8 Times You Definitely Shouldn't Trust Yourself
When Not to Trust Yourself
When you’re making a decision that relies on your future self to take up the slack you see now. Yellow flags now will be red-hot problems later. Red flags now will challenge your future self beyond what you can safely rely on.
When your self-talk is unkind, minimizing, maximizing, or cruel. Ask yourself: If someone talked about your best friend the way you talk to yourself would you be angry? Would you defend your friend? If you’re saying stuff to yourself that you would defend your best friend against, then you definitely shouldn’t trust your self-talk.
When you toss out past convictions and ideals without rational justification. There’s a big difference between rational justification and rationalization, in fact, they sound similar but are opposites. If you’re tossing past convictions then make sure you’re actually changing your ethic (or becoming more honest about it), for everyone in your shoes all the time, not just for yourself, right now. One sure sign you’re on a wrong path is when you see your ethics becoming wobbly.
When your current decision is only good if it relies on a rewritten version of history or a version that you become aware is wrong. If you come to see that what you believed was true isn’t true, rethink it before you make a move. If you know you’re either whitewashing the past or painting yourself as a victim, you’re in trouble.
When your version of the story is told with you as either the inerrant hero or the helpless victim, you’re in trouble. We may be the hero or a victim, but heroes are never flawless, and victims rarely stay victims forever. Any questionable course of action that you justify “because X happened” to you should be examined for entitlement thinking. Suffering in the past doesn’t give you license now.
We’ve all heard the saying, do something your future self will thank you for. Flip it: If your future self will disapprove, don’t trust yourself now. (Consider that next time you face the fridge for comfort.)
When your decision only looks and feels right if you don’t think about deeper principles. If you have to consciously ignore facts and concerns, or avoid thinking too deeply, or looking too closely, then you’re in trouble. Big trouble. If avoidance of deep thought and close examination extends to resisting the questions and concerns of friends and family, or denying them real answers to legitimate questions, then you’re in danger.
If you read numbers 1-7 above, some situation came to mind, and you avoided thinking about it or made an excuse why it didn’t really apply to you, that’s probably a good time to rethink trusting yourself on that issue.