Trust, Decision-Making & What it Really Means to Follow Your Heart While Building A Business

I thought I learned this lesson 18 years ago.  Standing on a stranger's porch, ignoring the voice of an angel that said as clearly as any corporeal person, "RUN!"

But I was just turning 17 and thought I might be losing my mind.  And although it caught my attention.  To the point of looking around for the source of the voice.  To the point of hesitating before entering the house.

I didn't listen.

And it was the single biggest regret of my life.  The most difficult lesson I've ever learned.

But I thought I'd learned to listen to my gut.  To trust my instincts.  To pay attention to the generous voices of guidance when they whisper.  And if they shout?  To follow without hesitation regardless of how stupid or crazy I might appear to others.

I'm always listening to those instincts whenever I meet new people.  Most of the time I don't feel much.  But sometimes the magic kicks in and I know beyond any reasonable way of explaining it that this person and I are going to get along famously OR they're bad news for me.

I learned to trust my instincts when it came to meeting new people.  Choosing who I allowed into my life.

This week, on a call with my new business coach I discovered I didn't extend that lesson to the rest of my life.  I still don't trust myself.  And I never forgave myself for not listening when I had the chance.

I try my best to invite those small whispers of inspiration into my writing and my business.  But if I'm being honest I'm inconsistent at best.  I panic and rush off in the direction of the latest, loudest most credible authority who promises to efficiently solve whatever pain I'm feeling at the moment.

It's a pretty human thing to do.  We ALL suffer from shiny object syndrome from time to time.  I always assumed it was tied to the fear of missing out, but for me, it goes so much deeper than that.

Running off chasing the latest, shiny object isn't helpful.  That's not how you get things done in business.

And I think for me - it's because part of me is still standing on that cement porch.  Terrified I'm going to make the wrong decision again and walk into that building when I should have run.

I'm searching for a way to connect to that benevolent voice.  The voice I regret not listening to.  And I've been looking in all the wrong places.  Because the voice that will guide my business and my life has been inside me all along.

I made ONE wrong decision that had MASSIVE repercussions and now I don't trust myself not to do it again. But 18 years is a hell of a long time to hold a grudge against yourself.  Now that I'm aware of it, I think it's about time I forgave myself.

I recently watched this amazing talk from the one and only Bréné Brown on the Anatomy of Trust.  I'm still digesting it.  Unpacking all the juicy bits of wisdom.

But I LOVE the idea that trust is built in the small moments.  It doesn't have to be a grandiose gesture.  Even when it comes to rebuilding trust with myself.  I can take it one small step at a time.

Each time I say, "thanks but no thanks" to the next shouty voice offering advice that will solve my business problems I'm telling myself I trust myself to have the knowledge and skills to know what's right for me.

Every day when I make time to be still and listen I honour the voice inside myself and send the message that it's worth listening to.

And every small moment of trust builds up so that when it comes time to make the big decisions?  Hopefully, I can do so without so many sleepless nights.

For now, I'm learning to trust myself more and more everyday.