Developing self-trust is an essential part of mindfulness meditation practice. Even if you make mistakes or errors, it is far better to trust your intuition and your authority, than to always look for external guidance. When something just doesn’t feel right to you, why not trust your feelings? You should always at least give yourself the opportunity to validate your feelings. Trust is one of the nine codependent fundamental attitudes of mindfulness that are intentionally cultivated during practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn refers to these as a sense of confidence in the wisdom of the body, heart, and mind to manage itself.
Through practice, self-confidence builds in our capacity to face things. Confidence ultimately flows out to better trust in the outside world such as other people, relationships, and the environment. We cultivate a bravery and valor as a result of this belief.
The attitude of trust is not a matter of ingenuousness – it is entrenched in knowledge and intelligence grown through consistent practice over time. Trusting in ourselves does not necessarily mean following our first unexamined instincts. When the mind is untrained, we become reactive, and our ego arises. Trusting also doesn’t mean being inert or complacent. We may still choose to act, but trust born of understanding may avert us from getting in our way out of distress or unawareness.
Neuroscience & Increasing Self-Trust
When emotional chaos is merged with a deficiency of context, your brain fights to make sense of where unpleasant emotions are coming from, and it is certainly hard to trust yourself in these moments. A part of our brain called the hippocampus is involved in memory, knowledge, and keeping us with some aspect of context. The hippocampus also plays a role in giving us signs that it is safe to let our guard down and express openness.
One way shown to rouse neural growth in the hippocampus is through a regular eight-week practice of mindfulness meditation. Others include making an educational setting or engaging in memory building events. This all relates back to cultivating self-trust and understanding that when it comes to trusting ourselves, we need to have a retrievable recollection of experiences where we are able to trust ourselves to handle a challenging situation.”
The good news is that notwithstanding years of insecurity, it is feasible to learn how to trust yourself. During moments where self-trust is absent, you may feel disordered, confused, trapped, or abandoned. Perchance you find yourself looking for out guidance, opinion, or encouragement from others certain that they must have some greater insight.
Only you have the control and the choice to start making new choices in the present moment. Cultivating trust in yourself means choosing to adopt a mindful attitude, particularly throughout moments of emotional susceptibility. This also implies a disposition to difficulty, as this is where real change and evolution are achievable.
Susceptibility is often linked with fear or softness. Yes, being susceptible means taking the risk of getting hurt and going out into the unfamiliar. This is part of the journey we call life. Moreover, true susceptibility is a mark of strength, faithfulness, and bravery. In order to learn how to trust yourself, you must be disposed to susceptibility. You can build the capacity for self-trust through mindfully paying attention to moments of susceptibility witnessing your personal experience of emotional openness with a receiving, inquisitive, and unprejudiced stance.
Becoming mindful of these susceptible moments will surge confidence in your ability to be with yourself, whatever might come up.
Progressively, the feelings, sensations, and experiences that you may have spent years shielding yourself against don’t seem nearly as frightening. You can handle this moment and the next and the next. The increase of self-trust means believing on the power of your instincts to allow trials that may occur with composure, assurance, and emotional balance.