“How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?!”
This quote from the track Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill illustrates this premise perfectly. Trying to give something you don’t have to give, is an impossible task. Trust in all its forms is not excluded from this premise.
Webster’s dictionary defines trust as:
“A belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.”
If our trust muscle wasn’t built on a solid foundation, then trusting others, or trusting life will not come easy. How we experience life is based on our expectations and beliefs. How we experience other people is the same.
Our beliefs and expectations were formed in childhood. If your childhood experience was one where you felt abandoned, neglected or alone, that then informed your beliefs about life. Those beliefs automatically show up in stressful situations. They show up as an inner narrative that may sound something like:
Life is not safe, therefore I am not safe
If we don’t feel that we were loved in early childhood, then trust is a tough muscle to build. Because when life gets tough, we automatically default to our entrenched belief systems. That includes our belief systems around trust. What is required to break free from those default responses is learning, in this case, to trust ourselves? But how to do that?
Be Honest With Yourself
Trust comes through being completely honest with ourselves about what’s going on in a situation. Glossing over hurts or denying our own bad behaviour will not cut it. Be willing to get very real with yourself, especially before attempting to get real with someone else!
In order to trust others, we must first appreciate ourselves. If you have overarching negative beliefs about who you are, you will not trust anyone who tries to love, value or appreciate you. You will most certainly attract experiences and lovers who mirror your own inner demons. Claim that. Own that. Accept that your lack of self-appreciation has impacted your experience.
In the work I do as a coach I’ve learned that self-forgiveness is much more important for clients than forgiving others. We have a tendency as humans to turn outer attacks in on ourselves. We blame ourselves for what was done to us. To reverse this automatic distorted response, we must first forgive ourselves for that false belief.
Stop Giving Your Power Away
In order to trust others, we must acknowledge the power we give to others. You give your power away when trust in yourself is based solely on another’s opinions or behaviour. You cultivate personal power when you acknowledge all the ways that you are already trustworthy. You become more ‘trustworthy’ when you claim your innate power.
Take ownership of all the ways that you have not been trustworthy – without berating yourself. Simply state:
“This is true. I have not been trustworthy in this aspect of my life. “
List the ways. Seeing this truth on the page will open your eyes. Again without self-berating, choose one thing on that list to work on each day, week, or month. Ask yourself how you can be more trustworthy in this area. Then take action to improve in that area, even if it’s just a small step in the right direction.
Trusting others and trusting life, is a direct extension of how much you trust yourself. Because no matter how another person behaves you will then trust yourself to be able to handle it. You will know that you can walk away from a bad situation because you value yourself.
If or when challenging life circumstances show up, you will trust yourself to get through it. You will then naturally attract supportive people to help you move through that challenge. You can then determine, using discernment, of course, that other people can also be worthy of your trust.
As within, so without, is the cardinal rule of life. Trust that rule, it will help to build your trust muscles…
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