Trust Your Own Insight
“It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried.”
– Carl Rogers
Rogers’ assertion contradicts the way many professionals view the therapeutic relationship. Their mentality is probably due to the lasting impact of psychoanalysis. If as it posits most of a person’s deepest desires, drives, and motivations occur in the unconscious then it’s up to the therapist to use his psychological expertise to help that person bring all this material into conscious awareness.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. While there is no denying that people are often unaware of the real reasons for their thoughts and actions, ultimately it’s you who knows you best, and only you can decide if an idea really fits your situation. You’ve got to trust your own insight, to remain open to others’ points of view but be the one who decides whether to incorporate these points of view or cast them aside.
Implicit in the journey of self-actualization is increasing self-knowledge, and the only person who has access to the inner recesses of your being is you. Even if your life turns out pretty great, you’ll probably always feel like something is missing if you base your choices on what others tell you is the right thing to do instead of what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. In the context of self-actualization this holds true whether the people telling you what to do are parents, friends, teachers, psychologists, or anyone else. Trust your own insight and be the one who makes the final decision on how you’re going to live your life.