I’ve shared thoughts on what trust is and how to restore it, but where does trust come from?
Human beings are hardwired by biology and evolution to be social creatures. We seek safety and identity through belonging and community. How can you have any of this without trust?
The minute we exit the womb, our ability to survive and thrive is based on trust. We depend on others to care for and keep us throughout childhood. Trust is one of our earliest experiences.
And yet, over time, we learn that not everyone is trustworthy, including ourselves. What to do? Our tempered trust requires that we search for it both internally and externally, and we do this with and for others who are doing the exact same. It sounds challenging because it is challenging.
When we are cultivating trust, which comes first, trusting others or trusting ourselves. The truth is, I don’t know. It’s a chicken and egg question without a clear answer.
However, it seems to me that developing and encouraging trust in others and ourselves is a virtuous cycle, a process that also requires trust. It seems to me that most of the time, we’re engaged in the trust-building process unconsciously and that we can expedite it through conscious, intentional action.
Here are some ideas to help you earn trust in yourself and others.
- Know Thyself – What are your values? What’s the vision your working toward?
- Send Clear Signals – Let others know who you are and what difference you seek to make.
- Be Curious – Almost all certainty is false. Approach yourself, others, and the world with wonder and consideration.
- Take Small Steps Into Possibility – A daily discipline of measured action pays long-term dividends.
- Ignore Sunk Costs – When it’s time to quit, quit.
- Be Compassionate – seek to see, understand, and serve yourself and others.
- Don’t Take Yourself (or Anything Else) Too D*mn Seriously – Seriously, don’t. A little playfulness enhances any process.
I’m sure many other ingredients can be tossed in this trust-building stew, but these are a place to start. What action will you take to cultivate trust, internally and externally, today? Why not start right now?