Trust is Trust, Right?

30 October, 2014

I've blogged and talked about trust, specifically self-trust, a lot in the past.  But what does it really mean to be able to trust yourself?  And how do we go from not trusting, to trusting?

My husband and I went to see Nigel Latta speak last night (NZ psychologist and parenting expert). He said that he often has to remind himself of what he says when he's talking about parenting, because of course, he forgets to do it himself.  I loved his honesty about this and would like to mirror that here.  It seems to me that learning to trust myself is one of the biggest lessons I am supposed to learn in this lifetime and life sure keeps presenting me with the opportunity!

My husband and I are expecting our first baby.  For me, being pregnant later in life, has been one of the most interesting things I've ever been through, for lots of different reasons.  One of the main ones is that what the medical profession want to tell me, and what I instinctively feel deep down in my gut, are often too different things.  The line between them can be faint, and marrying them up so that I am being responsible, yet not giving in on some of my core values and beliefs, has been challenging!  I've been blogging about my experiences which you're welcome to read: although my disclaimer here is that this is a personal blog, a bit like an online diary and is mainly for me to keep track of my experiences and share them with others, and not a business blog designed to teach you something.. so just keep that in mind if you read it!

Of course, learning self-trust forms the basis of a lot of my 1:1 work with folk.  I've talked before that I believe trust to be the opposite of fear.  Some other coaches have disputed my therory.  But I believe it anyhow:  when we're in a state of trusting ourselves, trusting life, we are not in fear.  We are no "what iff-ing" we are not imagining the worst - which are all fear based thought processes.  

The interesting thing is that for most of us, being able to trust things to work out, to trust ourselves to 'do a good job' to 'perform' to 'be a good parent' etc., comes with a caveat.  What if we trust ourselves to do well, and then we don't do well, we fail instead?  What if I trust my body to grow and deliver a healthy baby, and then I don't?  

So you can see, that fear creeps in again:  What if?   Interesting isn't it? 

Cultivating self-trust isn't about being stupid.  It's not about saying, 'I'm going to smoke 20 fags a day and trust myself not to get cancer'.  That's not trust, that's irresponsible, foolhardy.  What I notice is that there are 1000 things we are wholly capable of, that we can logically trust ourselves on.  Yet, somehow fear creeps in and we forget we can actually trust ourselves to do that.

SO:  here's the thing.  Practising trust actually requires trust.  And, it's a process rather than an outcome.   There's no certainty about the outcome of my pregancny, just like there's no certainty about the outcome of a business meeting, an interview, a marriage.  However, how I want to feel and interact with the process of being pregnant is abosultely within my control.  I want to do and eat the right things.  I want to trust my body to know what it's doing.  I want to trust myself to know when something's wrong, and to act.  And I want to trust myself to know when things are right, and therefore not worry.  I can practice all of this, yet the outcome still remains uncertain.  That's trust.

For now, notice how you are untrusting yourself.  What kinds of things do you worry/fear about?   Presentations at work?  Getting through a bad patch in your relationship?  Learning something new?  Notice how you untrust: what's the process in your head?  What's the internal dialogue?  What are the images you make? 

And then next blog, we will start a new strategy: cultivating self-trusting.

Until then, I am, as ever, interesting in your thoughts and experiences.  Comment below and let's chat :)  Charlotte.

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