What to do when you have trust issues
Asking if you have trust issues is probably a “duh” question, however, that doesn’t make having them easy or acceptable. Mistrust of others breeds anger, resentment, hurt, shame, disappointment and more. It can also intensify self-esteem problems, self-doubt and indecisiveness. It is hard to live a happy life when you feel this way.
You didn’t start out this way in life. As a baby, you innately possessed trust because your very survival depended on it. As you grew, life experiences taught you that people did not always live by their words. You probably experienced many breaches of trust, some more profoundly impacting than others causing you to feel fear, anxiety, depression, disappointment, resentment and other negative emotions.
Living life this way is neither productive nor satisfying. So what can you do about it? Trust starts with you. When you learn to intuit and understand your own triggers, and emotions then you recognize and understand the signals going off inside. The more you do this the more you trust yourself to make sound judgment calls and good choices.
You are equipped with in internal guidance system and a set of survival instincts that are hard wired into your human system. Fight or flight is your most basic survival instinct. Back in cave dweller days if your source of food, shelter or community was threatened, you often had a split second to determine whether to run for you life or stay and fight. That instinct cannot be easily altered or removed. At your most basic you have the instinct to survive so even if you are not acutely aware of the signals going off I promise you they are still there.
Your internal guidance system commonly communicates with you through emotions and feelings or sensations. Sometimes you may feel a pit or knot in your stomach (when your heightened sense is to flee) and butterflies in your stomach when your heightened sense is for something more positive and exciting. There is also a part of your guidance system that is intuitive. You may call it your sixth sense, goose bumps, hair standing up on the back of your neck or a sense of knowing. Your internal guidance may niggle you to back away from a situation or prompt you to move forward even though you have no logical reason to do so.
When you were a child you were much more in touch with this system and as you matured you began to rely more heavily on your logic and reason. But I’ll tell you this much. Ask most highly successful people what convinced them to do something or avoid it and aside from the obvious logical reasons, they’ll tell you it was their gut feeling because they learned to trust it.
Building trust comes from within. When you remember how to listen to your instincts, eventually you come to trust them more even though logic or reason may sound better initially. Logic is helpful and I usually suggest you consult it and then check in with your gut and/or your heart. What are they telling you? Listen closely. Observe the feelings, emotions and sensations.
Trust is built slowly. When I introduced my new cat Felix to his sisters, I did it slowly. They didn’t much care for him at first and being the kitten, he didn’t care about their feelings. Over several weeks they have slowly and steadily come to know each other and I feel the bond growing. The older girls are more accepting because I’ve gone out of my way to make sure I express to them how much I love them. They trust me and will soon trust and accept Felix.
There will also come a time when you learn or remember how to bring in the wisdom of your higher self as well as the drive and logic of your ego (conscious mind) and blend it with your gut instincts. Then it becomes your own high council of trusted information.
Take it slowly. Remember, not trusting others is often about not trusting yourself so start with you first.
- Observe yourself (no judgment, simply observe what happens).
- Notice what situations trigger your negative feelings.
- Notice how you respond in these situations.
- When you play it back in your head, slow it down like a movie.
- Was there a signal that you initially missed? Did your gut tighten or did you feel anxiety? What did you feel?
After you make these observations, then think about how you’d like to respond differently the next time the situation occurs. Listening to and acting upon y
Repeat the steps above as often as possible. The more you do this the more trust you have in your own magnificent abilities.