Self-trust can be described as a firm reliance on the integrity of yourself. It’s not always having the answers or doing the right things. It’s having the assurance that you will be kind and respectful to yourself regardless of the outcome of your efforts.

When you are self-trusting, you have clarity and confidence in your choices. This helps you to develop interdependent relationships and speak with authority without being arrogant. When you trust yourself, you are open to learning from both your successes and failures, and you believe you can make it through challenging situations. This allows you to be accepting of your mistakes and look openly at your experience without fear of self-criticism. Likewise, if you trust in yourself, you can identify and express your own thoughts and feelings without relying on the opinions of others. This means you can trust in yourself to handle anything that comes your way.

Trusting yourself doesn’t come easy for everyone. But just like any relationship there are things you can do to build your confidence and ability to depend on yourself:

Forgive Yourself. Practice self-trust by developing the inner strength to learn from your regrets and to forgive yourself. Just like being compassionate and forgiving towards another who did us wrong, having the same attitude towards ourselves can build self-trust.

Call Out Your Inner Critic. Practice challenging and educating your inner critic. Rather than arguing or complying with the inner critical voice, approach it with curiosity. Ask questions about what it says rather than accepting it as truth. This will help you relate to yourself in a more helpful way and develop self-trust by taking the power away from negative self-talk.

Set Achievable and Approach-oriented goals.
Setting and achieving short-term and approach-oriented goals can build self-trust. Try breaking your long-term goals into smaller steps and framing them in a way that describes what you are aiming to achieve (e.g., ‘I will exercise three times a week.’) rather than what you are avoiding (e.g., ‘I will stop sitting on the couch in front of the TV three times a week’). This will improve your motivation by making your goals feel more achievable and experience more immediate success that builds self-trust.

Practice a New Skill
Increasing your self-efficacy or belief in your ability to perform tasks or achieve something can build confidence that improves your ability to cope with life’s challenges. You can do this by practising a new skill such as a dance move, a language or playing an instrument.

Reflect on Your Strengths
Knowing your strengths provides a lens to look at yourself from a different perspective and see what is unique about you. Reflect on situations and interactions where people have responded well to you, or you felt positive about yourself. Identify the strength that helped you. Knowing that you have these strengths to call on when you need them will build self-trust.