Trusting In Me

“Yet, without consideration or reservation, it is simply the presence of light that stirs the birds to sing and lift. They do not understand concepts such as holding back or only investing if the return seems certain.”

– Mark Nepo

Can you live on a feeling? Something that tugs at you from the inside? Would you dare follow what some would call a “calling”?

There are those that would say that following that voice deep inside you is easy, but in my experience, I’ve found that it isn’t.

In high school and in college I was the typical overachiever who was always searching for approval. I would always ask, whether I was aware of it or not, questions like: Am I doing what the teacher wants me to do? Am I making my parents proud? Am I making my community proud? Am I making my country proud? Am I being a role model? Do I look good enough, talk good enough, walk good enough, think good enough for others? Is what I am doing making others feel comfortable about themselves? Am I doing what others say should be done?

This constant striving for approval always landed me in disappointment. I always felt short of what others expected of me, or at least, what I thought others expected me. When I did succeed, it was never enough. My cup was never filled. Worst of all, I would often feel betrayed, and I didn’t know why.

I would blame my parents, or society, or the time that I lived in for the cause of that betrayal. I blamed events that happened to me, or others who wronged me. I blamed my lack of timing, or my lack of skill, or my lack of experience. I blamed my stubbornness, or my age, or my ignorance. I blamed all of this for that terrible feeling of incompleteness, and that promise of fulfillment that always seemed elusive. The lack of fulfillment was a persistent, hollow pang in my stomach that was worse than any pang of fear.

Finally, a year ago, all of this changed for me. I suddenly found myself feeling fulfilled, vibrant, and excited. I was happy.

What had changed? What had I done that was different from before? What was the fundamental paradigm shift?

The shift was actually simpler than you may think: I began to trust myself.

I listened–not to others, but to the knowing voice inside of me.

I realized that others can never truly know me. For instance, I noticed that, at times, others would mistakenly perceive me as unhappy or troubled, when I was overjoyed and excited. Or they would mistake me as overjoyed and excited, when I really was troubled about something. After I realized this, I stopped judging myself against what others perceived was my current state, I only judged myself by what I was actually feeling.

I began to know that what I know is what I know, and sometimes, as much as I try to impart what I know to others, others may not understand.

I began to trust what I knew. I noticed that whenever I went against what I knew, I always felt like I fell short of my aim. I was always disappointed. I always left the situation unfulfilled, and I always felt a little betrayed. But when I went with what I knew was my truth, I always hit the mark. I always left the situation feeling proud of myself and incredibly fulfilled, and I always felt at peace with the world around me.

I came to understand that the feeling of betrayal was not coming from the outside of me. No one was betraying me. I was betraying myself. I was betraying myself by not trusting myself, and the only one to blame for that was me.

But trusting ourselves is not an easy thing to do. For what we know to be true will often rub against what others know to be true, and sometimes they will not accept our truth as their own. This can cause friction. Trusting ourselves also means trusting our own unique path in life, and often we have no standard to measure this by. For instance, we cannot compare what we know to be true with what our parents, our friends, or others in the history of the world knew to be true, because the world has changed, and we are not like anyone else that has ever lived. Lastly, trusting ourselves means we must believe in our ability to measure a phenomenon that cannot be explained away.

Because what exactly are we trusting? What are we trusting if it is not some outside, preconceived standard of living? How can we guess at the features of a bird that has not yet been hatched?

We can never know for sure how we know what we know, but we continue to know.

Now, we can ignore this “innate knowing,” or we can follow it.

When we ignore our knowing, we betray ourselves and we will feel that sting of betrayal, and then we will lash out at everyone and everything around us for causing that betrayal.

But, if we follow what we know to be true, we will honor ourselves, and in so doing we feel a kiss on our heart, and we will hug everyone and everything around us for causing us this bountiful happiness.

But trusting is not easy. Trusting ourselves is even harder. Knowing that we know, without being able to explain to others how we know what we know is no easy feat. Again, we must trust that although we sound cryptic, someone, somewhere out there will hear the truth we speak and understand it.

We fear to share what we know, but again, we must trust that we know we must share, and that something good will come of this sharing.

