You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
There are times in my life when I get swept away by doubt and worry.
It always feels like I've swum a bit too far out in the ocean when there's an undertow. I try to tell myself I'm fine, I can get back to shore at anytime. But the more I fight, the more I seem to be moving further away from safety.
The further away I drift, and the more the shore shrinks, the more fatigued I get, until I give in, letting the current pull me down into the dark depths of fear, hopelessness and sometimes even despair.
Afterwards, I always wish I'd stopped this before it got so out of control. What did I achieve by allowing myself to be consumed by worry? Nothing in my life has ever been made better by worrying. Nor has anything ever improved because I fed my fears and sense of limitation.
After experiencing this enough times, I decided I needed to always have a lifeline to shore.
I needed a constant tether to my heart. It's my mind that whisks me away, and it is my heart that always rescues me.
When I feel my mind tempting me, just asking me to come out a little further, telling me it's natural, it's where I belong, it's familiar, I don't even consider testing the waters. I pull on that rope and go right back to the warm, sandy beach.
There is only one way that has ever worked for me for this. It's very simple, and sometimes the simplicity of it is what keeps other people from doing it. All I do is repeat the word trust in my mind. Slowly, gently, softly.
Trust. Trust. Trust.
If it feels right, I put my hands on my heart as I do this. I breathe deep. I close my eyes and put all of my focus on that one word, repeating. Trust. Trust. Trust.
As I relax and let go of all that unnecessary mental gymnastics, the mantra usually grows.
I trust myself. I trust the Universe. I trust what I don't see. I trust God. I trust God sees me, and is working for me, and it's all coming together. I trust. I trust. I trust. I trust I'm good enough. I trust I will know what step to take next. I trust all is well.
If you are struggling to overcome your own lingering doubts and fears, try this exercise. It's very simple, and in my experience, so reassuring. You can even make it a part of your meditation practice, which will layer the trust inside of you deeper and deeper each time you do it. As Steve Jobs said, there are few things more powerful than trusting in forces, whatever those might be for you, that you can't see.