It’s hard to look within ourselves for answers. It takes a lot of courage and trust to turn inward. What does outsourcing our power look like? It looks like turning to people or experiences outside of ourselves for comfort and security. Sometimes that can be helpful but many times the answer is already within us. Rather than turning towards ourselves for our own well-being, we often rely on sources outside of ourselves. We seek answers from psychics, google, friends, family, colleagues, Facebook, a boss, a neighbor, Instagram, etc. Essentially what we are doing when we rely heavily on those things is outsourcing our power.
When we do this, we are saying, “I don’t trust myself and I don’t honor myself, and so therefore, I am going to abandon myself, and rely on others to tell me what I need”. The trouble with that is when we do that, we are really saying, “I don’t believe I am good enough to get to know who I really am and have who I am be good enough.”
So what happens when we outsource our power?
We lose touch with the knowledge and the wisdom that resides within us.
I often tell my clients, “your body knows the truth”. Our bodies are powerful truth tellers and it holds a ton of knowledge about what we really feel. When we allow ourselves to access the wisdom that resides within us we steer ourselves in the right direction. Many people call this “listening to your gut”. Our gut certainly holds a lot of wisdom – there’s a huge web of nerves there that receives messages from the subcortical brain about how we feel. There are other parts of our body worth listening to also – particularly the back, shoulders, throat, jaw, neck, chest and sternum. Those areas are deeply connected to sensing how we feel about a person or an event.
The problem is, because most of us have not taken the time to cultivate deep and nourishing relationships with ourselves, we feel we can’t trust ourselves, or that we aren’t safe to rely on for our own well-being. So, we turn to those outside ourselves –other people, places, and things—for our safety and well-being.
Little do we realize when we do that, we are in effect creating a powerful way of perpetuating our stories of how not good enough we believe we are, and how we cannot be trusted with our own selves.
If this sounds too abstract here’s a related story:
You have just gone on an interview for a new job and a part of you knows it’s not going to be a good fit. You noticed too many red flags. However, because you haven’t cultivated a relationship with yourself, one in which you allow yourself to trust your red flags, you call a friend and reason it out with her. She talks it over with you and suggests you might be hypersensitive and to give the job a shot anyway. You decide she’s probably right and that you likely were being overly sensitive.
So, you abandon your own inner knowing (the red flags), outsource your power (relying on your friend’s perspective rather than your own), and take on the job, despite a part of you feeling unsettled about it (disconnecting from your own inner sense of safety and well-being).
Well guess what? Shortly into the job you realize, “Yup, this was a terrible move for me,” and you start to feel miserable about your situation and possibly even about yourself. You might even start to think, “Ugh, I should have known better…”
Does this sound familiar?
This instance is one of the many ways we disconnect ourselves, outsource our power, and refrain from using our own inner wisdom; further solidifying a belief that you are not enough and need others to make decisions on your behalf.
In the example above, you have essentially told yourself, “I don’t trust myself and my own inner knowing, so I will rely on someone else’s opinion, and when it doesn’t work out, I have a new tool to beat myself up with about the fact that I didn’t trust myself.” Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And the thing is, we can apply this to anything: going on that second date, interactions with family members, which route to take home after work, which restaurant to go to, what to cook for dinner, what to buy, and the list can go on and on.
Instead, if you allowed yourself to form a trusting and loving relationship with yourself, you would have trusted your red flags, spoken to the friend, taken her suggestion into account, checked in with yourself again, and then made the decision that felt best for you based on honoring your truth in that moment.
When you allow yourself to rely on your own inner knowing and your own truth in any given moment, you are living in right relationship with yourself and your power. And that is where the magic happens.
Here’s something to try – the next time you have an important decision to make, sit with yourself for a few minutes. Think about saying “yes” to whatever is you’re needing to decide and imagine being a part of that experience you just said yes to. See how your body responds to that “yes”. You might notice a feeling of warmth or excitement, or perhaps it feels like a sick pit in your stomach.
Now think about saying “No” or distancing yourself from that same situation. What’s coming up for you then? Maybe it feels bold and empowering. You can still reach out to someone you trust for advice; but do it without negating what your body is already telling you.
Do you need help learning how to trust yourself and find your own way? I can help. Get started now by calling for a free 15 minute phone consultation.