Trust the process, trust your coaches, trust your parents, trust your teachers. We have been asked to trust a lot of people, but where do we start? In his epic essay, “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson makes it painstakingly simple– trust thyself.
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life floods our psyche with so much contradictory advice on every issue: nutrition, fitness, the vision of success, and to make matters worse, there is a scientific study available that will allow you to support any position you take.
“Trust Thyself” Emerson gives us a timeless framework that will help us sift through the daily noise. He advocates not to bury our head under a rock, but to listen to all the lessons that nature has to share, of people we respect, along with the truth in the messages that we despise (no one is 100% wrong).
How do you hear that voice? If you watch a lot of television, spend time scrolling instagram, that voice will be silenced and replaced by the messages that our modern culture wants us to focus on. And unfortunately, most of the time it is designed to rob us of our life force; our creativity, our willpower, our enthusiasm. Ancient Stoics, give us a mantra to ignore this noise which is almost always out of our control. We need to rehearse to ourselves “I don’t know and I don’t care” to the latest trends, news, and celebrity romance– it seems innocent, but it hurts us more than we can comprehend.
The next step in the process is to create isolation where we are not being flooded with other people’s thoughts (checking your phone on a hike doesn’t count as isolation). Our thoughts and decisions will then have the space and time necessary then be filtered through the lens of our own intuition. Hopefully, if you have been training your mind, you have deliberately cultivated your intuition through a lifetime of living with virtue. You will then emerge from your isolation with a shimmer of thought or decision that resonates deeply with your soul. It may not be the same path that led to success for your teammate, but trusting your inner voice will help you know that it’s right for you.
Hopefully, that inner voice brought you to this team. If that’s the case, trusting that decision should extend to trusting your coaches, your teammates, and yes the process (the pain you must accept to realize the transformation that you have decided that you want for yourself). There will be times when you can’t see the forest through the trees, when you don’t like the things your teammates or coaches ask of you, but I implore you to see the process through. When you join a team your individual goals must propel the team goal forward. If you ever feel like talking back to a coach, disrespecting a teammate, stop, repeat the process of listening to your intuition 1) listen to what the world is telling you 2) isolate your mind from other’s thoughts and 3) listen to your intuition that. Chances are you will see that these people have your best interest at heart.
Journal on this now: