Your beliefs will guide you whether or not they are in your best interest. Choose them wisely.
Maybe you believe that you are incapable of having a healthy intimate relationship, or that you aren’t attractive to others, or think you will not live a long life. Or perhaps you have a strong conviction that you are very lucky, or that people in general are basically good and trustworthy OR the complete opposite. Truth is, your beliefs, whether they are within your conscious awareness or not, direct and influence your life.
A number of recent events have had me pondering about TRUST and then in conversation with a friend, he mentioned ‘ I genuinely trust you, which is big for me’. The context was nothing extraordinary but this wee sentence really got me thinking. Not only did it provid me with insight into part of his belief system around trust and relationship, but it also unpacks a lot of power on a deeper level as well. Not Power as in ego maniac power trippin’ kinda way where now I get to manipulate and take advantage of him because I now know he trusts me mmmwaahahahahah (evil laugh, duh!) BUT rather it is powerful in a way that creates openness and possibility between people -- When there is trust, there is growth/inquiry + that my friends leads to transformation/evolution which in my humble opinion is good stuff, the magic, the piece de resistance.
For me, trust is based on witnessing actions, feeling, believing and most importantly allowing. Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in relationship because the person you’re trusting has also shown dedication to your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability. Although building trust can happen in the first few days of our existence on Earth and there is some level of innate capacity to create it, I feel as a species it would help to us all if we became increasingly aware of our relationship with the T word.
Trust can be tricky though as many humans have been hurt or disappointed both self inflicted + by others. Not only that but the messages about trust are often riddled with fear and negativity'Trust only yourself' 'Trust is easily broken' 'The only thing I trust is my ability to trust no one' 'When trust is broken, it's over' "Don't trust easily.' etc. etc. etc. As a result of conditioning + trauma, walls have formed around human hearts, their listening and receptivity shuts down or they begin operating from a place of Fear + Distrust. This programming of Distrust/Mistrust looks like this - doubt, suspicion, anxiety, with-drawl, unhealthy habits and self - preservation. Distrust can spread through a relationship like a wildfire. What starts as a small ember of doubt can mushroom into a full-on blaze of distrust if we don’t take steps to address it.
The best way to prevent distrust from taking a hold of our lives is to proactively focus on building trust rather than waiting to rebuild or repair. Trust must be continually developed and nurtured throughout the course of a relationship, not just when or after it’s been damaged. This critical in friendships and intimate partnership but it is also pivotal in business relations and transactions. The process of building trust intrigues me and I wanted to share it with you.
6 Stages of Trust
Connection. Caution. Consistency. Courage. Commitment. Comfort.
Connection - For most of us we are drawn to others, products or experiences because we FEEL a connection. Perhaps something solves a problem for us, gives us hope, is attractive or desirable, meets a need or is simply appealing to our senses. As connection builds and relationship progresses, we allow more opportunities to explore and evaluate. We are truly sensing all aspects + elements of relationship.
Caution – While engaging in those opportunities where we can observe another person’s character in action and allow them to view the same in us we proceed with caution and patience, because we know the process of building trust is delicate however, recognising the importance of human tenderness, being open + curiosity versus judgement. Fostering curiosity rather than judgment can lead to a variety of benefits, including more inner peace, self-acceptance, kindness and healthier communication which creates foundation for Trust. By “judging,” I’m not referring to being discerning, which is a good thing. Being thoughtful, reflective, and wise is an important part of healthy living. But, feeding a mind that’s always evaluating things as – black or white, good or bad, better or worse – is a recipe for emotional and behavioural discontent.
Consistency - Consistency is the primary ingredient of trust. When we witness consistency in honest words and actions from someone or a company we naturally let our guard down and can experience deeper levels of intimacy. Their consistency gives us the courage to take the next step whether that is purchasing product, investing in an experience or developing a partnership on any level.
Courage – Courage = Heart Wisdom and this certainly requires an element of faith (conviction + action). Most of us will agree that when we have connection and consistency in relationship, putting your heart on the line is much easier. When trust is established or being built, feeling confident, safe and secure when being vulnerable is critical. When you are valued, heard, understood + acknowledged, the more you tend to open yourself up, share, give, receive + risk. Without courage to continue on our path of growth, we can become complacent, disconnected or apathetic when it comes to the needs of our selves / others. This could be classified as 'Make it or break it' type of stage.
Commitment - Our courage to trust always leads to a commitment. Every relationship requires some level of commitment, and the level of our commitment will ultimately define the level of our relationship. Relationships are a constant ebb + flow of giving and receiving. When we notice things are out of balance (unmet needs, disconnection, not speaking same love language, different vested interests or goals etc) this is the stage where communication and action are imperative to the maintenance of trust within the relationship. Lack of alignment without being addressed effectively can lead to individuals seeking external sources that support them in feeling aligned, even if it is temporary. Reestablish connection, get clear on boundaries and intentions, reset and make healthy new commitments if necessary to help move forward in a healthy manner otherwise a destruction + hurt occurs.
Comfort - When you truly trust someone you FEEL safe and comfortable within their presence or even in the absence of their presence, the feeling still exists. You choose to see and believe the best in them. If someone has given you every reason that you can see to trust them but you STILL do not feel fully comfortable then perhaps identify if YOU are the one who is holding back or in need of clearing up / taking responsibility for old trust wounds + their impact OR do the work to distinguish whether someone is being phoney baloney with your fine self. Take time to dig a little deeper, ask more questions, listen harder, pay closer attention to what’s really under the surface. Your feelings and bodily sensations never lie, they are always communicating and innately intelligent. Listen. Listen. Listen.
Tune in + Reflect
- What do you absolutely trust in?
- Who do you trust? Why do you know this to be true?
- Do you trust in yourself? If not, how come? If Yes, why?
- Which stage of trust do you find the easiest?
- Which stage is the most difficult?
- What are some ways that you can invite more trust into your life?
Life isn’t perfect and some people prove not to be trustworthy. But will increasing your willingness to trust produce, on balance, a positive benefit? Will it make your life more pleasant and less stressful? I believe so. You have little to lose by trying.
Trust has to start somewhere. Why not with you, today, right now?