When I was younger I used to have this fear that underlined everything I did or said: it wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t good enough.

Starting in high school, I began to combat that destructive mental narrative. When I started to speak up in class I soon realized I wasn’t inferior, I was capable.

After some years of climbing the self-esteem ladder, I went from looking for self-assurance from everyone but myself to consulting nobody but myself. And let me tell you, I have never looked back.

Leaning into self-reliance and intuition for life decisions  

For almost a decade now, I’ve made pretty much every life decision before telling family, friends or even partners.

These decisions have ranged from buying a house to changing companies and outright leaving corporate to start my own business. In fact, I’ve found that the bigger the decision, the more reluctant I’ve been to share it.

I realize now, all these years later, that by challenging my mental narrative of not being capable, I’ve learned to build a great deal of self-reliance and honed in on my intuition.

It’s truly been a blessing to not only feel but to truly have lived by the thought that I’m best equipped to navigate my life. And sometimes, when I want to build on that feeling, I use this affirmation:

Everything I need is already inside of me.

This affirmation helps me stand in the power of who I am and to avoid soliciting others’ opinions in times of baseless self-doubt.

Protecting my energy by protecting my choices

I now know this technique of staying quiet about decisions until after execution to be a form of energy mastery.

By cutting the noise of outside opinions, I am less vulnerable to being swayed by the opinions and personal experiences of others. This is especially important before a decision is made, because that’s when the idea is most susceptible.

Often, the cost of having a decision influenced by others is, at a minimum, internal turmoil, and at its worse, lack of action altogether.

And as someone who wants to live a rich and deliberate life, I just can’t risk that.

Experiencing life for myself

I can be an over-thinker, so when an off-hand comment is made, I can literally spend days interpreting its meaning.

Outside of that, I’m also acutely aware (or try to be, anyway) of the weight of my conditioning. Social and familial conditioning is something I’ve spent years unlearning so I can build a mindset closer to my authentic self than one that’s been moulded.

So, with those two things in mind, I choose to make decisions as independently as I can. On the rare occasion when I do consult with people, I make it a point to mentally prepare myself.

Because as well-meaning as friends and family can be, they can also sometimes fall into these categories:

  • They can be protective and therefore prefer my comfort over my growth
  • They can have a very defined image of who I am and unintentionally hold me to this lesser persona
  • They can be biased by their own life experiences and discourage me out of fear

Ultimately, my choice to keep my decisions private until they’re already carried through makes me far more agile, bold and action-oriented.

Holding myself accountable    

Finally, I’ve discovered that keeping my ideas and plans to myself helps me hold myself accountable.

I know that I have me, and only me, to look to for the results. Before I adopted this strategy, I would listen to others, and when things wouldn’t work out I would get upset with their advice and at myself for listening to it.

Now, I know that I stand alone in my life choices- a sentiment that is both powerful and demands the thoughtfulness of calculated risks.

I share this because becoming a private, self-directed person has been one of the most important parts of my life. If this resonates with you, try it and tell me if it works for you, too.

Jasmin Pannu

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