Is My Gut Malfunctioning?

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I'm not sure what happened first. Either I stopped trusting myself & everything started to fall apart, or everything started to fall apart & I stopped trusting myself. Or (most likely) both of these things happened simultaneously, hastening one another all the way down to rock bottom. 

It's hard to trust yourself when you feel like nothing you try is working. It's also hard to try things when you don't trust yourself.

Deciding to put my entire life savings on the line and buy a business was a huge leap for me. One that I definitely wasn't ready for, but I did it anyway. And you know all of those "start before you're ready"/ "jump and the net will appear" / "do one thing every day that scares you" memes you see all over instagram? The side of the story those prepackaged inspirational quotes don't tell is the crippling insecurity and self doubt that happen when you know you're in way over your head. 

So where do you start? How do you climb out of it? I think we can all agree that you can't control what works out and what doesn't. But I think we can also agree that you can control the energy that you bring to a situation. You can control how much to trust your own instinct and intuition.

I'm not trying to oversimplify the experience of self doubt. I've been living in that space longer than I care to admit. So I know how limiting and awful it is, believe me. But also believe me when I say that you can choose to live and think differently. It's really fucking hard, and you'll probably fail and backslide a lot. But it is possible. I promise.

One of the biggest mistakes I made this year was relying too heavily on the expertise of others. I looked for answers from people I respected instead of insight and perspective. I decided that I had NO CLUE so I needed somebody else to help me make my decisions. The more I sought out answers the less I trusted myself.

I was constantly reinforcing the idea that I didn't know what I was doing. I ignored my gut instincts until I was pretty much completely disconnected from them.

As I started to come to the realization of how I wasn't trusting myself in my business life (well, lets be real here business bleeds into personal life all too often, but I digress), the more I noticed this in my yoga practice. When something didn't feel right, I immediately assumed I was doing something wrong. I was trusting "the practice" more than I was trusting myself.

I feel like sometimes we depend too much on our teachers, mentors, gurus to give us the answers & lead the way for us. The magic of our yoga practice isn't in our ability to execute poses, but in how we integrate the lessons we learn on our mat into our lives. So if you're trusting your teacher more than yourself...what kind of lesson are you taking off of your mat with you?

If something doesn't feel right (on or off your yoga mat) don't blindly follow orders: ask questions, make modifications, or do something different.

I want you to trust yourself enough to try things that make you uncomfortable. But I also want you to trust yourself enough to know when something isn't working. I want you to trust yourself enough to know that when something doesn't feel right it definitely isn't your fault, you're not necessarily doing anything wrong---it might just not be for you. 

It can take time to come to a consensus with your gut, especially if you've been ignoring it for a long time. I want you to trust yourself enough to be patient. I want you to trust yourself enough  that during moments that feel like failure you can keep moving forward.

All of these things take time. It's easy to post the motivational meme on instagram, its a completely different (and much harder) job to put the words into action. If you're in the middle of a crisis of self, these things might seem insurmountable.

My recommendation with any task that seems larger than life is to start small. Notice the areas in your life where you're undermining your intuition. Where are you putting more trust in others than yourself? How is this lack of faith affecting you?  Whats the simplest shift you can make to get back in touch with your gut? I'd say start there.

Melissa Petty