Learning to trust in your own intuition and decisions is an essential part of building your confidence, but can also be quite scary. It’s natural to want to test out your ideas and thoughts with other people and for some personalities that’s the most effective way of working.
This only becomes a problem when you recognise you’re giving a greater importance to the thoughts and opinions of others than yourself.
The danger of relying on external validation is that other people see the world through a different set of filters to you. Our perspective of life is affected by our nature and the experiences we’ve had so no two people see the world exactly the same way.
By not trusting your own intuition you run the risk of:
Losing touch with yourself. If you don’t pay attention to your ‘gut’ feeling you stop being able to recognise the physical and emotional signs that can guide you to the right decision
Becoming risk averse. Relying on another person’s opinion of your ability to achieve something, can take away from the “why not me?” attitude that builds confidence
Not knowing whom to trust. Searching for feedback on your ideas from many people can be confusing and create more indecision. Instead try trusting just a few people you respect and matter the most to you
Not doing anything. If you are unsure about a decision you need to make, it can feel very confusing and stressful and result in you procrastinating. Remember that making the decision is the important part, whatever the outcome is you can cope with it
Affecting your self-esteem. By not trusting in yourself you send a message to your brain that “you’re not good enough” or “your opinions aren’t as valuable as others” which has a negative effect on your self-esteem and confidence.
Next time you want to run an idea, a report or a decision past a friend or colleague, just ask yourself am I doing this for genuine feedback or because I’m having a self-doubt wobble?