woman at desk thinking


Today we’re talking about how to build self trust.

Having trust in yourself impacts all aspects of life – from the choices we make to the goals we set to how we feel about ourselves. If self trust is lacking, our personal and professional lives can be affected in a negative way.

So today I want to share with you six tips to address and strengthen your own self trust.


In This Episode of The Career Rx We’ll Discuss:

  • The definition of self trust and why it’s important
  • Learn how to trust yourself and be confident
  • 6 self trust practices to build your resilience and inner strength





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TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES (How to Build Self Trust and Be Confident in Your Choices)


Today we’re talking about cultivating self trust, and specifically, I’m going to give you six tips to address and strengthen your own self trust.

First I’m going to define self trust for you and tell you why it’s important.


The Definition of Self Trust & Why It’s Important

Self trust is really a mindset.

It’s a mindset that makes you confident in knowing you can do difficult things no matter what comes your way. You can handle it.

Learning to trust yourself is important because it’s the basis for resilience and for success during challenging times.

Self trust is a way people continue to get through. It’s how they are able to access and leverage mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strength, allowing them to access it without falling apart.

When a significant challenge comes your way, it’s important to be able to access self trust. There are many ways you can do so in times that are challenging, like right now with the Coronavirus.

It’s also especially important to practice self trust in your daily life when you’re not having challenges to flex, strengthen and cultivate self trust. So I’m going to give you six ways you can start practicing self trust.


6 Ways To Build Self Trust & Be Confident in Your Choices

How to build self trust and be confident in your choices



1. Make a List of Difficult Experiences & How You Got Through It


woman writing in journal


Make a list of times in the past where you experienced something difficult you managed to come through it with some success.

Life threw a curveball and you handled it.

Something came your way and you were okay and you managed it.

Having a list of achievements and tracking your wins is important. Some people call this a brag book or an achievement file. There’s a lot of different words you could use for this, but what’s important is writing on paper in a concrete objective way, a list of times and things where you did something difficult and you came out with a successful outcome.

The reason this is important is because of negativity bias. You know how this feels as you can get a whole lot of praise and then just one criticism. It may not even be that harsh of a criticism, but people tend to focus on that one bad thing instead of all of the good things.

If you can get very concrete and visible with all of the good things you have accomplished you can build resilience and strength to trust in yourself.



2. Create Another File or Collection for Praise


This is praise we get from other people. From time to time you’ll get a little note, email or verbal recognition.

There are many tiny things we tend to not embrace. We don’t let these words of praise soak in. Words of affirmation are really important and for many people, hearing that praise externally goes a very long way.

But of course, praise is in limited supply. We’re not going to get compliments all the time, all day, every day.

That’s part of why some people have such a hard time on social media – being almost addicted to getting likes, retweets and external affirmation. It’s not going to happen on every post.

It is, however, important to have a collection of praise. This could be:

  • Evaluations
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A simple note someone has given you
  • Something you have written down when someone praised you

Maybe you can add these two files together. That way you can see in one place your achievements of success during difficult times and those positive words of affirmation and praise. This will make sure we don’t let negativity bias cloud our view of what we’re capable of.



3. Detox Your Relationships


A lot of people have relationships with people who for whatever reason, shame or belittle them on a fairly regular basis. A lot of people will jokingly refer to their “frenemies”.

You do not need to be around people like this.

If you have someone who on a consistent basis is making you feel bad, then you can and should eliminate that person from your life. Whether it’s someone at work, a friend or in your family stop associating with those people.

That negative talk coming from others only adds fuel to self limiting beliefs or negative self talk that almost all of us have inside our heads.

“I can’t do such and such”, or “I’m not good enough”. “People will react or judge me in a certain way.”

With these pre-existing negative beliefs, we hold ourselves back and talk ourselves out of things. We do not need to feed this with other people reinforcing those negative beliefs.

So, take a look at your relationships and be mindful of:

  • Who you’re spending time with
  • Whether or not they’re helping you to foster that self trust – knowing you can learn new things, you are good enough,you are worthy
  • Having good relationships that fuel that supportive side so you can support yourself and cultivate self trust, not the side that fuels self limiting beliefs or negative narratives.

In fact, maybe you want to spend some time finding a supportive group where you can share your achievements and the praise you receive from others. It’s okay to celebrate wins and to have a community where you can do so.

As you’re building your lists of achievements and your collections of praise, look for people in relationships where you can share those, celebrate yourself and have other people celebrate what’s important to you.



4. Acknowledge Your Experience and Feelings


I was listening to a podcast from Brené Brown talking about how people think about empathy as being limited and if we spend empathy on ourselves we don’t have any for other people.

What she suggested in fact, is if you tend to your own emotions, you’ll have more empathy to go around to your family, friends, people who need you and even to complete strangers.

