The Confidence Course
“Trust is the emotional freedom you give yourself to know
that everything will work out just fine”
Dr. Robert K. Winters
Trust ……..The Seventh Layer
The final layer to our Confidence Pyramid is the crown jewel of confidence and that is the element of trust. The reason that I call it the crown jewel is that it is the ultimate form of reliability and confirmation that one has confidence. From a dictionary reference, the word trust means a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. When you are discussing the value of trust, you are stating that with this value, there is an implied assurance that things will work out the way you want them to and that there is no doubt or worry about the consequence.
And that is the ultimate key, for when you totally trust, there is the absence of doubt, worry, or trepidation that bad things will happen. That is why trust is the twin sister of confidence. When you trust, you are free to be comfortable in your own skin, knowing that things will work out well. Couple that with the belief that you can do a specific thing and the world becomes your oyster! Perhaps this is why trust and confidence are often paired together.
But trust can be tested and it can also be fragile. For example, in a committed relationship with two people, the bond of commitment starts with the notion that each will be loyal to one another. Trust is an implicit value in that relationship and if one violates that sacred trust, the relationship vows are broken and the trust egg may never be the same again. In essence, when one trusts, the issue of trusting one another is really a non-issue because if you truly trusted, there wouldn’t be any suspicion of impropriety. Thus, trust is a value of belief and faith. Trust is also a value where you trust 100% or you do not trust at all! There is no grey area in the world of trust. It is black and white in its final tally. You cannot just “trust a little bit” …you either trust …..or you don’t! It is much like a standard on or off light switch in your home. You either have it totally “on” or it is totally “off”, there is no in-between. So it is it with trust.
In a sporting example, whenever a baseball pitcher is throwing well and he is having a stellar afternoon on the mound, the idea of trusting yourself probably doesn’t come up. The issue is a dormant or non-issue because everything is going well and he is throwing strikes and getting the batters out rather easily. But what happens to the value of trust when there is a suspicion of doubt and uneasiness? Where does the trust go? The pitcher then starts to think about his mechanics. This leads him to question his motor program or “action” which further leads to over-controlling tendencies and then he throws balls wildly in any direction other than over the plate! Trust has been violated by conscious, over control.
Even in a motor learning definition of trust, it is defined as:” the conscious letting go of over controlling tendencies that interfere with those processes that have been overlearned via practice. Those processes are known as overlearning and repetition”. (Moore & Stevenson, 1991).
What this definition is suggesting that when one learns to “let go” of the over controlling tendencies and allows the automatic processes that have been overlearned to come through, that is the foundation of trust in an athletic skill. Thus, trust is letting go of trying hard and wanting not to make a mistake. In essence, if you trust, you believe everything is going to work out the way you want it…..if you really trust! That is why trust and confidence go together like salt and pepper shakers, if you see one, you probably will see the other. Because if you really believe in your talent and give yourself the emotional freedom to play and perform the way that you truly know, the results will speak for themselves!
But in the final analysis, the ultimate relationship of trust has to be with you! Because if you are not trusting your judgment, your decisions and your actions, how can you ever expect to meet your goals or achieve any of your dreams? Without you trusting in yourself and believing that good things can and will happen, there is very little chance you will ever get to where you want to go.
This is why the ultimate relationship you must have is with yourself. Always remember that the most important players on your team are me, myself, and I! Please note that this is not a selfish way to view yourself, but one that can give you the ultimate tools and emotional freedom to be yourself and go after all of your goals. Consider this not a selfish mindset, but a “self-full” mindset. That is, you are full of yourself in a positive and nurturing direction to give yourself the things you need to succeed. Because in the end, much like The Beatlessong of the same name, “the love you take …..is equal to the love you make”.
What this means is that you have to give yourself the ability to trust yourself totally and without reservation before you can really trust anyone else. This is why trust is the crown jewel of the pyramid because it is often the last thing to be developed and nurtured and is often the first to disappear. The ability to trust has to be cared for each and every day. It is an on-going process to trust but the results are well worth it! The following are some specific thoughts and exercises to help you build the component of trust!
Exercise # 1 Being honest with yourself and others
This isn’t as much of an exercise as it is a form of direction for you to ponder. When you are interacting with others, are you allowing them to see the real you? Are you honest about your intentions and feelings? Do you try to cover up and mask your true feelings about things just so that you don’t look stupid, inept or unenlightened? Just remember that it’s more than okay to say that you don’t know something. Nothing creates more suspicion and doubt than someone who is trying to impress other people by name-dropping and talking endlessly about their achievements and being dogmatic about everything! What a snore!
In truth, the more that you can show that you are a real human being and that you are vulnerable lends other people to trust you even more. Why is this so? The reason is because you have put yourself “out there” and are letting them know that you trust them enough to share certain information with them. The old saying is so true: “People don’t care how much you know…until they know how much you care about them”. Being honest about your goals and aspirations and knowing that you are doing everything you can to accomplish them is a giant first step towards trusting yourself and others as well!
Exercise #2 Stretching yourself and taking risks!
Do you trust yourself enough to put yourself into a position that you may be unsuccessful or fail? The point I am trying to make here is that we always would like to attempt things and be good at them the first time out. That is just human nature. No one likes to fail and if we are talking about developing ultimate confidence in this book, why would I even mention anything about failing? Because failing, falling down and putting yourself in new and awkward situations makes you stretch and grow! No one is good at anything the first time and if they are, perhaps it is beginner’s luck or they may have a natural proclivity to excel at that activity or job! But that is not the norm!
The norm is that people do struggle and they have to “dig the secret out of the dirt” so to speak and become applied and diligent learners at something before they obtain mastery! The same is true for you. What is it that you have always been afraid of or haven’t done because it was stupid or you would look foolish or that you have told yourself that you are too old to do it? If you have….do not despair! There are millions of you reading this book right now and saying: “I’ve always wanted to do that…but I am scared of what might happen”. Well, one thing is for sure….if you are always just thinking about doing something and never do it…you will never get hurt. But then again, you haven’t done anything at all other than waste your life by not being big in your own belief that you can do something!
So here is what you need to do. Make a list of three things that you have thought about that were too stupid, too hard or too risky for you to do. Pick one of each and do them! Not only will this get you off your dull and boring routine, but it will make you take positive steps for action! Action is another word for displaying trust and confidence! By at least attempting to do these things, you have stretched your risk muscle a bit. Remember, the only regrets that we truly have at the end of our lives is that we didn’t do a lot of the crazy things we told ourselves we were going to do! So why wait? Make your list and start to grow, fail and grow some more in building a big and powerful belief system!