What is trust?
Trust can be positive or negative. We can trust that certain actions, behaviors, outcomes, or results will or will not take place. We can trust in predictability or inconsistency.
We can trust everything external to ourselves. We can trust other people, organizations, ancient folklore, modern medicine, philosophies, ideologies, horoscopes, lottery numbers… name anything in our great big beautiful world and we can trust it.
The most important type of trust, however, is trusting ourselves.
Trusting what is external
Trusting things external to ourselves is lovely. However, what happens outside ourselves is not in our control and doesn’t even reflect on us. That said, external factors affect us every day: people, places, things. Relationships, work, environment.
Trusting what is internal
We choose what we let into our lives with everything we do. We make these decisions every day in every aspect of our lives. The people we associate with, the relationships we develop, the work we take on, the projects we pursue, the offers we accept, the opportunities we create, the commitments we make, the way we organize and prioritize. The inverse is also true; we make decisions with everything we turn down, ignore or don’t recognize in the first place.
Our decisions form our experiences, which in turn create our lives. Even if we don’t understand our actions, inactions or motivations, they are what we need. We know what we need even if we don’t see it or don’t want to experience it. What we need can change over time. We make decisions that are good and bad for us, our well-being, our goals and our happiness.
Trusting our mistakes
We’re bound to make decisions that don’t line up with what we truly want. We tend to call these decisions mistakes*. We learn and we make new, different mistakes. This is what it is to be human. We’re happier when we let go of perfectionism and intolerance, and forgive ourselves our mistakes, past, present and future.
Sometimes our mistakes can make us trust ourselves less, and this can cause us to close ourselves off and limit our horizons. It’s helpful to look back on our past mistakes. We’ll notice a common thread: that little voice inside ourselves — that feeling we had, that warning signal — that we didn’t heed. Maybe we didn’t understand it or maybe we heard it loud and clear and went ahead anyway. That car we bought, job we took, relationship we entered, elective surgery we underwent, investments we made, rights we signed away. And, of course, everything we regret declining along the way.
Trusting your little voice
The way to get the most out of our lives is to listen to that little voice. You know the one. If you don’t, then quiet your mind until you hear it. Even if it isn’t what you want to hear, maybe especially if it isn’t what you want to hear, listening to it is in your best interest.
Your body knows the truth
You know the truth even if you don’t have all the facts. Your body knows the truth before your mind can process the information.
You have all you need
Maybe you heed your body’s signals and maybe you don’t. Either way is okay. Live life as openly as you can, take risks, try new things. Be confident that no matter what, the truth is inside you and all you need is trust in yourself.
When we trust ourselves we expand our worlds. We experience more, learn more, grow more, give more, receive more, and live more. We also create the best possible lives for ourselves by making decisions based on what we know to be true.
Dive into your great big beautiful world! You have everything you need.
*There really are no mistakes, but that’s a topic for another day.