Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Trust Yourself

Trust yourself is about how only you can really know what’s right for you and whether you’re doing your best or not. Only you have a direct line to your deepest truth.

The original lojong slogan is: Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one. The two witnesses are you and others, but you are the principal one. So this slogan is telling you to rely on your own perspective. It’s not that you shouldn’t seek advice or guidance from others, just that in the end, you have to decide what’s right for you.

Sometimes it’s hard to trust yourself because you can’t see yourself clearly due to all your hidden fears and doubts. So others can often see things in you that you can’t see yourself. On the other hand, the way we relate to each other is full of mixed messages and unconscious projections, which means that nobody really knows who anybody is.

In the end, you have no choice but to be true to yourself because you’re the only authority on your own life. Real trust and understanding can only come from the depths of your own soul.

You are the expert on you, so trust yourself.

Apply this slogan to your writing practice by remembering that only you know what you should be writing. Deep down you know what you need to write and which stories need to be told. They’re the ones you can’t stop thinking about, the ones that wake you up in the middle of the night buzzing with ideas and possibilities.

If you trust yourself, you’ll end up writing the right stories. Others may not agree with you, but you’re the one who has to do the work.

You can’t ignore the opinions of others completely – you’ll need to seek advice and feedback on your writing, but you must also decide which of others’ views are worth taking into consideration. Not all feedback is genuinely useful and some of it can be downright destructive. Although it’s often the case that others can perceive your writing voice more easily than you can.

But in the end, only you know if you’re writing to the best of your ability and you do that by trusting yourself.

Your writing prompt this weekend: If you struggle to trust yourself, can you identify why that might be? Meditate on your lack of self-belief and write any insights in your slogan journal.

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers

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