We think we know ourselves better than anyone else because
we spend 24/7 in our own skin.
But many times, we say and do more damaging things to
ourselves than we would ever consider inflicting on someone
we detest. We believe that we know the “real” us and that
deep down, that person isn’t too great.
This certainly isn’t logical and at some level, I know that
I’m really a good person. I don’t make a habit of hurting
other people, and I want to make a positive impact on the
world. So, why did I sometimes hear myself saying things
like, “Why did you do that, you big dummy?” or “Get off your
butt and do something, lazy”?
One day, out of the seeming blue, the answer hit me. I was
so hard on myself because I didn’t love myself enough. In
other words, I had a “negative” balance in my personal
“trust” account. I didn’t trust myself enough to be the kind
of person I desired to be plus, I was the only one making
all the withdrawals from my account.
How do you make withdrawals from your personal trust
account? You do it when someone says something hurtful that
you know is untrue and you remain silent or worse, you agree
with them. You do it when you start an exercise program and
then don’t go to the gym as you promised yourself or you
stay in a job that you know rewards you much less than
you’re worth, or conflicts with your personal values.
So, if you’re making all the withdrawals, who makes deposits
into your trust account? That’s your job, one that only you
can do. Some examples include making and keeping social
appointments with people that support you and matter to you,
telling someone immediately after they’ve intentionally hurt
you that you don’t accept that, and meaning it,asking
someone you admire to mentor you, then actually acting upon
I believe with all my heart that each of us is a fantastic
human being. We’ve just got to get out of our own way. What
we’ve done and experienced in the past is gone and, most
importantly, it’s not us. We are not what we do or what has
been done to us. We are what you are, and that’s more than
Try to visualize your internal personal trust account. See a
blank ledger page or an empty, clear glass piggy bank and
imagine that you are starting with balance of zero, a
totally clean slate.
Now, try to think of a couple of deposits you can make to
your account today. It’s OK to start small, such as making
an appointment with yourself to take a 20-minute walk to
enhance your physical health and clear your mind. Or, you
could call an estranged family member or friend and just let
that person know that you miss them. You don’t necessarily
have to apologize or reopen old wounds, just be the one to
reach out. Even if they reject you, your courage to pick up
the phone and risk that pain will increase your self-esteem
Now, after you’ve taken the walk or called that person, take
a few moments to savor the warm feelings of aliveness and
accomplishment that you just created for yourself. Then,
visualize a gold coin going into that piggy bank or writing
$100 in the positive column of your ledger. If you don’t
feel your imagination is developed enough yet to do this, or
you want a stronger visual image, then write on an actual
ledger sheet or get a real piggy bank.
Unlike retirement or other financial accounts, you should
never plan to make withdrawals from your personal-trust
account, only deposits. Someday your account will be so vast
that you will be unstoppable. You will love and trust
yourself so completely that it will be impossible for you to
do anything that will cause you any harm. Unhealthy
relationships and under-achievement will be relegated to
your distant past.
Does this sound too simple to work? In my observation, happy
and successful people do keep it pretty simple. They do what
they can and ignore just about everything else. I bet some
of the most contented people on this Earth are spiritual
beings that spend most of their time meditating and living
I’m not saying you have to rid yourself of all your worldly
possessions and live in a monastery to achieve inner peace.
Just spend some quiet time alone thinking about how you can
increase the balance in your personal trust account and
eliminate all those pesky withdrawals. Here are some tips
for increasing your personal trust account
= Listen to your gut, your instincts. Don’t sell yourself
out. It’s never worth it.
= When you notice you are being hard on yourself, stop and
ask “What would I say if were talking to a good friend
instead of myself?” Then replace the negative spiel you were
getting ready to launch on yourself with more friendly
= Remember all the people who believe in you and know that
you are a wonderful person. If you don’t know any people
like this, go find some!
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