Have you ever noticed that the most trusting people are also the most trustworthy? And that untrustworthy people are highly skeptical of others? Ever wonder why?
When we can’t trust ourself, it is difficult to trust anyone.
When we can’t trust ourself, we feel torn with the fear, pain and drain of letting ourself (and others) down. Maybe we said that we wouldn’t cheat, then we did. We criticize ourself and think things like, “I screwed up … again,” “Life never gets better,” and “people are better off without me.” We feel terrible and worthless. These thoughts and feelings drive us to withdrawl, isolation and symptoms such as anxiety, depression and the desire to escape life through addictions or death.
When we totally trust ourself, we feel free.
Imagine trusting ourself to do what’s best no matter what. Without doubt, we are free to make new choices. We take healthy risks. Even if the results aren’t what we hoped, we know that we will have done our best and that’s the best anyone can do. This is true success. True success can never be taken from us. With success defined this way, as inner strength instead of outer bounty, we cannot fail, regardless of the results. Even if things turn out differently than we hope, life is filled with opportunities to grow stronger and learn more. We feel less and less effected by what we have, who we know and what we are doing. We take healthy pride in who we are, regardless of our circumstances. When we trust ourself, we are free to live fully and fully live. We feel joyful and free!
Do you trust yourself?
Most of us would probably say yes, but what does that really mean? We might know what it looks like when we trust someone else: they show up when they say they will, they deposit all the money in the bank, they are pro-actively caring, transparent, honest and loving in their actions. We might also know what it looks like when we treat others in a trustworthy manner. The question is, can we trust ourself to choose trustworthy behavior when no one else is watching?
What would it be like to trust ourself completely?
I don’t mean in an egotistical “I don’t need anybody” kind-of-way. Rather, I mean, how would we feel if we knew we could trust ourself when we said, for example, “I won’t eat that box of donuts.” What would it be like when no means no? And yes means yes? For me, it feels reassuring, peaceful and drama-less to trust myself so completely. Then the fun comes from living … from trying new things and taking new adventures.
Could we learn to trust ourselves more?
We all have a weak area (or two or four). Maybe yours is food. Maybe it’s sex, drugs, video games or gambling. My weak area is trusting myself within an intimate relationship. I have not been able to trust myself to maintain an environment of safety, respect and joy by choosing a trustworthy partner. My choices led to scars and fears that all intimate relationships would zap me like a shock collar. Instead of allowing that fear to sabotage my chance at a healthy relationship, I chose to change. The steps that I took and continue to take are below. Could they be adapted to help you build trust in your area of weakness?
To build a trustworthy relationship with yourself, consider these steps:
1) Accept that even though your life may have always been a certain way, that does not mean it always will. If you change you, your life is changed!
2) Allow yourself to suspend judgment about your situation and yourself. Don’t criticize it or you. Instead, give yourself the space to feel hope. With hope, anything is possible!
3) Be courageous in your pursuit of what is best for your deep health and self-worth.
a. Ask within, “what is my deeper need here?”
b. Listen to the answer.
c. Ask within, “what healthy ways would fulfill the need?”
d. Follow through … aka Do It
e. If you whole-heartedly (with every thought, word and deed) apply the previous step you can skip the last step. For me, I also reassure my follow-through with this:
4) Set Boundaries.
a. Make sure you don’t allow untrustworthy behavior to continue. When I see it within myself or others, I either respectfully insist that the situation change and/or remove myself from the situation as quickly and kindly as possible.
-For example, to help me maintain trust with myself while in a relationship, I set boundaries that keep out what I don’t want. If I feel unsafe, disrespected or less than joyful, I say so, expect that it change, offer suggestions when appropriate, or exit compassionately.
What do you think? Could this work for you? Please share with us, so we may grow in trust and willpower together!