Have you ever noticed how this word is everywhere? It finds its way into everything from ad campaigns, to getting a haircut (girls you understand this one), to halftime pep talks… and it just so happens to be the central quality of every lawyer’s favorite relationship – “the fiduciary”. (What do you mean that’s not every lawyer’s favorite kind of relationship?)
Anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about this word lately and how trust (or the lack of it) impacts my relationships with myself and others, my ability to achieve my goals, and my ability to truly LIVE my life.
I’ve had a lot of trouble BELIEVING in myself in the past. In the last couple of weeks, however, I’ve realised something else. The reason I had trouble believing in myself and really BEING MYSELF, was that I had somewhere along the way stopped TRUSTING in myself. I didn’t trust that what I had to say was valuable so I would stay quiet, I didn’t trust that others would like me if I was ME so I wasn’t always me, and I didn’t trust that I could keep a promise to myself.
I broke promises to myself so many times I started to believe that I needed external motivation and accountability to DO anything. Bulimia was the big one. I promised myself this was the last time over and over, until deep down I didn’t believe there would ever be a last time. But it also affected other areas of my life. I didn’t trust in my own worth. I didn’t believe I could have anything brilliant or uniquely valuable to offer the world, and so I didn’t look within myself for it, and when it would try to escape I would hide it. I played small and followed a path that was not truly mine. I stopped DREAMING BIG.
Not trusting myself also affected my ability to trust in others. I could not really believe that others would accept me or love me with all my imperfections. If I couldn’t trust myself to keep my own promises, to believe in myself, and treat myself well, how could I ever trust anyone else to? So I rarely let anyone in, not REALLY in, anyways. I would often see people as obstacles in between me and my goals, rather than potential partners or friends.
I know I’ve come a long way from that girl. I’ve found many things that I am passionate about, I’ve taken risks, and I now make promises to myself and trust in myself to keep them. I have trusted all of you with some of my deepest fears and secrets on this blog and I’ve taken a stand for what I believe in. I can honestly say most days I am truly ME!
And yet some days I still see that girl. 'She' shows up when I meet someone new and they ask me the inevitable question “what do you do?”, and I talk about only my law job as I don’t immediately have the courage talk about the things I am passionate about (luckily I have AMAZING friends who BELIEVE in me – and in those moments will describe my endeavors, using the word ‘awesome’ many more times that I would have myself – so GRATEFUL).
'She' also shows up in my relationships in more subtle ways. In not sharing a new idea, or a project I am working on, with someone unless I get some sort of indication that they will not judge me negatively or use the information to take advantage of me in some way. And I still have trouble letting someone in too close because I don’t yet fully trust myself to stay true to myself. I fear that ‘they’ will discourage or distract me from pursuing my passion and from being ME.
'She' isn’t ME. She is who I am when I’m afraid to be ME, when I'm afraid to trust in BEING ME. And I can happily say that these interactions are becoming increasingly rare. As one friend wisely put it, I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin.
But I’m not quite there. And in fact I think I will be 'not quite there' my entire life. But that's OK, because there’s no such thing as ‘getting there’ (or being perfect) and I’m going to continue on this journey of becoming by BEST SELF for my entire life.
And right now, I’m challenging myself to trust. So if you see me out there being EVEN MORE EXCITED about this Trash Your Stress project and LIFE in general, that’s just me trusting in MYSELF, and taking a leap of faith and trusting that you will allow me the space to be ME.
Writing this post took a lot of TRUST…a lot of trust that we have some common ground...that maybe you too have struggled with trusting yourself and can relate and find what I’m saying valuable...that you won’t think I’m crazy, or think “I hate all this mushy stuff. Why doesn’t she just keep writing about AWESOME new law firms?” (and I will by the way…next week!)
But I’m writing about TRUST because I think the mushy stuff is ESSENTIAL to living LIVES that we LOVE, and INEXTRICABLE from the actions we take in our LIFE. If we don’t truly know who we are, and TRUST in that person, the potential to do AMAZING things is greatly diminished.
So I’m writing this post.
“She” is sitting beside me freaking out, but I don’t care.
This is ME. And I’m gifting my trust to YOU.
Here’s to trusting in our GREATEST SELVES.
Here’s to TRUST.