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As a disregulated eater, you likely doubt your ability to make wise decisions for yourself. Maybe lack of trust existed prior to your eating problems or maybe abusing food wore down your conviction that you can adequately care for yourself. If you’ve come to distrust your judgment, read on about a winning way to make decisions.
To develop self-trust, you need to stop imposing answers on yourself and, instead, engage in self-discovery. This means tossing out what you or others think you should or shouldn’t do and waiting for answers that feel right to surface over time. Self-discovery is an organic process which is about patiently taking in information and, by doing so, having bits of wisdom unfold to you little by little to move you forward to a decision point. In this process, you don’t force an idea or decision on yourself prematurely, but allow time to discover how you really think and feel before taking action.
An unfolding process may be foreign to you precisely because you don’t trust yourself. Note the chicken-egg thing going on here. You worry about the correctness of a choice, feel impatient and anxious, short-circuit curiosity, impede the flow of discovery, and force a decision. Imposed decisions rarely work in the long run and only reinforce self-mistrust. Conversely, it takes a while and necessitates patience and assessing information along the way, but decision-making by organic process works every time.
A personal example. Hurt by a friend, I was uncertain about how to proceed. After talking with one or two intimates, I still felt unsure about what to do: part of me wished to drop the issue and part wished to pursue it, so I chose to wait and see which feeling would win out. Over time, either I’d feel decreased hurt and care less about what had happened or the hurt would remain. The outcome would dictate what I wanted to do. So I waited and waited and simply could not shake the hurt feeling, giving me my answer about what action to take: I couldn’t move on with the friendship until I cleared the air, which I did, and now the friendship is stronger than ever. Of course, the situation easily might have turned out the other way, that is, as time passed, I might not have felt so hurt and could have let it go without sharing the hurt with my friend.
Going through this process is the best—in fact, the only—way to make wise decisions and develop self-trust. Try it and see how it works. To be sure, it will be a little scary at first, but keep at it. By trusting the process, you’ll begin to trust yourself with food and everything else. Self-discovery rocks!
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