Trust is an exchange of faith. It’s the confidence we place in others (and ourselves) that represents our belief that our perception of them or our expectations will consistently hold to be true. Trusting someone is believing we can rely on this person enough to feel assured they won’t screw us over for their short-term desires but also that they will be mindful of the value of building a long-term relationship together.

As such, trust is a gamble. It’s one we must make, time and again, to enjoy benefits and resources that we couldn’t on our own. We need to allow ourselves to depend on others while also retaining our sense of self. Sometimes this feels tricky for us.

Past experiences of trust, including the beliefs and stories we took from them, significantly influence our ability to trust and be trustworthy. They determine whether we consider ourselves (and others) to be a safe bet. Sometimes this will yield false positives and negatives that we’ll need to learn from.

Trusting ourselves and others takes vulnerability.

In essence, we have to be willing to give permission for our hearts to be broken. Of course, it’s not that we actually want someone to [hurt us] or for us to “get things wrong”. However, we can’t see what’s possible, without showing up. Much as we might try, we can’t wait in the wings with our guardedness until we get the nod that we’re guaranteed the perfect outcome. We have to expose ourselves to risk to fine-tune trust but also to show up for intimacy.

To trust someone means we need to trust ourselves. With our self-trust, we know when we’re in the right place. We can trust our judgement and use it to navigate to the relationships, things, and choices that allow us to become more of who we really are.

Doing so allows us to use our greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and what we need, want and expect, to trust and choose better next time. 

Trusting ourselves also means we can listen to ourselves and others. We have healthier boundaries. After all, to allow ourselves to have boundaries is a vote of trust for ourselves and others. We’re saying, I can trust myself enough to show up, to figure this out. I trust that this person can handle my showing up as my real self. It’s important to base our relationship on the openness of genuinely knowing each other.

For more on authentic, loving relationships, check out my book Love, Care, Trust and Respect. Need help with unpacking and healing from the impact of childhood beliefs and habits? Check out my latest book, The Joy of Saying No.

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