You know when trust is present in a relationship when you don’t give much thought to what the other person (or people) are doing. You have peace of mind that they are going to do what they say they will, while keeping your best interest at heart. You’re coming to the table as equals because you’re in it together. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Trust is a one-word doozey we’ve all had some great, and ‘far from great’ experiences with. Those experiences have likely left you questioning things you thought about yourself, your relationships and other people. And I’m guessing you behave differently, even subtly, because of those experiences.
Taking a deeper look at trust and how it was working in my life has been a challenging and huge growth curve for me over the last three years, and it hasn’t always been fun. Detangling past situations mired in emotions and starting to see my role in the end results felt a lot like eating a frog, whole. I hear it often with my clients. “But Aly, they were so disrespectful and awful and mean! They did blah, blah blah……They broke my trust and I just can’t go back!”
Sound familiar? Me too, I said those exact words. There is definitely healing needed after a relationship breakdown to come to terms with what went down, forgive, and determine what the current or future state of that relationship might be. And in doing so, I need you to hear this. It has nothing to do with whether or not you trust them. It has everything to do with you trusting YOU! Hear me out before you swear or close this message (and breathe, that helps ).
I looked at specific personal and professional situations where I was really struggling with trust feeling broken or absent. What I saw was certain personalities and situations where I wasn’t showing up as my authentic self. I wasn’t saying no when I didn’t agree with an idea, principle or action. I wasn’t setting effective boundaries because I assumed (AKA trusted) they were holding my best interests in mind, advocating for me, and instinctively knew what was important to me. I wasn’t walking away when my intuition was telling me the situation was not right. By not showing up, and speaking, up as my authentic self in all those incremental moments, I saw how I allowed the situation to happen. Not quite as innocent as I wanted to be… OUCH! And all of those small moments built up over time, creating the explosion, or erosion, of important relationships. And my reaction? “I don’t trust you!”. Now I know the truth was, I didn’t trust ME.
I can’t be prepared for every person or situation that might come into my life. I might feel unskilled or unexperienced to handle everything in the moment, and that’s ok. It’s ok to feel unsure and uncertain, even untrustworthy. As long as I own that is my experience and not blame or project it one anyone else. I can take time to make decisions, change my mind after thinking things over, and speak up in the moment to set boundaries and disagree. My healing and resolution from any past experience around broken trust has been unravelling each situation to see my role in it.
Being accountable, and forgiving myself for my behaviour, while getting much clearer and resolved about what is important to me has be an enormous and humbling gift. I notice what uncertainty feels like in body when I don’t trust myself and allow time to gather my thoughts and speak up in the moment. Do you live on the basis that trust is earned? Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was sitting back with their arms crossed and waiting for others to show up as trustworthy? We wouldn’t have any relationships at all! That is a completely unaccountable stance that leaves the ball in everyone else’s court so you can avoid the work of looking at you. That is playing lose-lose because I guarantee they will never get it right and it certainly won’t be on your time frame. I believe that truly knowing and feeling trust begins with me trusting me, first. By getting crystal clear on what I stand for, my boundaries and making those known I create more trust with all personality types and in many more situations than waiting for someone else to do it for me.
I challenge you now. The next time you say, “I don’t trust them”, to ask yourself if it’s really them, or is it YOU you don’t trust?
Leave me a comment below and let me know how trust is working in your life (or not).
Need someone to help you unravel some past trust destructions to clarify your beliefs and boundaries? Contact me to get started now!