I had planned to share about something else this week for the podcast. I was going to tell a story about a moment in a corn maze with our family, Victoria, and her boyfriend when we were in New Jersey a few weeks ago. As you can hear in the video below (click on the photo to see and hear the short video), Victoria says, “Sheryl, you should get a video in here for your Trust Yourself course.”

What she was referring to in that moment was how navigating a corn maze requires self-trust. But about thirty seconds after she said that, I turned around and said, “I don’t want to do this.” I had started to feel anxious in the maze, and I remembered in a flash that I loathe mazes! Without second-guessing myself, I did an about-face and announced to the group that I would meet them out front.

Victoria said that she would join me and the two of us made a hasty exit no less than twenty feet from the entrance of what appeared to me to be a maze from hell :). Instead of torturing myself with what would, indeed, turn out to be an endless zigzag of dead-ends, the two of us sat on a lovely bench talking about donut-dreams (see our Gathering Gold episode on Dreamwork), autumn, and everything in between.

It turned out to be the only time we would be alone together all weekend, and it never would have happened if I hadn’t trusted myself and instead had forced myself to remain in the maze.

What went through my head when I decided to trust my body’s instinct of NO and turn around? Many different thoughts.

The first was: “I hate this. I don’t feel safe when I can’t see an entrance or exit. My body knows this.”

The second was: “But if I turn around, what will other people think? Shouldn’t I be more ‘evolved’ around my anxiety? After all, anxiety is what I teach and talk about every day.”

The next thought was: “Who cares? Let’s get out of here!

Mind you, these thoughts occurred simultaneously in the span of a nano-second. But as soon as I announced that I was leaving, my body exulted in exhale. And when Victoria said that she was coming with me, I positively glowed with joy.

When I was laying in bed later that night, I texted her to suggest that we start our next Gathering Gold episode on self-trust with that story: of how one element of trusting ourselves hinges on not caring what other people think.

We were going talk about self-trust and the myriad ways it can show up: how it’s a primary spoke on the relationship anxiety wheel; how it’s at the core of struggling with intrusive thoughts; how it shows up in career anxiety; how lack of self-trust interrupts our ability to make decisions with ease. I was excited to delve into this rich and multi-layered territory with my dear Victoria.

But then life happened. And death. And I ended up recording the most recent episode of Gathering Gold on my own (Victoria still did the masterful editing; she’ll be back soon). As I made space for the grief that has entered our family, I ended up telling a different story about the intersections between self-trust, grief, and the body.

I also talked about what it looks to watch Everest navigate a situation that I know activated a lot of self-doubt for people who find their way to my work back when they were seniors in high school. It’s a different episode since I’m flying solo: more quiet as I honor grief and more personal as I share some of what’s happening in our family life.

Thank you for listening. I welcome your comments below.

And if you would like to join us for this 18th round of Trust Yourself: A 30-Day Course to Help You Overcome Your Fear of Failure, Caring What Others Think, Perfectionism, Difficulty Making Decisions, and Self-Doubt, I would love to connect with you there. The course starts on November 12th, 2022, and I won’t be offering it live for another year.

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