Emerson wrote about people's fear of trusting themselves. He saw that so much failure and misery in the world was a result of people failing to trust their own judgment. Yet the ironic thing is: We are always making our own decisions.
Either that or we make our own indecisions, which often lead to worse consequences than active decisions. In a way, not making a decision is a decision, too.
If we let others decide for us--then we've decided to let others decide for us, and that's also our own decision. And while it's fine to delegate decisions to others when they have more information or experience than we do, often we simply do it out of habit or out of fear that our own decision wouldn't be good enough.
Have you ever had a thought or idea but kept it to yourself or not acted on it because you didn't trust its worthiness? Have you ever then heard the same idea come out of someone else's mouth and suddenly felt a wave of emotion--justification, gratification, or even humiliation or resentment because you knew it was your idea first? Your ideas are just as good as anyone's! I've heard it said that everybody has at least two million-dollar ideas in a lifetime. What do you think separates the people who make the million dollars from the rest of us?
Action! Those people rely on themselves, trust themselves, and act! The rest of us have plenty of excuses, reasons why we don't trust ourselves, justifications for not acting--but in the end, we don't even get the chance to turn those great ideas into reality. Self-reliance means trusting ourselves to know what's important, casting aside excuses, and going for it!
If you don't trust yourself to know what's best for you because you're afraid you might be wrong, then whom or what do you trust? It's good to know--they'll be running your life until you change your mind. They'll have all your power, and they'll be the ones to decide whether you do something worthwhile with your life, or whether you simply pace off the minutes from here to the end of the line. And if you don't feel you are trustworthy--if you're living your life based on some kind of weighted average of all the advice you've been given from kindergarten until now--well, whose decision was it to do that?
It was yours. At least, it's yours now. If you've never thought about this before and therefore never had a chance to make the decision to trust yourself--why not make that decision right now?
You're always trusting yourself anyway, on some level; the final decision, or lack of one, always comes down to you. Why not cut through the confusion; the distortion; the doubt, resentment, and fear? Why not trust directly in your own inner sense of what is right and wrong, good and bad, worthwhile and worthless? This is your life. Why not rely on yourself?