Not too long ago, someone I am close to asked me who I trusted. Without a second thought, I said, “Me.” She cocked her head to one side and said, “Good answer.” Then, she told me her therapist asked her that question, and she rattled off every one of her family member’s except for herself. It didn’t even occur to her to name herself. At one time, I wouldn’t have named myself either.
Does it occur to most people to put themselves on that list? Are we really taught to trust ourselves anyway, especially if we’re female? I am the youngest of 8. Any time I wanted to make a decision about anything, my well-intentioned mother would almost instantly tell me to check with my brothers. They always knew better. I’m sorry to say, I drank the Kool-Aid on that one.
Ironically, it was one of my brothers who made me spit the Kool-Aid out. I don’t remember what I was asking him.. He essentially told me to figure it out myself. Then he said, “You don’t take a piss without asking me first.” I didn’t like him saying that at that moment. But later, I had to admit the truth in his words. Of course, he could have said it nicer, but my family generally serves truth without a chaser.
When he said that to me, I looked back on all the times I didn’t believe in myself and didn’t trust myself. When I just finished grad school, I went to a job interview and saw someone I knew interviewing for the same position. I immediately thought he would get the job and gave one of the worst interviews ever. For what? Because I thought someone else was better and had a better shot than me.
Then, I started to look at the things I had accomplished in my life. How I taught myself so many things and did so many things I set out to do in my life without struggle. Someone told me later that trust was a muscle. You had to use it to build it. That’s exactly what I did. Now, I don’t assume someone is better or knows more. Now, I know I have as much to offer as anyone else.
As I reflected further over time, I realized how spot on my instincts were about so many things. TImes when I was actually right. It made me wonder why I was so hesitant to trust my own judgment at times. We have so many voices in our head that talk us out of things before we push ahead. How many of us have said when we listen to our gut we’re never wrong? Then, why does it take so much for some of us to trust ourselves? Some of us assume everyone else knows more than we do. When it comes to what’s right for ourselves, no one knows us better than we know ourselves. We have to know what we know.
I took time to understand these things. Now. if someone asks me who do I trust, I’ll tell them all day long. Me.
Until next time...look behind and beyond the veil…
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer