Bestselling author MJ Ryan believes we’ve become so dependent on “experts” telling us how to live our lives that we often listen to everyone except ourselves. We get so caught up searching apps, Googling articles and watching YouTube tutorials that we don’t make any decisions without an outside influence—often from complete strangers. In the digital age of media messages, we’re constantly being told to be richer, thinner, smarter and faster. It’s no wonder many people struggle with the feeling of being inadequate and not good enough.
In her new book, Trusting Yourself, Ryan guides the reader through practical steps of growing in self-awareness, self-confidence and self-reliance, explaining that we already posses the tools we need for the journey to self-trust. We simply need to tap into our inner-wisdom. That’s not to say we have all the answers or always know what’s best for ourselves; but we don’t need the approval of everyone else.
Ryan argues that since we are capable of making daily decisions on our own—what to eat, what to wear, how to spend our time, etc—we have the same capacity to make larger, even life-changing decisions. And if you’re unsatisfied with a decision you’ve made in the past, simply decide to learn from the situation in order to make a better choice next time.
Sometimes the best way to learn is through trial and error. We may not be able to tackle everything, and that’s okay, we’re not meant to. Everyone has unique strengths and it’s great to get advice in your areas of weakness. But there’s a difference between getting advice and letting others dictate your decisions.
Think about it: If you truly trusted yourself, who would you be? What would you do? Ryan walks the reader through the practices of self-trust and explains how to quiet the critics—both inside and out. She argues that when you don’t allow labels get in the way, “your self-trust will grow, your worries will shrink, and you’ll find happiness and success with a lot less effort.” When you make intuitive decisions and are happy with the outcome, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable in your choices and more confident in being your best authentic self.