Do you worry that the authentic you is not good enough, lovable enough—and that you’ll still be OK if you mess up? 

Blog | Courtenay Monfore | Licensed Professional Counselor | Trauma Stress Anxiety Therapy | Charlotte NC

Many people don’t have confidence in the core of them.  Trusting the unfolding process of living without having a tight sense of control can feel impossible when we doubt our worth and possibilities. You may have forgotten, or never knew, that you already contained goodness, wisdom and love.

In Erik Erikson’s eight stages of human development, the first, foundational stage is about “basic trust.” He focused on trust and mistrust of the outer world, especially the people in it. This stage is very important, yet often what looks like “the world is untrustworthy” is at core, “I don’t trust myself to deal with it.”

Here are some great indications that you don’t trust yourself to be competent enough to take care of yourself. They are broken down into ways we are aware, think, feel and behave.


In order for someone to move from second-guessing themselves to trusting themselves, they must first be really aware of what is happening. Here is what I often notice in my practice.

* Being unable or unwilling to recognize or challenge self-sabotaging or self-destructive thoughts, beliefs, and behavior patterns.

* It’s sometimes difficult to recognize what the truth is or to  tell the truth.

* Deny or minimize my power of choice. Defer to others — allowing them to make choices and decisions for me.

* Having a hard time recognizing, understanding, or believing in your innate value and worth.


Being aware of what we are telling ourselves is a crucial part of growth into trusting ourselves. Here are some key points in thought patterns that keep us from moving forward.

* Accepting the negative, self-rejecting messages that you’ve received when you were younger.

* Compare the choices you’ve made to those made by others.

* Thinking that you could have done something to change or stop a negative experiences you’ve had.

* Prone to catastrophizing —  being filled with the constant expectation of failure, disappointment, or betrayal.

* Mentally relive or rehash past traumas or adverse events.

* Engage in negative and harmful self-talk, and your   negative ego takes control.

*  Participate in self-sabotaging or compulsive repetitive behaviors that create shame, guilt, or self-punishment.


Feelings can hold two meaning and they both play a role in building trust within ourselves. Our emotions such as anger, sadness, resentment, frustration play a vital role and deserve to be honored. The second meaning of feeling are the physical sensations that show up such as pain, pressure, tension or feeling uncomfortable that are most common in our back, neck, head, chest and stomach. The two meanings of feelings are inter-connected and need to be recognized as an important part of trusting oneself. Below are indications of feelings that challenge trust in yourself.

* Holding in anger, resentment, or ill will toward someone — or speaking negatively about — those you feel have hurt or harmed you.

* Rely heavily on my physical senses to make decisions and am often disconnected from my instincts, intuition, and inner guidance.

* Often have physical pains, tensions and discomforts.


Our actions are our behaviors and they tend to be most noticeable to ourselves and others. They are the final product of what we have been thinking and feeling. People who don’t trust themselves often show these behaviors.

* Trying to control everything around you to feel safe.

* Find it difficult to finish what you start.

* Unable to find, or value, my own voice.

* Do things to prove your value to yourself and others.

* Minimize or deny my your needs.

* Break the promises that you’ve made to yourself.

* Fail to keep the commitments and/or agreements that you’ve made with others.

If these signs of thoughts, feelings and actions have touched something for you, you’re not alone. It takes courage and vulnerability to recognize when we’re feeling held back by ourselves. Being able to step into your authentic “good enough” self is a fundamental part of being comfortable moving around your day-to-day world and prepares you to overcome setbacks and challenges more easily. Call now for a free consultation to learn to feel like you can trust yourself again.