist can help you uncover these and learn to trust yourself.

Learn More About Denver Metro Counseling

Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC

Denver Metro Counseling is a group of Denver therapists who provide teen therapy in Denver, young adult therapy, adult therapy, family therapy and other counseling and therapy in Denver and throughout Colorado.

We specialize in relationships, codependency, communication and boundaries and provide supportive therapy for people struggling with life transitions,  trauma, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, negative body image, and more.

Our clinicians are trained and comfortable working with people who struggle with thoughts of suicide and work collaboratively with our clients and their loved ones to maintain safety through a trauma-informed approach.
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