believing in yourself and the process
For many, trust in oneself comes easily, is natural and assumed. For others, it is difficult to practice trust in a consistent, authentic manner. For those, trust is often worn as a mask of overconfidence. The executive in particular faces many challenging barriers to self-trust. The executive often experiences the pressure of needing to be perfect, ‘spot-on’ in all situations, a visionary and a task master 24/7. This leaves little room for errors or for even the slightest weakness. As a result, it can be difficult to express the need for other perspectives, even guidance from those he or she respects. Further, the executive’s position often becomes their very identity and their trust in that image along with its many expectations, can overwhelm their true self-trust. Another barrier typically built by the executive, is an insular circle of dependency comprised of individuals who cater to power for their own gain – i.e., “yes people”. Common signs of a lack of self-trust are revealed when we find ourselves trying to control others, feeling emotional swings towards anger, fear and self-doubt and experiencing constant fatigue.
Trust in others is a key component in leading people. It starts with trusting what you are feeling and reflecting that trust to others. When you are committed to practicing rigorous honesty with yourself, you will discover how contagious trust is. When you allow yourself to trust others, you will often find you are truly leading people, as opposed to managing people. You not only bring out the best in your team, but also allow yourself to grow by delegating tasks and even power to others. This powerful trust can take you on a vibrant, abundant path of growth.
“Trust in the process.” This can be a most powerful affirmation when applied to your life. It is also a concept frequently found in many spiritual (secular) teachings; some call it Karma, others the law of cause and effect. From a pragmatic business perspective, there are times when we fail; we may have no answers or understanding of why we failed and why we are tired and feeling pain. Through this, we learn acceptance, that “this too shall pass”. By understanding our part and our lessons in our failures, we become better leaders. By accepting there are situations and events that occur in life and in business that there are no immediate answers to – we learn we are powerless. By moving forward and walking into the pain, we discover what we need to become whole. This is “the process” in a business culture of trust.
“When I first engaged in the VIM exercises, I became aware of how fear and self- doubt were forces that were impacting my life to a much greater degree than I realized. As I gained more awareness in my self-actualization process, the fear and self-doubt, although not completely dissolved or eliminated from my life, began to exist more on the peripheries of my life, rather that at the center. I began to experience a freedom and joy that had not been fully in my life since my youth.
In working this exercise on “Trust”, I was truly amazed when I began to see the pattern and thread of trust I had developed for myself. Trust was the subtle, yet powerful weaving of so many of the components of the exercises together. I began to see how trust was an antidote to fear.
As I learned to trust my instincts, I regained a consistent confidence in my decision-making processes. This rather quickly evolved into a skill that in recent years was rather fabricated–collaboration. One of the challenges I created for myself as I became quite monetarily successful was my view of being the ‘Lone Ranger’ in complex problem solving; it was safe. Even though I had a good network and I would go to individuals, when necessary, ultimately I trusted only my skills and was not particularly excited about exposing my ideas and thoughts – I was not comfortable in being vulnerable. With my renewed confidence, I naturally began putting my ‘master mind’ principles to work and advanced into the ‘Design Thinking’ arena, where as a leader, I put together a collective of successful individuals with diverse business and academic backgrounds, who are skilled in problem solving and are invested in helping achieve a desired outcome. Above all, we, as a collective group thrive on being vulnerable – and have found that an amazing momentum can be created, based upon spontaneity, creativity, sharing and challenging one another. The foundation is trust.
There is one last aspect of trust that I would like to share. When I learned to trust my authentic self, put away my masks, I found I could genuinely practice gratitude, patience and openness to explore life and grow. I now truly understand the power of trust in stilling/training my mind to be awake and present to what is going on within me and around me.”
Denise B. CFO /Entrepreneur
Questions for Self-Exploration
The content, structure and flow of this exercise are designed to guide you in:
gaining clarity of what trust means to you
examining your trust in yourself, in others and in the process
learning how trust in yourself and others generates the courage to change and grow
applying this knowledge to support you in exploring your life’s path and opportunities