The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself

UPDATED: May 6, 2023
PUBLISHED: March 27, 2020
woman building self-trust

“I prayed for guidance and learned to trust myself.”

These wise words feel so apt for this time. When we’re able to trust and think well of ourselves, it enables us to thrive in multiple areas of our lives.

Of course, if it were easy to simply trust ourselves and be done with it, there’d be far fewer stressed people and a whole lot more people pursuing the dreams that inspire them and facing their challenges with faith, not fear.

Building my own self-trust

Over the course of recent years, I’ve had to trust myself far more than I’ve wanted to. A few years ago, based on strong assurances that my husband would be relocated back to the United States—where we had lived for 11 years and where our four children had largely grown up (I’m an Aussie)—we sent our oldest children ahead to boarding school.

But then, a plot twist. My husband’s company said they wanted him to take a role in Singapore. Moving to Asia was not in my plans. But I packed up my home and set up shop there, intent on making the most of this unplanned chapter of my life.

Fourteen months after uprooting our life, another plot twist—my husband was reassigned to a different role. However, this time, I had a child about to enter his senior year of high school, and so unable to transfer curriculums yet again.  

So, I found my family spread across not two, but three continents. To say this was not a part of my “family vision” is an understatement.

Reclaiming your own power

As I write this now, still to reunite my family, I’ve found myself weathering another storm. Except this one I’m sharing with millions of others.  

COVID-19 disrupted the lives of people across the globe. It’s normal to feel fearful, ungrounded and off-kilter, as though the world has tilted off its axis. Yet, as I wrote in You’ve Got This! The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself, when the ground beneath us feels shaky and so much is uncertain, we have to look within ourselves for the security we seek. That is, we have to trust that within us lie the resources we need to handle whatever unfolds ahead. We don’t do this one time and emerge braver forever more. No, we must do it again and again—one day, one hour and sometimes one minute at a time.

Of course, it’s only natural to feel anxious or stressed when dealing with so much uncertainty and seismic levels of disruption. I was about to do a monthlong book and speaking tour across the U.S., and alas, like so many plans, it was canceled. So if you’ve been feeling anxious right now, know you’re not alone. The entire world is experiencing that kind of vulnerability

Trusting yourself is not about becoming invulnerable to fear or eradicating self-doubt. Rather, it’s reclaiming the power that we surrender to our fears and choosing each day to show up from a place of faith rather than fear; of self-trust rather than self-doubt.

Walking the path of faith over fear is not about religion. It’s about daring to lean into a deeper source of power that lives within us and around us. It’s about taking the ultimate risk and placing a bet on ourselves that within us is all that’s required to meet the demands of each moment as it arises. 

Becoming your own hero

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Self-trust is the essence of heroism.” We are each walking our own hero’s journey, and each day we wake up, we have the opportunity to start anew in building the self-trust that true heroism requires. 

Day by day, choice by choice, one brave act of heroism at a time, you build self-trust each time you are braver than you want to be. You do it each time you risk falling short as you pursue what tugs at your heart, each time you defy your doubts and honor your gifts, each time you lay your vulnerability on the line for the sake of a noble cause and each time you look within for the light that you seek.  

If ever there was a time to be the hero of our own lives—to ground ourselves in our innate “enoughness,” listen to the whispers of our inner sage, step up to the plate in our lives and search inside ourselves for—and ground ourselves in—the self-certainty missing around us—it is now.  

You’ve got this. I’ve got this. We’ve got this.

Decide today that you will ground yourself in faith, not fear. Then ask yourself, “What would I do today if I trust that whatever happens, I can handle it?”

Breathe in faith, breathe out fear.

Breathe in faith again.

12 principles for building self-trust

Adapted from You’ve Got This! The Life Changing Power of Trusting Yourself:

  1. Don’t wait for confidence. Begin before you feel ready; life rewards action, not indecision.
  2. Doubt your doubts. When you let fear call the shots, you sell yourself short.
  3. Dial up your daring. Be bold in the vision you create for your life.
  4. Embrace your fallibility. Get off your own back and give yourself permission to be human.
  5. Use your gifts. Honor your talents and do more of what you do well.
  6. Strengthen your wings. Prioritize what empowers you to thrive under pressure.
  7. Stand tall in your worth. When you talk yourself down, you short change the world.
  8. Risk vulnerability. Lay down your armor and unleash your true strength.
  9. Choose faith over fear. Trust a higher force is conspiring for your greatest good.
  10. Find your uplift. Surround yourself with those who embolden you.
  11. Surrender resistance. Embrace uncertainty and look within for the security you seek.
  12. Own your power. Be an ambassador for the world you want to live in.

This article was updated April 2023. Photo by Makhh/Shutterstock

Best-selling author and mother of four, Margie Warrell is on a mission to embolden people to live and lead more bravely. Margie’s gained hard-won wisdom on building courage since her childhood in rural Australia. Her insights have also been shaped by her work with trailblazing leaders from Richard Branson to Bill Marriott and organizations from NASA to Google. Founder of Global Courage, host of the Live Brave podcast and advisory board member of Forbes Business School, Margie’s just released her fifth book You’ve Got This! The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself. She’d love to support you at .