One of the most beautiful things to give and to receive is trust. It is an invaluable currency amongst people, the faith and belief in something, in someone. It keeps our clients coming back, and being trustworthy is often vital to attracting them in the first place. Employees who have faith in their employers may perform better. Trust in our personal relationships is what allows us to show our true selves, to grow with our loved ones, and truly support each other’s visions.
And yet the trust we place in ourselves can be the strongest powerhouse to fueling the realization of our dreams.
I want to talk about this today, and hear your own thoughts, because trust is one great thing that has been lost in this global economic crisis. Trust in our employers and jobs, trust in our governments and societies. But perhaps most damaging of all, trust in ourselves to be able to provide for a secure, good quality life, and to capture continued opportunities to fulfill our goals.
Here are some thoughts on how to mine this precious commodity…
A dream, an opportunity, no matter how well defined, is ultimately the unknown. What we envision in the beginning is often very different from what it ends up being in the end and how we get there is anyone’s guess.
But being able to trust ourselves, our goals, abilities, and intentions, can go a long way towards achieving the success we are looking for. Trust that we have what it takes, and if we don’t, that we will learn. Trust that we will figure it out and do what needs to get done. Trust that we will not give up and that if we choose to go another route it will be for a good reason. And in difficult times, trust that we will survive it, get stronger and wiser from it, and be happy again.
How do we get there? Like most things, it is a matter of openness, hard work, and passion…with lots of practice. And at the heart of it: wanting something badly enough.
When you get clear on what you want – to excel professionally, create your own venture, live a good life, fall in love again – it’s usually about the same questions:
- Are you truly open to the opportunity and to exploring the possibilities?
- Are you willing to learn and put yourself out there?
- Are you willing to work hard and connect to the resources that can help you?
The more we keep facing fears and experiencing ourselves trying, learning, and pursuing our visions in the face of both triumphs and failures, the more we build trust in ourselves. It helps also to look at our mistakes from a place of curiosity rather than judgment. It’s all part of the process. After all, why knock yourself down when you’re genuinely trying your best?
Check out Kathryn Shulz’s TED Talk on the glories of being wrong for more on this…
Part of living big is putting ourselves out there, and eventually, getting burned by others. It’s unavoidable but it can hurt and disappoint a great deal. So much so that the last thing we may want to do after such an experience is open ourselves up to trust again.
And yet that’s exactly the key. Maybe not the same person and perhaps with more wisdom behind our choices. But the alternative of not trusting again is a sad and lonely one. People were made to trust each other.
What can help greatly is trusting ourselves and clarifying some points in the relationship:
- What is most important to you in this relationship/exchange?
- What are you really expecting of the other person? Are they all fair and reasonable expectations?
- Are you taking your fair share of the responsibility?
- How much trust do you need or are willing to place in the other?
- How can you protect yourself in the situation but remain open?
- Are they willing to trust you?
- What do you have to lose and are you willing to risk it?
- What is the cost of not trusting and walking away?
If you can get clear and comfortable on these questions, it can help you decide how to move forward. Either the risk is too high and you look for alternatives. Or if you jump in, this clarity can help you build trust in your own position and ability to better manage the outcomes.
When people trust us, it is a gift. Usually one that has taken time and work to earn and as we all know, can be all too easy to lose.
But what does this trust suggest? Of course it depends on the type of relationship but what they all have in common is some expectation of the kind of person you are and what you will deliver. Ultimately, if we want others to trust us we have to open up ourselves to them first.
This does not mean we will not make mistakes. Rather, it is a question of how we handle them and treat others in that process. The ability to admit a mistake, accept responsibility, and ask for forgiveness is nothing less than an art.
But there is more to it…
- Being honest, authentic, sincere, and consistent…if they are going to trust you, they should have a true picture of you.
- Being responsible and accountable in the relationship…we like to call this “correctness”.
- Being respectful, considerate, and caring of others…be they your kids or your clients.
- Expressing genuine interest to understand the perspective and needs of the other person…here good listening skills can do wonders.
- Having the strength, courage, and humility to admit when you’re wrong and apologize if necessary.
- Walking the talk…as best as you can, do what you say you will and if you can’t, give a good, real reason.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate…
Whatever your philosophy may be about life and the ways of the world, we have all experienced the awful and the beautiful. And whether or not you see a reason behind these occurrences the fact is they happen, and continue to happen…the bad after the good, the good after the bad, and so on.
But when you dare to believe in something, mobilize your powers and go out there to get it, all kinds of interesting things happen. Openness and perseverance are key. It doesn’t mean nothing bad will come or that everything will be okay. Nor does it mean that it will be easy and you will get exactly what you want. But welcome surprises, ingenious inspirations, unexpected supporters, eye-opening triumphs and just fabulous life moments are also part of this package.
So how is this trusting Life? That it will engage with you if you engage with it. That we don’t live in a vacuum but in a world where we all interact with and affect each other. So if you start doing something, dreaming out loud and creating, stuff is going to happen. Some will come easily, quickly. Others will take all you’ve got. Until you find more.
The question is: how BIG do you want to live?