The most successful film series yet made, Star Wars, began over thirty years ago with the story of Luke Skywalker, a young man in a faraway galaxy who was destined to play a critical role in the story of his people. If you recall the film, you know that Luke had to face a number of challenges, not the least of which was coming to terms with his own self.
Luke trains hard to develop the skills and awareness necessary for his task. When the stakes are high, he must trust that he knows what he needs to know to complete his mission. He must listen to the guidance of the wise voice within himself.
All of us have a wise voice within us, but sometimes it is hard to hear. Let's face it, these days life can be pretty noisy! For many of us, our days are filled with a constant stream of information competing for our attention. In addition to all the external chatter, we have internal voices competing for our attention — like the voices of fear or self-doubt. With practice, however, we can learn to hone in on the voice of our wisest self, and we can cultivate trust in our intuition and our ability to make the choices that are right for us.
Here are three ways to cultivate greater trust in yourself.
- Seek Refuge - We all need safe spaces to renew ourselves and to reflect. Some people find this time alone - in prayer, meditation, or being a part of nature. Others find it in the company of someone they trust. Where are your favorite safe spaces? Mark time in your calendar for spending time in some of them.
- Practice Keeping Promises - One of the ways that we learn to trust ourselves is to treat ourselves as we would any dear friend. When we make promises to ourselves, we must keep them with the same rigor as we would other important people in our lives. Too often, it is easy to let ourselves "off the hook" when keeping these promises seems scary or inconvenient. At the end of the day, though, you must know that you can count on yourself. Practice writing down the promises that you make, scheduling them, and then checking them off. As you celebrate promises kept, you will also be building your own self-trust and self-confidence.
- Notice Your Wisdom - Set aside 5-10 minutes to reflect on the tremendous wisdom that you have about yourself and your body. Begin by providing for a quiet, safe space where you won't be interrupted. Sitting comfortably, complete a guided body scan meditation such as this one. Afterwards, reflect on your experience with a few questions: What are some of the sensations that I easily recognize in myself? Which of these sensations feel comfortable or enjoyable to me? What do I already know about how to increase my sense of comfort or well-being? Body scans are a powerful way to expand our awareness of the broad array of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that form our experience. They also reinforce our appreciation for the fleeting nature of these experiences. We can learn to trust that we know what we are experiencing, that our experiences aren't permanent, and that we know what we need.
In the midst of all the world's noise, it is empowering to know that you can trust the wise voice within yourself. In this video, Luke Skywalker gets a powerful experience of that:
What about you? What experiences have helped you to trust yourself more deeply? Please share your experiences in the comments below!