Yes, I know this may sound like a crazy question but the more I work with clients and on myself, the more I learn our answers to this question fully reveal how we are in the world. Think about it: why does person A welcome change while person B avoids it like the plague? Why does person C find it easy to open up while person D clams up the moment you ask them how they feel? It's all down to trust. Trust is well and truly the key to our freedom but most of us have hidden the key, or worse still, thrown it away.
So how can we reclaim that key? First and foremost, it's worth exploring and understanding how we lost the ability to trust in the first place.
Have you ever marvelled at how babies and young children exude pure trust in the world around them? It's worth remembering we were all like that once.
But when I became curious about my own loss of trust story, I discovered I'd grown up with a lot of fear and negativity around me. Life was about focusing on the negative rather than the positive and on all the things that could go wrong instead of what could go right. So the common phrases I'd hear around me would be things like: "don't do that because something bad will happen to you", "something's bound to go wrong", "what if.....something bad happens", "what if.......you fail", "I told you it'd go wrong." And as if all of that wasn't bad already, why not throw in: "there's never enough".
In the end, with all that fear and negativity around me it's hardly surprising my mind began to believe the world was an unsafe place and that I couldn't trust other people.
I'm sad to admit this became my mantra and way of being for 90% of my adult life. And in not trusting the outer world, I had a hard time trusting myself as well. In fact, my mind was so filled with negative dialogue about how the world was out to get me that I very seldom listened to my gut instinct or any warning signs my emotions and body were trying to give me.
So instead of resting when my body was exhausted or ill, I'd carry on with my hectic schedule. If something didn't quite feel right, I'd ignore the internal warnings, do it anyway and beat myself up for being such an idiot later. Instead of listening to my emotions, I'd stuff them down - literally - with way too much food and/or drink and then hate looking at myself in the mirror. And so the cycle of mis-trust and self-abuse perpetuated itself.
Trust becomes elusive because we become prisoners to our conditioned thoughts and the negative inner dialogue they create. No wonder it becomes safer (and more familiar) to disown our ability to trust.
The fact is, we can choose to reclaim trust and by doing so, we gradually open up to a different and more relaxed way of being in the world.
Here are some practical steps you can take to reclaim trust:
1. Take more notice of the world around you
Stop and take more notice of the world around you. Nature's become my biggest teacher where trust is concerned. Why? Because, for me, nature is the epitome of trust: the grass grows, the trees let go of their leaves in autumn, flowers blossom, the sun rises and sets, the tide comes in and out....all of this simply is. Once I was able to tune into the marvelous ebb and flow of nature, I became more able to connect with trust. Deep down we all know and trust that nature's doing its thing. How willing are you to allow that same natural flow of nature into your life and trust that everything will unfold as it needs to? Try it the next time you're out and about. Be still and watch the natural world around you. The more you do, the more you connect with the natural and trusting flow of nature/life.
2. Be curious
Ask yourself even if it's just for a tiny moment each day: what would it look, feel and sound like if I could just accept and allow that God/the Universe/Providence/my Angels/my Guides are looking out for me? What would it be like if you could simply let go and trust that something greater than you is actually responding to and guiding you? No doubt some of you may think this is all a bit airy- fairy but don't knock it until you try it. Not surprisingly I myself found it difficult to take this concept on board because my sceptic and distrustful mind would naturally interfere but you'd be amazed just how liberating and comforting it can be when you finally lean into it.
3. Set your intent to trust
If something greater than us is indeed responding to our desires and guiding us, it makes perfect sense to set the right intent to trust. Interestingly, as I was writing this post, an article by the wonderful Danielle La Porte about creating a "what I trust list" jumped out at me. Whether you take to writing that list or simply set the intent to trust - do it. Setting your intent creates the forward motion for how you intend to be in the world and what you intend to focus on. By focusing on trust you can't help but open up to it.
4. Start listening to yourself
If you want to start trusting yourself more, you need to get used to "tuning into yourself". Just as you stopped to take more notice of the world around you, how about stopping and listening to the world inside you? Learning to trust ourselves more can be as easy as noticing the signals our body and emotions are giving us. If you're feeling tired, choose to rest and spend the evening in instead of dragging yourself out because you don't want to let your friends down. If you're not feeling hungry, choose to acknowledge this instead of eating because there's food in front of you or it's a "set" meal time. And if something doesn't feel right, choose to act on that feeling instead of going against your gut.
The more you listen to yourself and realise that in doing so you're actually honouring the natural flow of things and what's best for you, the more you begin to reclaim your ability to trust.
So how much are you willing to open up to trust from now on? Leave me a comment below or visit here to share your thoughts now.