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How Trusting Yourself Can Improve Your Life

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Do you feel like you can't trust yourself or your decisions? Do you feel like you have made too many mistakes in the past? Do you constantly feel like you need to look to others for approval?

When you are constantly seeking validation from outside yourself, you may not always get the results that you want. Other people may not approve of your decisions, which can lead you to doubt yourself.

If you don't trust yourself, there is a big possibility that you are going to sell yourself short in life.

You are going to be afraid to take any risks, and stay deep within your comfort zone, doing things that everyone else does. This can lead to a deep sense of dissatisfaction with yourself and your life.

Living your life for other people's approval, or at least to keep them from downright being upset with you will keep you in a very basic and average life.

Nothing that you do is ever going to be exciting or extraordinary. You will just be treading water moving though the motions of life, without really living at all.

This is why it is so crucial to learn to trust in yourself and your decisions, so that you can break out of the prison of other people's expectations.

Only then can you live the happy and abundant life that you were really meant to live.

Why trusting yourself matters

Learning to trust yourself more can be a struggle, especially if you have grown up in a family where there were very rigid expectations of what you are supposed to do. You have learned to follow a social script, and to do things in life that are expected of you.

When you do this, often you put your own hopes and dreams for your life aside.

As you learn to trust in yourself and your decisions, you will be able to move outside the comfort zone of the social script that you have grown up with and do something more with your life.

You may want to break away from a religious upbringing, come out as LGBTQ+, or follow a non-traditional career path. Any of these things can be difficult to do if you are constantly worried about what others are thinking of you.

However, it is difficult to be your authentic self when that is diametrically opposed to the beliefs that your family or society has imposed on you. If you don't fit the mold, you may have been ridiculed when you were young. This can cause you to fear the consequences of disapproval.

If you want to live a happy and authentic life that is aligned to your own values, and those values differ from your family and friends, it can be difficult to speak up for yourself.

When you find the strength to trust in yourself and what you want your life to be, then you can begin to live the life that you want to live, instead of the life that other people think you should be living. You can make the life that you see in your heart and your dreams, instead of a life that follows the social script.

There are others who have gone a different way before you, and paved the way for you to be able to make difficult decisions. Rule breakers can succeed too.

Look at Rosa Parks for example, and the choice she made to believe in herself above what society told her to do. She created social justice for others who came in her footsteps for years to come.

It is often rule breakers who make the biggest difference in our society, because they are willing to go against the grain and do something new. That is where real change and innovation happens in our world.

Learning to trust yourself

So, how do you learn to trust yourself more? This is going to take a lot of soul searching at first.

Think about what you really want in life. Then, think about times that you have followed your internal compass, and how those times worked out for you. Were you successful? How did others treat you?

You can do a long journal session to write about all the things that you want for your life, your values, and how your life so far has aligned to those values.

Then, think about what is holding you back from doing the things that you most want to do in life. Do you want to leave the church? Come out of the closet? Leave a bad marriage? Study something for a new career? Leave a traditional office job?

Any of these things might seem impossible at first. However, with proper planning and trust in ourselves, they can be achievable.

In order to be able to trust in yourself and your ideas, you can ask yourself some difficult questions like:

  • How long have you wanted to do this?

  • Do you believe you deserve what you want?

  • Will having your wishes make you happy?

  • Could this be the beginning of a better life for you?

  • What do you have to lose?

  • What happens if you fail with this goal?

  • What will it take for you to succeed?

Once you have started to ask yourself these questions, you will start to see patterns arise. If there is something that you have always wanted to do for years, then that is the direction that your heart is trying to take your life.

Following your heart usually leads you in the right direction, even if it seems scary at first.

If you think that following your dream and following your heart will make you happier and be the beginning of a better life, then it may be time to start trusting in yourself, and start taking steps toward the life that you are dreaming of.

It is important to think about failure too. Not everything will succeed the first time around. You will need to think about how to pick yourself back up if you fail.

Building self confidence

Learning to trust in yourself can take time, especially if this isn't something you have done very much in the past. So, it is important to start small.

Think of something small and manageable that you can do today to move towards your goal. It can be as simple as researching online, or talking to a close friend about what you want to do.

Once you do that small thing, celebrate yourself for having courage to trust in yourself, no matter what the outcome is of your actions. You have a right to feel good about yourself for stepping outside your comfort zone.

The more you step outside your comfort zone, the more you can learn to build confidence in yourself and your decisions.

Every day, take another small step towards the life that you dream of. Every day, as you take those steps and listen to your own voice, you will learn to trust yourself more.

Eventually, the trust you have in yourself and your decisions will lead to a new sense of self confidence. The more confident you are in yourself, the easier it will become to take actions that are aligned to your values.

By taking baby steps at first, it will prepare you to take bigger steps later on. Go for the easy wins first. This will help you to build your self confidence to the point that it won't be shattered if something more high-stakes is to go wrong later on.

Having more self-confidence will prepare you to cope with any problems that may come up in the future as a result of your new path. You can expect to face resistance if you are going against the social script.

Building self trust and self confidence is a way to build yourself up so that you will be able to face criticisms from others down the road. This may be from your family, coworkers, or people in society with opposing views.

Trusting yourself can improve your mental health

As you learn to trust yourself more, it can improve your mental health too, because it can reduce anxiety and depression.

According to Healthy Place,

Learning to trust yourself—your thoughts and your feelings and the correctness of your behaviors—is an important step in becoming mentally healthy and experiencing wellbeing.

You may often have anxious "what if" thoughts about your hopes and dreams, that make you feel unbalanced inside. When you are constantly second guessing yourself, it feeds into your general sense of anxiety.

Learning to trust yourself can help you to be less anxious, because you will spend less time worrying about what could go wrong, what other people think, or if you are a bad person.

The less you worry about every possible what if scenario, the less anxious you will feel.

When you don't trust yourself, it can play into depression symptoms as well. If you aren't living a life that is aligned with your personal wants, needs and values, you may feel as though you are constantly letting yourself down or not living up to your potential.

Self-doubt plays a major role in depression. The more you learn to trust yourself, the less you will feel let down about possibilities that could have been, or about roads not taken.

Having self confidence can help to combat your depression symptoms, the more you are living a life that is aligned with your authentic self. You won't constantly feel like you are letting yourself down anymore.

Having self trust and self confidence can make you more mentally healthy, because you will be living a happier and more aligned life.

Trusting yourself can improve your parenting

As you learn to trust yourself more, it can improve your parenting as well. This is because you will be more self-confident, and that will shine through in your relationship with your kids.

The more self-confident you are, the less you are likely to second guess your parenting decisions. This will allow you to be a more calm and firm parent.

According to Psychology Today,

Your parenting journey is yours. It doesn’t matter what anyone else tells you or thinks of your choices.

As you learn to trust yourself more, you'll be able to set more firm boundaries and rules for your kids, and follow through with consequences for their behavior when needed. Setting boundaries is a difficult skill, but much easier when you trust yourself.

Having your kids see you being more confident is good for them too. They see a confident and happy mom, and it helps them to feel safe and confident too.

This can improve your relationship with your kids, because they will have consistent limits. It may seem counterintuitive, but having limits actually helps kids to feel safer. They know what to expect, and this is good for them in the long run.


The more you learn to trust in yourself and your decisions, the more you will be doing things that make you truly happy. This will allow you to take criticism more easily, and have it roll off of you without having much of an effect at all.

It is difficult to build up trust in yourself to walk a new path, but it will be well worth it in the end when you are living the life that you have always dreamed of.

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