Trust is one of those things that we all talk about, but do we really know when we struggle with trust? Once identified, absolutely. So, how do we identify our trust issues?
If you are experiencing trust issues in a relationship (intimate, friend, work), you cannot make yourself vulnerable, which is essential to lasting success.
Overcoming trust issues is difficult, but not impossible. You have been hurt in the past, either in childhood or even into adulthood. Your lack of trust is held in place by fear, fear of being humiliated, betrayed, taken advantage of or manipulated in some way.
One of the reasons it is hard to let go of trust is that we go into situations with preconceived notions that we will be let down or hurt yet again. We are essentially setting ourselves up for failure, because what we look for we find.
Trust issues inevitably turn into self sabotage. When you don’t trust, you don’t connect with others. This builds a lack of self-confidence which leads to missed opportunities, loneliness, and even social anxiety. These are a type of self-sabotage which then maintains you ‘reasons’ for having your trust issues.
Overcoming trust issues requires looking at things differently. When you start to see them as self-sabotaging and not self-protective you can start to work your way through your trust issues. The pain you experienced is real and it is important to validate that, and opening up does make room for the possibility of being hurt yet again. But, not opening up guarantees the hurt will continue. If you are already anticipating a breach you will be hypersensitive to it and ultimately find it even if it is not intended.
Yes, this does put you in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t position. But, only in the interim. As you start to work through your trust issues, you will learn how to navigate, where to trust, and to stop looking for it in every move of another person.
Below are 7 signs that you have trust issues;
1. You already decide how people will betray you before they have a chance to.
If someone has shown you repeatedly that they are untrustworthy, yes, pay attention to that.
However, anticipating the breach in someone you have no history of betrayal with will contaminate this relationship.
2. You trust people you shouldn’t.
This is a way for us to confirm that people are untrustworthy. We often place our trust in people who are likely to take advantage. It is an unconscious confirmation of what we believe to be true.
3. Your relationships are shallow.
Even if you are a deep thinking and feeling person, your relationships marred by trust issues will be shallow. It takes trust to open up and share your feelings.
4. You lack emotional commitment.
Trust issues dictate that you live in a world of anticipated loss. Your relationship cannot feel solid or grounded when you are waiting for the inevitable.
5. Mistakes are seen as breaches of trust.
People are not perfect, and they make mistakes. However when we are waiting for our trust to be broken, we automatically see these mistakes as a breach of trust.
For instance; If they can’t talk right now, they are hiding something from you. When they don’t see you come into a room, they are ignoring you. If they are running late, they don’t really want to spend time with you.
6. You feel lonely and isolated.
When you cannot trust people enough to share your true self, no one can get to know your true self. Without being known to others you feel lonely and perhaps like you do not belong.
7. You feel despair and depression.
It is impossible to be socially adjusted without trusting others to some degree, and when it is painful to consider trusting anyone, you may feel trapped in a world in which you feel like you don’t belong.
Now that we have identified that we have trust issues we can start to move forward and heal ourselves.
This takes a lot of courage, but it will be worth the effort in the end if you allow yourself to heal from the pain of the past. Ultimately it is about taking the risk of being hurt.
After you decide to take the risk, what are the steps to take to start moving through the painful and scary process?
Step 1: Be willing to take the risk of getting hurt. This is probably the hardest step of all.
Step 2: Find a person who can work through this with you, a therapist, a coach, someone who has a proven track record of being trustworthy.
Step 3: Start to learn more about trust, what you need to do to extend it and how it is earned.
Step 4: Take risks with your person, open up a bit more, start to pay attention to when they have come through as trustworthy.
Step 5: Confront your beliefs, suspicions, fear and feelings. REally delve into whether or not your trust has been broken or you perceived it to be. Did you react from a place of fear and hurt?
This is a long process, but with time you can definitely do it. It is always about truly looking at ourselves and our part in anything we wish to be different in our lives. This is not a one stop fix. You will get hurt, you will still self-sabotage but you keep trying until you learn where to trust.
How to give and receive trust. Yes, this is a two way street. To others you may seem untrustworthy because you do not share yourself with them. Learn who it is safe to open up to, who can be trusted and relationships will blossom. Put out feelers first before giving your whole self over. You do not need to trust everyone, but having a handful of people in your life that you trust changes everything.
This weeks creative exercise:
Supplies: paper and things that make marks (pens, pencils, crayons) whichever you choose.
Optional: journal and pen
Create a picture of a house and fence (or another image that works for you) showing how much you let others in, showing your boundaries. Think about different people and if that picture would be different for one person vs another.
Now, draw a second picture of how you would like your boundaries to be. How much you would want to allow others in or yourself out.
How does this make you feel? I always recommend journaling to help process a creative exercise like this.
This Thursday I will release a video on YouTube showing this exercise. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the other videos we put up.
Have an Amazingly Creative Day,