Who has trust issues? Raise your hand.
It’s likely that all of us have our hands up to one degree or another. We’re all human, and when something happens to us in life that breaks our trust, it can change the way we view the world and how we interact in our relationships with others.
That in itself isn’t a problem. The problem is that when our trust is violated, especially if it happens repeatedly, what can also happen is that we start to project our distrust into places where it’s not warranted. We can start to suspect trustworthy folks of being untrustworthy, or make blanket judgments like “all men cheat” or “all women will talk behind your back.”
Trust issues can be a legit block to intimacy and relationships (and, frankly, it’s exhausting to be suspicious all the time) so that’s why this week, I’m sharing with you six steps to help you tackle trust issues and start to heal. As always there is a video to accompany this blog which you can view below.
1. Uncover Your Trust Blueprint
All of us have downloaded blueprints in our subconscious minds of how things work, in all areas of life. I use the term “blueprint” because a downloaded belief system is like an architectural blueprint for a house…that someone else designed.
How you were raised, what you observed, your culture and your home environment, among other factors, informed those blueprints. Blueprints are passed down through generations and if they go unexamined, become your reality.
In this week’s guide, I’ve included some questions to help you discover your Trust Blueprint, and start to understand where you are now when it comes to trust. You can download it here now. This will help you get a clear snapshot which can make it easier to see where any healing or reframing is needed to start to build more trust!
2. Learn From The Past
In my experience of over 2 decades of helping people heal trust issues, I’ve found that most of us experience what I call “repeating realities” in our relationships. That is, we unknowingly create a reality in the present that mirrors a painful reality in our past.
Do you always seem to end up involved with someone who cheats on you? Or have you had multiple situations where someone betrays you?
If you are attracting repeated experiences, this isn’t about blame or about what you deserve (because no one deserves that crap), I want to inspire you to take a review of any repeating realities and look at them from a therapeutic standpoint.
One of my favorite quotes, because it’s just SO true is from Christine Langley-Obaugh: “We repeat what we do not repair.”
Remember, you make up 50% of any relationship or experience, and unless you bring any unconscious, unresolved material around past betrayals and trust up into your awareness, you can’t handle it.
3. Stay Present
While I want you to learn from the past, I also want you to focus on staying present. Often when it comes to trust issues, we can have a tendency to continually ruminate or obsess about people that have hurt us or ways our trust has been broken in the past.
Start with being mindful of how often you are reliving these painful experiences by talking about them with others, ruminating about what you should or shouldn’t have said or done or thinking about what you might say if you got the opportunity.
It’s not only a block to building trust in the present – it’s also a waste of your amazing one-of-a-kind life!
Staying present is a skill that takes practice, and if you know me at all, you know I am a big fan of creating a dedicated, simple daily meditation practice to help you with this. For me, it increases my response time, allowing me to take a breath within a charged or reactive moment.
4. Set Clear Boundaries + Practice Clear Communication
Setting clear boundaries and communicating your preferences early and often in every area in your life is SO important…especially when it comes to flexing your trust muscle in a healthy way.
When you don’t communicate your boundaries, people will make assumptions, project their own preferences and often “get it wrong.” Over time, this ineffective communication dance creates resentment. You might assume that the other person’s behavior is intentional, that they are simply selfish, withholding or cold when maybe they honestly just don’t know how you feel or what your preferences are. Not speaking up can set the relationship up to fail you and set you up for more broken trust.
When you set boundaries and positively assert yourself by regularly sharing your preferences, desires, and limits, you lay the foundation for reciprocal and trusting relationships and here’s the thing…it’s never too late to learn this skill. I’m hosting a free Live Workshop series this month called Boundary-Palooza (woohooo!) and if this is something you want to work on, I would LOVE if you joined us. It all starts on September 10th, ladies and you can sign up right here.
5. Commit to Self-Mastery
Part of self-mastery is deeply knowing yourself and taking the time to uncover and understand why you feel and interact with others the way you do. You can journal about your relationship to trust and any significant experiences.
This is about knowing, understanding and honoring YOUR story. If we don’t seek self-knowledge, it’s very easy to set ourselves up to stay in those unfulfilling or painful repeating realities around trust. It’s only when you become aware of your deep truths that you can decide to do something differently.
So grab your journal, make some space and write it all out. It can also be helpful to write letters (even if you don’t send them) to people that have broken your trust in the past. Be brave and willing to look at your 50% of these experiences, because that is how you become empowered to build more trust and stop unconsciously attracting untrustworthy people.
6. Take a Self-Trust Inventory
I have found with my clients over the past 20 years that the people who have the biggest trust issues often have the LEAST trusting relationship with THEMSELVES.
So what does that look like? It means having the “disease to please” others and being a high-functioning codependent often leads us to abandon ourselves to be of service to someone else. When that happens, we break our trust with ourselves.
If this resonates with you and you’re always last on your own list you might be experiencing self-trust issues. Remember, YOU set the bar for how everyone else in your life treats you, so if you can’t keep a promise to yourself…why should anyone else, right?
I’ve included some questions in the guide to help you take this little self-trust inventory because I want to empower you to make choices for your highest self and get some clarity. You can download your healing guide here now.
I hope this episode of The Terri Cole Show and the healing guide inspire you to want to understand and trust yourself more because it all starts with you.
If you like this episode or it speaks to you, please share it on your social media platforms. Together we can create the most massive positive ripple this world has ever seen! That is what I’m all about and I know you’re about it too, so share the trust-building love!
I hope you have an amazing week. Thank you for spending time with me and as always, take care of you.
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.