This week I’ve been thinking about trust. What it really means to trust ourselves and the people around us. Many people find trusting others hard, especially when it comes to their businesses. It’s common to feel that nobody knows as much as you or will ever care for your business as you do. But trusting ourselves can be even harder. How do you know you’re on the right track, making good decisions? How can you be sure…? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, learning to build trust in others is key. Trusting yourself to achieve what you want and need is critical if you want to build a business that works for you.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway
Do you trust yourself?
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, including the relationship you have with yourself. This relationship is the most important of all as you’re the only person in your life who will be there every step of the way! Our ability to trust ourselves impacts everything we do in life. Most of the trust issues we have with others are a reflection of how much trust we have in ourselves.
Trust can help bring us closer to other people. Trusting others reassures us that help will be available when we need it. Whenever we meet new people, we assess whether we like or trust them, even before we’ve got to know them. The challenge with trust is it can take a long time to gain someone else’s trust, but with just one mistake it can easily be lost.
This works in similar ways with self-trust. Sometimes we lose trust in ourselves when we make a mistake or someone criticizes us. When we don’t follow through on commitments or agreements we’ve made, our level of self-trust declines quickly. This not only affects what we do, but also how we do things and how much of ourselves we’re willing to put into things.
It’s much more difficult to make decisions when you can’t trust yourself because you fear you’ll make the wrong choice. Even when you do decide, if you don’t trust yourself you’ll be more likely to second-guess or criticize the decisions you’ve made. There’s no one more important to trust than yourself. Learning to trust ourselves is an important part of developing as a person. Increased self-trust leads to better relationships with ourselves and others and is directly linked to how much happiness we experience in life. Trusting yourself will build up your confidence, make it easier for you to make decisions, and reduce your stress levels. This makes life feel easier and more enjoyable. The more you trust yourself, the more you’ll be open to trusting others. Even if you don’t find it easy to trust yourself, with some effort you can build up that trust over time.
Here are my Top Ten Tips for Building Trust in Yourself:-
🌟 Be yourself. When we’re not confident in who we are, we act like a different person around other people who sense that something is ‘off’. Accepting who you are and spending time with people who accept you for you is how to build a foundation of self-trust. Spend time with yourself. Get comfortable looking in.
🌟 Take responsibility. It can be uncomfortable making a mistake or failing. But you are responsible for everything you do, say and think. Focus on learning and improving. Expect to succeed eventually, with many failures along the way. Be the best you can be in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
🌟 Be reasonable. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure by setting huge goals that are way too ambitious. Instead try setting lots of small goals that lead you to those big goals. That way you can build up confidence and trust your ability to do what you set out to accomplish.
🌟 Commitment. Making and keeping agreements with yourself is crucial for building self-trust. Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself. Plan in time to do the things you’ve committed to. Seeing ‘busy’ slots in your calendar will stop you agreeing to things you don’t want or need to do.
🌟 Accountability. Learning to build trust in yourself is much easier if you get others to support you. Get your commitments out of your head and into the world and ask people around you to hold you accountable. Over time you’ll realise you can trust yourself to follow through.
🌟 Be kind. Loving yourself means getting rid of negative thoughts about yourself. Listen to your inner voice and how it reacts to what you do and how you do it. Is it kind or is it mean? Accepting or critical? Only by loving yourself can you trust yourself. The two go hand in hand.
🌟 Evidence. Often self-doubt is based on assumptions, opinions and self-talk that is simply not true. Challenge negative thoughts with evidence. Look for reasons to trust yourself rather than reasons not to. Keep a track of your successes, however small. Prove to yourself that you can be trusted.
🌟 Persistence. Our brains primary function is to keep us safe which is why you may procrastinate or decommit from decisions you’ve made. Fear of failure is a great inhibitor as is perfectionism. Pushing through your fears to honour your commitments is crucial to building self-trust. Be honest with yourself.
🌟 Strengths. Everybody is better at some things and worse at others. Trusting yourself means allowing yourself to do things you find challenging without harsh judgement. But make sure you’re playing to your strengths and not berating yourself for not being good at something out of your flow.
🌟 Be decisive. When we lack trust in ourselves we question everything. Every decision, every action, even who we are. Break this habit by backing yourself. Next time you make a choice, stick with it. Even it turns out not to be the best, learn from it and move on. Trust that you’ll make a better decision next time.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – November 2021