Why do you find it so difficult to trust others? Why do you find it amusing when a child is honest and trusting? You were once like that child, completely trusting and honest with those around you. What has transpired from childhood to adulthood that now makes trusting others so difficult?
I have spoken with many people who have said they know they need to start trusting others, but they don’t know if they can. When I ask why, the typical answer is usually, “I am afraid others would judge me or not like me if they get to know the real me.” There is also the fear of letting others know that they are struggling.
Why do we find it difficult to trust others with who we are?
In pondering this question and after talking with many who struggle to trust others, I believe that while there are many things that contribute to the struggle of trusting others, at the core is the fact that we struggle to fully embrace who we are.
If you have trouble fully embracing all you are, you will certainly struggle with trusting others. When you live in shame and embarrassment of certain aspects of who you are then most certainly you will struggle to let others in. Perhaps you made a costly mistake; perhaps you have a physical trait that you don’t like about yourself; maybe you do not like something about the family into which you were born. Maybe you were mistreated and taken advantage off. Any number of things may be at the root of feelings of shame, embarrassment or pain in your life that could be the reason for you not wanting to trust others.
We tend to start with saying we can’t find trustworthy people while we are really afraid to let others know our true self. We struggle to trust because of the shame we feel about mistakes we have made, or we feel shame because of the actions of others – perhaps a family member or close friend – and how those actions have impacted our lives.
We are driven by societal pressure to appear perfect and we feel any show of weakness or flaw will mean we are not perfect. This pressure drives us to pretend all is well. This pretense leads us to conclude that we can’t find people we can trust because we want everyone around us to see us as perfect.
The key to finding people to trust is to first start with truly and fully embracing who you are. For some of us this will be a challenging and difficult thing, but it must be done if we will begin trusting others. Sure mistakes have been made; some of us have made mistakes that have left irreparable damage. No amount of saying “I’m sorry” or making restitution will ever repair the damage. In some cases, damaged has been done to you.
However, before you can trust others, you will first have to fully embrace your mistakes and see them for just that: poor choices with bad consequences. You will have to work through the pain others caused you as well. The good news here is that no one is without fault when it comes to having made poor choices, they later regret.
What you will discover as you truly and fully embrace who you are, is that you will be willing to share who you are with others. And when you start sharing who you truly are with at least one other person, you will realize you have begun to trust.
Trusting others is difficult because we struggle to embrace who we are. If you are struggling in this area, I want to encourage you to first start working on truly and fully embracing yourself. Start with trying to resolve the shame and embarrassment you feel toward yourself. Work on healing the pain you carry that was caused by others.
Only when you feel good toward yourself will you be willing to share yourself with others. And sharing who you are with others is what trusting others is all about.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.