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Why You NEED to Trust Yourself

It was one of those stupid “get rich quick” ads online. You know the type. The “I made $5 million last year selling my online course. And you can too!”

By God, I clicked so fast. And I signed up for the webinar. And I watched it–realizing it wasn’t the “true secret”, but the same nonsense I’ve heard 100 times before.

I wonder, If you really made that much, why do you need to hock something to me? 

Want to know a secret? The gurus lie. Turns out there aren’t police to shut down the bullshit people peddle online. 

As a kid, I was taught that Jesus was going to come back at any second–definitely before my 12th birthday. Spoiler alert, it never happened. 

We spend so much of our lives listening to and believing the things other people tell us. Some of it is outright lies. But a lot of the things other people tell us are things they seriously believe. Things like:

  • Stay in school and you’ll get a good job.
  • A degree is always worth the investment.
  • If you study hard and get good grades you’ll be successful. 
  • God sees the dirty things you do when you’re alone (no? Just me?)
  • The thing that’s not working isn’t working because you’re not TRYING HARD ENOUGH

Turns out, a lot of the things people tell you with a straight face are about as trustworthy as the whole “Jesus is coming soon” warning. 

Because they’re wrong. 

And here I am, at 38 years old, realizing the problems that have come in my life from again and again listening to the things others told me:

  • I quit doing music because “you’ll never earn a living at it”
  • I signed up for a History degree because “your marks are good, you might as well be a teacher.”
  • I never wrote the novel because “that won’t pay the bills”

Around 2018, a YouTube guru said “Why are you reading fiction? If you’re going to spend time reading, read things that help you learn.” 

And I was like, holy shit, if you’re a YouTube guru with a million followers you must know what’s best for my life.

So I did. 

I followed the all-knowing YouTube guru. I filled my bookshelf with personal finance and positive psychology and books about powerful habits.

And last year I picked up a novel again. I realized I’d made a huge mistake. That I’d once again given part of myself away–for a random YouTuber! 

It was the wrong advice for me. I love fiction. It makes me happy. And there’s truth in it you won’t find anywhere else. 

Living with the negative consequences of your decisions can be tough. You know what’s way worse? Living with negative consequences of decisions you didn’t even make for yourself. 

  • Living with the fallout from listening to a mentor you shouldn’t have. 
  • Trusting the wrong guru and quitting the things that bring you joy. 

But most of us get to our 30s and 40s and realize there are things in our lives we have to live with because we trusted the wrong person. We live in the echos of decisions others make for us. Career paths we hate. Relationships that are poison. The house we bought because it was a good investment. The 10 years of schooling that all came to nothing. 

There’s only one fix. One remedy. 

And it comes from getting back to the one person you can trust: YOU. 

I look at decisions I made I shouldn’t have. Times when I trusted adults (I’m a sucker for father figures).  

I should have listened to my own voice. The one that says, this isn’t right, or maybe there’s another way. 

Listen to yourself. Trust yourself. 

I’m working on it. 

And even if it goes to shit and I go down in flames, I’d rather live with the consequences of my own decisions than the consequences of decisions others made for me.

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