She talked about this idea of comparative suffering, meaning how can I complain? It could be much, much worse. Other people have problems X, Y and Z, which are much more than the problems I have. So I can’t complain.

Brené Brown challenged that and said…Of course you can.

It might be true that other people have different problems and they may be worse problems, but you are having your own experience and feelings. You are acknowledging those feelings, calling them out, naming them and accepting you have them.

That is how you are feeling. You don’t have to reach a threshold of badness in order to have some suffering.

You don’t need to compare your situation to somebody else’s in order to justify whether or not you’re feeling good or feeling bad.

So, acknowledge your experience, acknowledge your feelings and know that it’s okay to have them.

This builds a lot of self empathy, which ties into cultivating that self trust. To know that it’s okay for you to acknowledge when you’re not feeling strong and when you are feeling some suffering.

If you bury that, then I think it really spills over into a way that does not help you respond to challenges in the best most effective way you could.



5. Spend Time with Yourself


woman meditating


Now that may sound a little silly, but people do always talk about “me time”.

It is important to spend some time with your own thoughts, with yourself and to tune into your own needs.

Spending time with yourself helps you to build self trust by knowing you will take care of yourself, not just everybody else, but also yourself.

What does this look like?

  • Tuning into your emotions
  • Acknowledging your experiences
  • Paying attention to the relationships you’re in
  • Focusing on praise you receive
  • Acknowledging your wins
  • Doing things that are just good for you – hobbies, exercises, etc

One of the most important ways I spend time with myself is on a meditation practice I learned from a dear colleague/medical school friend, Dr Jill Wener. She is now a business partner of mine who has some amazing meditation and stress reduction resources on her own websites.

If you’re curious about meditation, make sure to sign up for her virtual meditation retreat in June (and let her know I sent you!)

Jill has taught me a really powerful meditation technique that I use to this day.

It has helped me respond more effectively to stresses, be able to self-regulate, not be a victim of my emotions or have knee jerk responses to things.

In times of stress, we all know that is how we tend to react, right?

People can snap, and they’re much quicker to judge others, more quick to judge themselves and not really think as clearly or make the best decisions. So, this meditation practice has really helped me to be able to do that.

Of course, it doesn’t make everything perfect, but it makes a lot of things a whole lot better.



6. Practice Doing Hard Things To Reach Your Goals


Focus on incremental, measurable little goals that seem doable, but that are difficult.

One thing I did this month (I actually had my very last day today) was a squat challenge – a physical fitness challenge, building up to 250 squats in a single set.

For some of you who might be much more fit, you may think that’s no big deal. When I started the challenge I thought there is no way I could do 250!

But of course, it starts off incrementally with a manageable number and moves up incrementally with a manageable number. So by the end of the month ( I did indeed do it today – yay me!) I finished my goal.

Reaching this goal continues to build that self trust.

I looked at something that from the outset seemed like it would not be achievable, but I practiced and put in the discipline to do that work. It hasn’t dramatically changed my body or done anything else – not really. It’s really more of an exercise in self discipline and self trust.

I trust myself that if I start, if I do the process, I can do something… I can achieve my goal.

In this case the goal was physical, but it could be mental, emotional, spiritual. It could be any challenge or incremental goal you want to set for yourself.

Knowing you can do things that are difficult.

Obviously a squat challenge is difficult on a much different level than a national pandemic, divorce, being fired from a job or any number of some of the major events.

In the same way, we don’t need to have comparative suffering, we don’t need to have comparative practice. You can practice your self trust, and you can practice that on things that are relatively low stakes, like my 30 day squad challenge example.



This is How You Trust Yourself and Be Confident


There are six ways to build self trust, which is the backbone of your resilience.

  1. Recording your wins and achievements
  2. Tracking and collecting the praise of others
  3. Detoxing relationships and finding good support relationships
  4. Acknowledging your own experience and feelings as valid
  5. Spending time with yourself (I personally recommend including meditation)
  6. Practice doing hard things that help you achieve measurable goals

Having self trust enables you to…

  • Make it through tough times
  • Have that mental, physical, emotional and spiritual fortitude to respond effectively
  • Make good decisions and not fall apart when that’s exactly what you want to do.

With practice these habits we’ve discussed today are what’s going to increase your resilience. Make you better able to respond effectively in tough situations, whether personal, professional or both.

No matter what life throws your way, and it will continue to forever. You will know you can handle it.

You now have six tips to increase and practice cultivating your own self trust and know that I’m rooting for you.

Whatever life throws your way, you should be rooting for you and know you can do it.

Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx.

Please be sure to subscribe and leave me a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or whatever podcast player you’re using to listen today. Also, be sure to send me your questions so that I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.

Bye for now,



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