Most of all, we find it hard to believe that what we know we want is what everyone wants for us, and that all we have to do is simply trust the feeling.

One of the most important, and hardest lessons for any writer is to learn to trust themselves. But what I know–and you’re just going to have to trust me when I say this–is that when you begin to trust yourself, the door you have been trying to knock down with all your might will reveal itself as a waste of time, and you will turn around to find the door whose lock your spirit has always been a perfect fit for.

much trust,

Ollin

Take one step today toward your writing career that requires that you trust yourself and your internal knowing. Report back here with your experience and what you uncovered.

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31 comments on “Trusting In Me

  1. timkeen40 says:

    I have been actively writing and creating since I was a young boy (it was my calling), but I was always hesitant to talk about it in front of other people or pursue it with much vigor.

    The first one (not talking about it) has more to do with the way people perceive writers. Oh they will spend much time watching television, reading books, and playing video games – all those services that writers provide to them, but when they tend to see writers as people from another world.

    The second one – the one that speaks to a main point of your post – is that I believed what others told me aout how hard it was to make it. I believed that it was a million to one shot. I believed that it was a waste of my time.

    To correct the first one, I still do not talk a great to people about writing unless they are writers themselves. I have a select group outside the blog world that I discuss writing with. It is important to do that. Of course, the blogging world has opened up everything.

    On the second note, I will attack this one from reverse. On the second point, if it is a waste of time, it is my time to waste. I chose to do so. On first point, to say that it a one in a million shot equates my becoming successful to the lottery. It takes nothing into account for my talent as a writer. I have to reject that.

    But it has taken me many years to come to the conclusion. Now, I am all in. I am no longer a hobby writer. I am a writer! I have never felt better about it, either.

    Great post and sorry for the long reply. Us writers do tend to get long-winded from time to time.

    http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

    • Ollin says:

      You’re always welcome to write long posts. Most of my readers do, and I enjoy reading them!

      I am glad that you have reached a point where you trust who you know you are.

  2. The contracts we form with ourselves are actually seeded during what I call the “domestication period”. It’s during the tender ages that we are handed down the “shoulds” and the “musts”. It just gets ingrained and continues for life until, like you, someone has an epiphany and shuns the negative contracts.

    I love how you nullified your ego and broke from the shackles. Great post.

    -BrownEyed

    • Ollin says:

      That’s very true BrownEyed. Thank you for pointing that out. We do get engrained with a lot of shoulds that do not align with what we are meant to do. There’s a lot of work involved in trying to get rid of all that. But that work can start today!

  3. Ollin,

    Once again a very insightful post. Listening to our inner guide is sometimes so difficult with all the other noise and confusion all around us.

    Thank you!

  4. Jude says:

    My first visit to your blog, Ollin and thank you for your insight. That hollow feeling of lack of fulfillment is very familiar, though coming from a very different background to yours.

  5. souldipper says:

    You’ve just handed your readership a piece of gold. May it be recognized, Ollin. I think my son would have been just like you!!🙂

  6. Alexis Jenny says:

    As usual, I appreciate the candor and sincerity of your post.

    I’ve been thinking about a few things today as I’ve browsed the blogosphere and, as a result of those influences and yours, I’ve decided that I cannot put off writing fiction. This year will bring many challenges for me, and I will need to make some money somehow, so I know I will end up tackling writing projects that are far from enthusing. I’ve been thinking (and trying to cope with the idea) that I’ll need to sacrifice my more creative projects in order to pursue more lucrative ones. This idea stems partially from self-doubt or, at least, uncertainty.

    But… I think if I can improve my time management skills even a little bit, I can create balance.

    And that is what is important.: trusting yourself enough to know that you can, in fact, maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle and still work toward your goals.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Ollin says:

      You’re welcome Alexis. You’ve come to the right place. I hope you’ve taken some time to browse my readers favorite posts {there are links on my side bar.} You may find some posts to inspire you and help you set up a writing schedule that works for you busy life.

      Good luck to you!

  7. David Smith says:

    I can relate, Ollin. I was raised with the false belief that working for others would be profitable. That may be true, if you want to stay with the same job for decades.

