self trust

Self Trust: The 5 Essential Elements and the 15 Signs it’s Lacking

Self trust, both what it is and why it matters, confounds most people. Unfortunately, without a depth of understanding and true embodiment of self trust, our relationships suffer. All relationships struggle when we don’t trust ourselves. Our romantic and sexual relationships often suffer the most. 

Our ability to give and receive love, our ability to surrender to pleasure, and our ability to access our own happiness, all depend on our capacity for self trust. When we don’t trust ourselves, we cannot trust another and we cannot trust love. In the absence of real self trust we inevitably end up in repeating cycles of self-sabotage. A lack of self trust perpetuates a life driven by fear, and anytime fear runs our life, we simply cannot experience genuine love of self or other.  


What is self-trust?

Self trust is not something we do, it’s something we feel. It comes from within and arises from an innate belief in our ability to handle life and be okay in its circumstances, no matter the ups and downs.

Underneath every solid relationship, under every truly successful being, under every happy person, lies a deep capacity for self trust. In contrast, when we can’t trust ourselves, we can’t open to the goodness of life. Lacking self trust, we tend to put ourselves in boxes while looking out “there” finding ourselves jealous or resentful of the blessings in other people’s lives. 

Self trust is knowing that even though we are human and imperfect, even though we make mistakes and do things we wish we hadn’t, we remain inherently good, worthy, and loveable.  When we embody true self trust we know in our heart and gut, that we will, in fact, be okay no matter what happens. With self trust we do not need to be perfect nor do we need to get it right. Resting in self trust we welcome mistakes because we know they deliver moments of great learning, yet mean nothing about our inherent goodness. We realize that we can pick up the pieces and continue to have a good life, no matter what we do or don’t do. 

With self trust we don’t have to know the outcome to proceed with our endeavors and dreams.

~Joanna Shakti

How to build self trust with the 5 essential elements

Embodiment of self trust incorporates and aggregates the qualities of courage, presence, vision and insight, self-awareness, faith, compassion, sensitivity, with a deep sense of honesty – honesty with self and other. 

As such, we develop self trust through the following 5 essential elements and practices. 

  1. Maintaining a knowing of our innate goodness, value and worth. In that knowing we resist impulses to judge and shame ourselves. We don’t buy into other’s criticism because we know that in order to grow and evolve in life we must take risks, we must make mistakes. We must even fail at times, for all of these lead to wisdom and deepened self trust.
  2. Know and honor yourself. When you know yourself you have the possibility of trusting yourself. If you don’t know you, if you’re afraid of what you might find if you get to know you, how could you possibly trust you? Then with self awareness, if we want to maintain self-trust, we must honor what we know and what we intuit. In other words, we can’t go against ourselves to keep someone happy. We can’t twist ourselves into pretzels so that someone won’t leave us. We can’t ignore an inner knowing about someone or something and hope to maintain self trust.
  3. Remain non-attached and drop expectations. When we are attached to or expect a certain outcome we put pressure on ourselves to perform. We make up stories in our minds about what it will mean if we don’t meet our expectations of ourselves. Under that pressure combined with the fear that we might not live up to those expectations, we frequently don’t. This reinforces the false belief that we can’t trust ourselves. In reality, trust becomes available when we can let the future unfold without trying to manage it.  
  4. Acknowledge your successes. So many of us are conditioned to fervently look for our faults and failings, to the exclusion of our wins and successes. Many people, even when they have accomplished a big goal or completed a big project, look for how it could have been better and quickly move on to the next project. They miss a critical opportunity in the self trust process. Every time we acknowledge a win, a success, even just a small step in the right direction, we strengthen self trust.  Every time we dwell on a mistake we erode it. 
  5. Be willing to make mistakes and fail. The only way we truly learn is through the discernment developed through reflecting on what didn’t go so well. Note that reflecting on versus dwelling upon or berating ourselves for mistakes are two very different things. When we recognize a mistake or a failure, if we embrace rather than fight it, then we gain wisdom and carry it forward. Each time we stumble, reflect, gain wisdom, and practice again, we increase self trust dramatically. 

How a lack of trust in ourselves damages relationships 

When we lack self trust we will be unable to trust another. No matter how much we might want to trust, the ability will elude us. So many problems develop in relationships and dating connections because we don’t understand the roots and dynamics of trust. Most people want to skip all the self related aspects of trust. In a partnership or in a marriage, a seemingly natural desire arises in many to place all the responsibility for trust on the other person. This misplaced responsibility practically guarantees disappointment and mistrust. 

When we lack self trust, we seek relationships with trustworthy peo). We believe that we will finally be able to be real and open ourselves up when another makes us feel safe or, in other words, when we can trust the other person. Yet no one can ever make us feel safe. No matter how good the person is, no matter how committed to us they are, in their humanness they will, at some point, inevitably let us down. This is natural and normal. Yet, because we misunderstand how trust works, we too often break up relationships that actually have a soul connection. It is for this reason that we must find safety within and that safety within begins with trusting ourselves.

Being even more specific, we must trust that we will be there for ourselves. When we can be there for ourselves then and only then can we trust another. We can trust another because we know that if they “screw up” we have our own back. So many people want a partner who will have their back, yet while that’s important in a romantic partnership, it doesn’t mean we can give up having our own back. We must know we can stand on our own two feet. However, it’s important to realize that having our own back doesn’t mean that we can’t depend on another, quite the opposite in fact. It seems backwards to most, yet self trust enables deeply strong relationships.


10 signs you don’t embody self trust 

  1. You are indecisive or have difficulty making decisions
  2. You have a fear of failure
  3. You frequently procrastinate
  4. You don’t trust others or life
  5. You frequently second-guess yourself
  6. You settle and then realize the harm of self abandonment in relationship
  7. You find yourself avoiding dating because you don’t trust your “picker” anymore
  8. You’re perfectionistic or constantly vigilant for mistakes 
  9. You don’t express your desires and needs 
  10. You avoid conflict
  11. You’re not quite fully honest or you stretch the truth with little white lies to make yourself look better
  12. Your codependent
  13. You frequently feel Insecure 
  14. The feeling of shame visits you somewhat regularly
  15.  Self-love is elusive or maybe you even hate yourself 

If you recognize these signs in your life, take a few moments to reflect back on the essential elements of self trust and begin to practice them. Get support if you need it because nothing could be more important than this relationship with you. 


Simply put, without self trust we can’t have anything meant for our soul. To know joy, to know fulfillment, to experience passion, to welcome ecstasy (not only sexual pleasure, but the most awe-filled moments of life), we must take risks. We must let go. 

With that courage to trust we can know a profound spiritual love


Since 2006, highly conscious men and women, with a commitment to extraordinary relationships, have chosen Ecstatic Intimacy to find and cultivate Soul Partnerships from their bedrooms to their boardrooms. Ecstatic Intimacy believes in coveted relationships, for all. 

You too, are invited…

*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.

Share this entry

Leave a Comment