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You have your own internal process about trust, much of which is based on past, negative experiences. In other words, you get burned, disappointed or hurt in life and then decide, "I'm not doing that again," and you put up barriers around yourself to keep you safe.
While this makes rational sense, it usually leaves you guarded, leery and insecure—unable to easily create meaningful and fulfilling relationships with people. The irony is that no matter how guarded you are, how thick the walls you put up or what you do to try to keep yourself from getting hurt and disappointed...it usually happens anyway.
One of my teachers said to me years ago, "Mike, you're living as though you're trying to survive life. You have to remember, no one ever has."
What if you granted your trust more easily? What if you were willing to make yourself vulnerable, to count on other people in a genuine and healthy way and to expect the best from others authentically? Michael Bernard Beckwith calls this being "consciously naïve," which may seem a little oxymoronic on the surface, but at a much deeper level is very wise and profound concept.
Will you get hurt? Yes! Will you be let down? Most certainly. Will people violate your trust? Of course. However, this will happen anyway—it's just part of life. Ironically, the more you are willing to grant your trust consciously, the more likely you are to create a true sense of connection, cooperation and collaboration in your life, relationships, families and teams—even if you feel scared to do so or it seems counterintuitive at times.
You'll almost always get what you expect in life. What if you start expecting people to be there for you, to do things that are trust-worthy and to have your back and your best interests in mind? As with just about everything else in life, it's a choice. As Albert Einstein so brilliantly stated, "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe."
I choose friendly—how about you?
Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Robbins is the author of the best-selling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. He and his work have been featured on ABC News and in Forbes, Ladies Home Journal, Self and many other publications.
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