    Like many heavy readers, I develop new interests regularly. Three years in a career and it’s time for a change. I was thinking it was a flaw in me for decades. Now I’ve realized it’s a flaw in my choice of work. I need work where I can make changes as my interests change.

    Freelance writing is the perfect vehicle. There are many kinds of writing and the topics include every career, entertainment, every aspect of life. I’ve been writing for decades, but for jobs, university and myself. Now I’m learning everything I can about writing short nonfiction and blogging it as I go. Thanks for the post.

    • Ollin says:

      You’re welcome David. I’m happy to hear you are trusting yourself and following what it is you know, even if you don’t know HOW you know it.

    • Alexis Jenny says:

      Three years is the longest I ever spent within a field. Usually, I got anxious around 6 months. If I made it to 9 months, that was an accomplishment. I never thought about it before but I think you’re right: writing is the solution because it is so diverse. Writers can explore a lot of subjects, and new doors are always opening.

  8. Cities of the Mind says:

    That’s the hard part though, isn’t it? When you trust yourself, you have no one left to blame for your failures. You must accept them as fully your own, just as you would a success.

    • Ollin says:

      But that’s the illusion. We can’t blame anyone else but ourselves if we don’t follow what we know to be true for ourselves.

      In my experience, whenever I don’t trust myself, I fail. When I do trust myself, I can never fail. Not sure if that makes sense. But that is what I know to be true.

      • Alexis Jenny says:

        I think it makes sense. If we don’t trust ourselves, we end up trusting others, and then if something goes wrong, we can only blame ourselves for trusting someone else. Either way, we are responsible for our accomplishments and failures.

  9. Enjoyed the post and likewise like Cities of the Mind’s take on it – it does place tremendous pressure solely on ourselves, but there’s no one else I’d trust enough for that duty!🙂 Well, at least most of the time…I’ve had a couple events this month challenge me in fostering self-doubt, but when it comes down to it, I know I need to stick to my guns, as my instinct usually does end up being validated, if not right away. I’m trying to apply that now to my current manuscript revision…it’s a restructuring in attempting to make it more marketable, yet I refuse to clip out its soul. My gut tells me that if I do, it won’t be my story anymore.

  10. T.S. Bazelli says:

    I needed to read this today. I’ve been worrying about all kinds of things when it’s come to writing. It’s so easy to drown out that inner voice, that instinct. I keep second guessing myself. You’ve reminded me that I need to pay more attention. I need to make that inner voice louder.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by June Templeton and David Smith, Ollin Morales. Ollin Morales said: Today's post: "Trusting In Me:" http://tinyurl.com/4sj737x […]

  12. 83October says:

    hey Ollin,
    For one of my classes in graduate school i had to take in a client for art therapy and in our most recent session this issue came out for her. She had a positive outlook of her future but she didn’t trust herself to be able to get from the present to her future. It was a long process before she could realize that what she lacked was faith in her ability to make her future happen. I think one of our greatest enemies are ourselves. We can easily trust others to do things or cheer for other people, but sometimes we fail to believe in ourselves. I think, personally, i still struggle with this as well.

    thanks for sharing. great post as usual.

    • Ollin says:

      Hey 83,

      It took me a long time to get to that point. And I think it is still a constant, daily practice: the practice of trusting one self. I am sure I will have moments were I will waver, but at least I know that when things aren’t going well, that I should check to see if I am being honest and clear with myself, and honoring my wants, needs and intentions. It is a good road map to have, if we ever feel lost, to check in with our inner compass every once in a while.

  13. jannatwrites says:

    I liked this post, and Connor’s comment about not having anyone to blame for failures when we trust ourselves. Though it’s easier to blame outside sources for failures, the real growth comes from being able to absorb the failures, assess where we went wrong, dust ourselves off and go for it again.

    As for writing, I self-edited my first manuscript to make it more marketable in a market where I now realize I don’t belong. I’m starting a second one where my heart will dictate the writing without regard to market. Should be a fun ride🙂

  14. A truly inspiring post. Well done. And it is so true, but once you’ve found that trust it brings with it an amazing sense of freedom. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

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