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  • Jeannie Scott

Life Is a Series of Trust-falls: How to learn to trust yourself

Guess what? It’s not a case of learning to trust yourself. It’s about unlearning everything that means you don’t anymore.

Did you ever do trust-falls in drama class?

You know the game where someone stands behind you and you have to just fall backwards, hoping they didn’t get distracted by something else going on in class, look away at precisely the wrong moment and leave you plummeting to the ground.

And did you struggle to trust that the person behind you was there? I did. I told myself it’s because my friends weren’t as big or tall as me, and they’d drop me. But really, it’s because I was holding onto a much deeper lack of trust and feeling of insecurity. A lack of safety that probably stemmed from moving countries consistently at a young age.

Life, let’s face it, is a series of trust-falls.

So, how can you get comfortable trust-falling with yourself?

Well, there’s really two sides to this. There’s the first side; the you that’s falling. That side of you needs to trust that the catcher (the other part of you) is actually going to catch you.

First things first, the side of you that is falling, just needs to fall. Because otherwise you’re just back in that drama classroom, with one person standing in front of another constantly looking behind, and not able to fall.

So, how can that first side get comfortable with falling?

If you think about a baby, they are completely dependent on their caregivers. So, in most cases, provided they grow up in a stable loving environment, those babies will develop trust from a really young age. They have to.

So what changes as we become adults?

As we get older and more complex, we develop beliefs about ourselves and the world that inform how we see it and interact with it. These beliefs form a part of our identity; so much so that we aren’t even aware of them. These beliefs dictate whether we’re able to just fall. For example, if you’re holding onto a belief similar to “I’m not worthy of being caught”, then you’re going to find it really difficult to let yourself fall. Because for you the crash landing is inevitable. You don’t want to crash, so you choose not to fall.

That’s what I mean about unlearning.

Baby you, knew that you were worthy. Of-course they did. That’s why they cried, and wailed and made sure that someone fed them. But something happened (or a few things happened), that meant you stopped believing in your own worthiness.

So, the first thing to do is the unlearn the belief that you’re not worthy of being caught. Or whatever the belief is.

Discover what that fear is, because it’s keeping you from falling, and let it go. And there are so many powerful ways you can do this. Some of my favourites are affirmation, journaling, tapping (or EFT) and therapy.

But my absolute faves are coaching in the form of powerful questioning and breathwork. The combination of these two modalities is phenomenal, because coaching helps to draw out, and bring to awareness, those fears. And breathwork helps to unroot and release them.

So, now you’re happy to fall. It’s time to make sure that the other part of you is actually going to catch you.

Remember, trust is built. So, you need to build up a bank of evidence for yourself that supports that trust. You need to be there to catch yourself when you fall. Which means not abandoning yourself when something goes wrong, or blaming yourself for failure. It means being there for yourself even when s*!t hits the fan.

A really beautiful way of doing this is through inner child re-parenting. Stepping up as the adult, and caring for the childlike part of psyche that is still holding onto the pain of having been dropped once or twice before.

So, you’ve got the part of you that has done the work to push through those blocks stopping them from just falling backwards. And you have the part of you that is present and empowered enough to catch you no matter what!

Then, after that, all it takes is consistent falling and catching. It’s practice.

The first few times, it may be a little awkward. The side of you catching, hasn’t built up their strength yet, and they may accidentally let you down with a bit of a bump. And the side falling may take a couple of steps back before falling because they’re not completely comfortable just falling like a plank of wood. But they’re both there, and they’re both putting in the work, and that’s the important thing.

Over time, the side of you falling will feel comfortable enough to fall from higher heights and in more fabulous and dynamic ways (maybe with a little pirouette). Because the side catching has built up the strength to consistently catch and support.

How can you learn to trust yourself? It’s a trust-fall, and both sides of you have to commit to it.

If you're practicing your trust-falls and looking for more wisdom to support you on your journey, come follow my on Instagram @jeannie_coaching.

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