Time for EDF Commandment Number Two: Thou Shalt Trust Thyself
Time for a story. College, for me, was a 4-year train wreck. Every year I went back thinking it’d be an awesome year, and every year something(s) ended up happening that made it awful. Mono, swine flu, broken hearts, pets dying, relatives dying, fights, teachers ignorant of a thing called “your students have lives too, and sometimes their lives are hard” – you name it, it happened to me. My one source of relief, then and now, has been yoga.
At least four times a week I would sweat and move and flex out my problems on the mat. After a particularly rough day in the fall of my senior year, I high-tailed it to the studio as I had many times before, but I left the studio with a discovery: I didn’t trust myself.
I don’t know exactly what led to this revelation, but boy was it a revelation. It changed my life. It changed the way I saw everything around me. The next time I found myself in the middle of making a tough decision, or working through a fight, or dealing with loss, I stopped and asked myself, “What do I need right now?” And then I trusted that I knew what was best for me in that moment.
It’s important and necessary to ask for advice when you need it. Asking for advice shows you have humility; it shows you’re mature; it shows that you respect others’ opinions. But you have to remember that that’s exactly what advice is: opinions. And if someone’s advice doesn’t feel right to you, then no matter how much you respect that person, it’s probably not a good idea to follow their advice.
Simplicity is a tempting siren – it’s easy to do what we’re told. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Trust that you have the power to make your own decisions, that your advice to yourself is good advice, that sometimes you’re the only one who knows what you need.
As one of my yoga instructors once said,
“There are no wrong decisions. There are only decisions that lead you down different paths of life. Trust that in each moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be, doing exactly what you are meant to be doing.”