A few days ago, a dream came to fruition. I was able to combine story-telling with my coaching mission in my first Ted X talk, and I was able to bring my message to one of my most beloved communities at Ted X Broadway. It was such a cool moment and hit my most desired feelings on all cylinders. They flew out of me in a blaze of glory. It was one of those days I will always remember and as I was about to go onstage to share my talk, of course my heart was pounding and I was slightly terrified but in a good way. And the reason it felt good is that I knew I could trust myself. I knew that if I flew, I would be there to catch myself no matter what. I can’t wait to share it with you all when it comes out in about a month.
Feeling like I have my own back is a relatively new thing and experiencing it in such a big way got me thinking about how I used to feel.
There was definitely a time when I felt like I couldn’t trust myself in the audition room, in the way that I ate, to show up for myself, to be a good friend to others. Because I wasn’t following through with my own integrity, I started to believe I was just…well, a bad person, not to mention weak, lame and selfish.
And I know I’m not the only one, because at the beginning of almost every conversation with a client, I hear, “I just can’t trust myself.”
They feel like there are too many instances they can point to that solidify the idea “I’m somehow defective and broken.” It can be such a painful and screwy place to be in, to desire something and to continually break the consistency required to attain it. It can lead someone to develop a serious narrative about who they really are and what’s possible for them.
The biggest misconception I hear when it comes to trust is that there are two types of people…people who can trust themselves and people who can’t. Just because we have broken trust with ourselves in the past does not mean anything inherently about our ability to be trusted. All it means is that we have broken trust in the past. It has nothing to do with how we can choose to rebuild that trust in the present moment, to start anew with integrity.
Trust is something that is built over time, bit by bit. It is about choice, about actions, not about the “type” of person we are.
So, how do we learn to trust ourselves again after a binge, a session of self-sabotage or a slip? How do we become the type of person WE can trust?
Well, the same way we would learn to trust others after they broke our trust. We look for evidence that they want to earn that trust back.
Well, Ms. Brene Brown (the author of the crazy amazing book, Daring Greatly) spoke about just this in this amazing Super Soul Session talk. She spoke about “The Anatomy of Trust.” She details what her years of research have taught her; that people look for six qualities when deciding whether or not they can trust another person. Check out the video below!
In this talk, she says that trust in others is built mostly in the smaller moments in life, not in the huge, grand gestures we usually equate with someone “showing up”. She analogizes these smaller moments to a large jar, and each time someone shows up for us in certain ways, they earn a marble in a jar. Over time, that jar is filled with marbles and we feel comfortable trusting that person.
She uses the acronym BRAVING to describe what people unconsciously look for when deciding whether or not to trust someone.
B stands for Boundaries
This person knows and respects what behaviors are okay with you and not okay with you (that affect you and your life). So, this also requires that you are honest and clear about what your boundaries are, in a kind and compassionate way.
(Example: Your friend understands that you don’t drink, so she doesn’t ask if you want a drink when you get to her house)
R stands for Reliability
This person shows up over and over again. They have a consistent track record.
A stands for accountability.
You can trust that this person will own up to a mistake and make Amends for it (once they realize they have broken trust).
V is for vault.
What you share with them, they will hold in total confidence.
I stands for Integrity
This person is their word. They say they are going to do something; they do it.
N stands for Non-Judgment
You can fall apart with this person and trust that you won’t feel judged.
G stands for Generosity
This person will make a generous assumption about your intentions/motives.
(If you do break trust, they assume it wasn’t intentional or malicious)
So, let’s look at this through the scope of self-trust, which Brene Brown says, it where it all starts and building self-trust is all about just FOLLOWING THROUGH with the behaviors aligned in the tenants of BRAVING when it comes to YOU.
Just a reminder here…the problem is that people look at the story, “I can’t trust myself” and attach to it, and when they believe that, it affects the way they feel about themselves, and then affects their behavior. If you can’t trust yourself and there is something defective, then why bother?
When I hear, “I can’t trust myself, therefore I can’t start eating healthily,” I will say, “Start eating healthily and you will start to trust yourself. You don’t need to wait until you feel self-trust or self-love to start acting as if you have it.” Once momentum gets going, you may start to notice those feelings appearing more and more. All of a sudden, you are experiencing feelings of pride, feelings of trust, feelings of love for yourself.
If you feel like you can’t trust yourself, start looking at exactly where the trust has been broken.
Are you engaging in behaviors that aren’t aligned with what’s okay with you? Where are you crossing you own boundaries? How can you rectify that?
Are you showing up for yourself reliably? (instead of once in a blue moon)
How can you start showing up for yourself more reliably?
Do you follow through with your word? (You say you are going to the gym so you go to the gym).
Where can you do this more often?
Are you respecting yourself emotionally? Where are you selling yourself out?
When you make a mistake or a slip up, are you acknowledging it with yourself, apologizing and then setting the conditions for a new success?
Are you being kind and compassionate with yourself when you fall apart a bit? Are you there for yourself or do you turn into a bully?
Are you being generous with your assumptions about yourself?
These are all crucially important for your ability to continue to cultivate a deep and authentic connection with yourself, which is at the ROOT of being able to to trust yourself to follow through. And if you are needing support in achieving these things, that is also a way you are putting a marble in the trust jar, of having your own back.
We are all human and there is no such thing as perfection. There will be mistakes. There will be slip ups, moments where we crash, or trip. What is key is that we start cultivating a relationship with ourselves that allows us to rise up again. Just take the actions, and the feelings will follow.
You got this. Start filling that marble jar!
Rock On & Be Well,