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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Build Self-Trust

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Apr 24th 2013

building self trust in the brain“As we learn to drop down from the busyness in our minds and into the now, we can cultivate self-trust and self-reliance.” ~ The Now Effect

We live in a generally distrusting culture. We don’t trust others and many of us trust ourselves even less. In moments of heavy emotion whether it’s connected to anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, or trauma, activity dips down in the rational brain and spikes up in the emotional centers leaving us feeling emotionally lost without a compass. 

Learning how to trust ourselves isn’t something we’re just born with, it’s a skill and anyone can learn it. 

Here is a short passage from Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler that gives an example of what you can do to start building this skill:

“Set the intention to be on the lookout for moments that your mind seems busy, anxious, distracted, or cluttered. Ask yourself, “Are these thoughts true?” Then ask, “What m I feeling right now?” Practice bringing a curious and friendly awareness to the sensation. Little by little we start to recognize that we can “be with” ourselves even in difficult mind states and that “It’s going to be okay,” building a sense of self-trust, self-reliance, and open up to what really matters.” 

What would be different in the days, weeks and months ahead if difficult moments were met with an automatic sense that you could rely on yourself to get through it? 

Would you feel more confident? Would this confidence lead you to move out of your comfort zone and do things that you might not normally do, making space for growth and freedom? 

Why not make a daylong or even a weeklong experiment out being on the lookout for moments of imbalance and starting to question your thoughts and dip down into what’s actually there, the feeling. 

Jill Bolte Taylor said in her book, Stroke of Insight that an emotion left on its own lasts about 90 seconds. The fact is we need our thoughts to fuel them. 

When we dip beneath the thoughts and connect to the vulnerability that’s there, we not only ground to the present moment, but we begin to build a sense of courage and self-trust that can enhance a lifetime. 

As always, please leave your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
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Self-trust - - May 1st 2013

The very idea that we can build self reliance and trust through looking beyond our thoughts and emotions, is such a fresh way to look at it. Where we normally want to run from those thoughts and emotions that's cause us discomfort, it just seems so radical that if we sit with those thoughts that comfort can manifest. As you say though, it does take practice and after awhile we can just BE, with whatever our thoughts or emotions throw at us and know all will be ok. :)

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