By: Kathy Shalhoub

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Photo of: Bob Dylan

Too many of us have lost the ability to trust ourselves these days. We ask doctors, friends, and family for their opinions, we look up facts and figures on the Internet and in books, and every time there’s a new suggestion on a blog or in a magazine, we’re happy to give it a shot whether we’re convinced or not.

Instead of using these resources as backup or support, we rely on them to help us figure out what it is that we think and feel and we’re happy to mold our personalities into whatever society, our peers, our life coaches or our bosses require of us. We forget that all these people are also humans with beliefs, values and opinions that steer their judgment. We spend so much time listening to the world around us that we forget to listen to ourselves.

When I became a new parent, I wanted to do everything right, so I went out, bought a ton of books, subscribed to 15 mother and baby websites and read through everything I could get my hands on. Which is great because I educated myself on all the information that is out there. But then every time my kid did something I would run to the books to see what to do. I completely forgot that there’s a person inside me that has her own opinions and perhaps a maternal instinct too.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “Self-trust is the first secret of success” and I agree. Learning to trust our selves is a skill that is valuable in every walk of life, from the personal to the professional to the financial.

Trusting yourself doesn’t only count in parenting, it counts in speaking up at a meeting, it counts in making a decision to be an entrepreneur and following through with that decision, it counts in choosing to let someone go for a job badly done and it counts in pushing for bigger budgets. When it comes down to it, do you trust yourself to make changes? Do you trust yourself to take big decisions? Do you trust yourself to take responsibility for your actions and do you trust yourself enough to follow your heart, your gut feeling or your instincts?

Bob Dylan wrote the song way back in 1985.

Trust yourself
Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best
Trust yourself
Trust yourself to do what’s right and not be second-guessed

Trust yourself
And look not for answers where no answers can be found

Ultimately, there is great value in educating yourself by any means, whether it’s surfing online, asking people for their opinions or listening to the experience of masters. You inevitably end up being more informed, more open-minded and more understanding. But when it comes right down to it ask yourself, what is it that YOU think and can you follow through on it?

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

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