5 Steps to Building Trust
The iridescent sunset had just peered over the horizon sending its faith and trust into a new day. My wife and I had just moved into our new home where a painter was near completion of his painting duties. This respectful and diligent young man approached me with a sincere request for grace. His story of financial challenges, sent an emotional charge and longing to assist him. With his promise to return the following day, I granted him early payment. He would never return, each passing day reminded me of my poor sense of judgement.
Yes, I had been incredibly naïve. But do we have to jump to the conclusion that we live in a world of liars and thieves, that we cannot trust anyone? Trusting is a bet. Each time we trust we show vulnerability. If we confide in a friend, partner, or the world we can be throttled. Sadly, it can and does work this way. However, the alternative is much worse. By not trusting anyone and not putting anything on the line, we can’t expand.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, every act of trust carries with it fear. Being aware and accepting of the fact that life is insecure, we’re exposing optimism. Despite all the traps and frustrations, optimism can be built off this knowing. Our desire to trust is inherent. We expect that each day goes off without a hitch. However, if we could be certain of everyone and everything, trust would not have any value. I can’t help but think that uncertainty is our reminder that something much grander is in charge. Would we grow without uncertainty? Despite the fear and cost that this brings, do we still take the risk?
Think of a baby, asleep in its mother’s arms, in that blissful state. In the first years of life, either basic trust or distrust is embedded into that child’s life. A huge parental responsibility that lays a foundation for another’s life. A child depends on the prolonged care and protection of their parents. With this dependence a child doesn’t have to worry about their survival, and is free to play and learn more than at any other time in their lives. Having this awareness should allow us to embrace and represent this power. I’ll discuss five steps to building our trust muscle, in hopes that we can bring trust into other’s lives.
By telling your story, you will begin to paint a clear picture of what your about. This is your opportunity to become relatable and connect on a very personal level. Don’t make the mistake of telling people what you think, they want to hear.
Inconsistency eliminates trust. Once you’ve gone over that bridge, you’ll have a hard time repairing it. For many people, being undependable shows a lack of respect towards them.
Being accessible to people show a high level of respect and appreciation for their place in your life. By handling this properly, you can build a relationship without feeling a sense of over-accessibility.
Being relatable and showing your “humanness” is a favorable trait. Imperfections and acceptance of them, builds a strong bond in your relationship.
Having a track record of trust with others, builds your support beam. We all know that trust will be broken on occasion. However, it’s your allowance of risk that builds a support beam that can be built no other way.
To place trust in someone is like giving a gift. When you trust a six-year-old to carry a hot cup of coffee, lend a friend a book, confide a secret to a friend, you are giving the gift of trust, your non-verbally saying: “you can do it”. The gift of trust is a statement about your relationship with them. It empowers the other person and expands his or her possibilities.
I hope that these 5 steps lead to un-wavered faith along your journey. We’ve been given the opportunity to positively influence others along their path, keep doing your thing. I wish you the proper support and discipline to contribute to the greater good. Being my own work in progress, I’ll continue to hone the best out of myself in hopes that I can serve.
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