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Anxiety, Stress & Coping
February 22, 2023
Strengthening Our Intuitive Voices And Trusting Ourselves

Amreeta Kaur

A woman gives an anxious woman a hug to comfort her.

4 Tips To Build Trust In Your Gut Feeling 

Difficult times often bring uncertainty and may challenge your ability to trust your intuition. You may become paralyzed and find it hard to make decisions. You might fear you’ll make a mistake or take the wrong step.  

When it’s hard to tune into our intuition, we might feel ashamed or see ourselves as a failure for not making a wise decision. These feelings can affect our self-confidence: we might find it hard to believe in ourselves and our intuition as it seemed to fail us the last time. This can also generate feelings of anxiety. This experience essentially creates a cycle where you trust yourself less because you can’t connect with your intuition. When another challenging situation arises, you continue to feel anxious or doubt yourself.

For the most part, we can’t control challenging events, but we can learn to connect with our intuition and build confidence in our decision-making abilities. 

Learning to trust your inner voice

Trusting your inner voice — or intuition — is one aspect of building self-confidence and being authentic around others. Often, when we doubt ourselves or believe that we have to conform to other people’s expectations, we automatically ignore our intuition. Eventually, we numb this part of ourselves. 

Leadership and well-being coach Charles Feltman defines trust as “choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.” Without trust, we miss out on developing deeper connections with others, feeling love and vulnerability, and experiencing a deeper sense of belonging.

When you don’t trust yourself 

When it’s difficult to trust our intuition, we tend to:

• Seek certainty

• Ask people for their opinions and/or follow their expectations

• Ignore our intuition (which may be telling us to slow down, gather information, and evaluate our expectations)

• Rush into decisions without checking whether they align with our values.

Also, when it’s hard to trust ourselves, we don’t expect others to trust us — we can’t give others what we don’t think we have.

Practices to develop trust 

We don’t have to do anything big or grand to develop trust. The everyday choices we make demonstrate to us that we’ve got this. These practices can include:


Brené Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher, developed a strategy called BRAVING. This acronym stands for Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, and Generosity. 

Instead of beating yourself up for a decision or a mistake you made, ask yourself if you were able to maintain BRAVING. In other words, were you able to respect our boundaries? Were you reliable? Were you accountable? Were you generous with yourself? When we can identify the areas of BRAVING that have been hard to maintain, we can work on strengthening these areas.

Mindfulness practices

Mindfulness practices — such as breath work or graded muscle relaxation — are a great way to connect with your inner voice.  

Paying attention to the body

This practice may sound silly, but it’s a helpful exercise. It’s about tuning into your body and asking it what it needs at the moment.

Try this: when you’re deciding what to eat for dinner, ask your body what it wants. When you first attempt this exercise, start with a simple yes or no question. For example, “body, would you like to have sushi for dinner?” Notice the feelings or sensations that come with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.


Journalling is another great way to tune into your body and reflect on your feelings and thoughts.

Building self-trust — one step at a time

It’s important to understand and build self-trust. When we can identify what went wrong in a situation, we can come back to the above practices to tune into our intuition and not let the situation defeat us.

Even committing to these practices sets the foundation for self-trust. As this foundation gets stronger, you work towards respecting and loving yourself, as well as building your self-worth and self-confidence.

Looking to explore this topic more? Check out the Mastering the Art of Trusting Your Gut webinar from February 22, 2023!

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