> WHY WE DON’T TRUST
From a young age we give meaning to our experiences and largely we make a decision whether something or someone makes us feel safe because our primal instinct is to survive. That decision then guides our life as we navigate people and opportunities that come our way. That one decision made at a tender young age can have us miss out on incredible life experiences and relationships because we made a decision years ago that it would be unsafe or risky to go there.
For example, if we say what we really think and someone criticises us or shames us or laughs at us, that doesn’t feel good. So, it would be easy to make that mean that it’s not safe to speak our truth. And so we don’t trust ourselves to say what we really think because that feels dangerous and unsafe in some way. Over time we forget how to speak up. We are not allowing ourselves to build evidence to the contrary – that actually it is safe to speak your truth. That often when you do you can positively affect someone else’s life or inspire them or help them. Your voice can create a ripple effect or even a tidal wave of positive change. But you decided it’s not safe all those years ago and so you have not trusted your voice and missed out on so much. So has the world because your voice really does matter. That said, in some parts of the world and in some environments it is almost fact that it’s not safe to speak your truth – I get it. And yet, throughout history there are examples of people speaking up even when their life was in actual danger and they did it because despite the external danger, they trusted their message was true and important enough to risk everything for the sake of a bigger cause. The Suffragettes and Nelson Mandela immediately spring to my mind.
I remember when I was about 8 I wasn’t doing well at maths. I had a mean teacher who would single me out and make me stand up in front of the class and say my times table out loud and I couldn’t. I felt terrible shame and humiliation. I made it mean that it was painful and scary to stand up and speak in front of a group. It took me years and years to come out of my shell and be able to speak in front of an audience with confidence.
I remember I was in a dance group at school when I was about 11. A few of us gathered together to practice in the dance studio at lunch time. At one point I was in there alone and I started to freestyle dance and I felt amazing. Totally free, uninhibited and alive. I just went for it. And then I heard giggling. Some girls were spying on me from a window and I had no idea. I felt deep shame and embarrassment From that moment onwards I made the decision that it wasn’t safe to express myself physically. For years and years I was self conscious in my body. As I grew into my teen years, I was nervous on a dance floor – uptight and rigid. It was horrible. In the last 10 years I have started to loosen up. I am far more free and I love to express my body and feel safe in it.
I spent most of my life not trusting men. When I was about 7 my Dad left us for about 6 months. He went to live with another woman. Witnessing my Mum’s devastation and feeling responsible for her and my little sister had me make it mean that men cannot be trusted to stick around – that they will let you down and hurt you. That belief affected all of my relationships with men going forward. It even affected my relationships with women because I had experienced what I perceived to be another woman taking my Dad away from our family. I made that mean that women hurt other women because that woman hurt my Mum so deeply. Building trust with men was a long piece of work for me. I healed in stages and layers and then I met my man and married him last year. I have never trusted a man so deeply and it’s a profound experience to be able to. Day by day my marriage builds evidence for me that men CAN be trusted. And, my personal work right now is to strengthen my trust with women. It’s a work in progress and I have come a looooong long way with the evidence being a handful of deeply soulful, beautiful friendships with women and deeply trusting, honouring and inspirational relationships with my female coaching clients.
When my Mum committed suicide I was 22 and I made that mean that I wasn’t worth sticking around for. Through various other childhood experiences I decided I wasn’t enough and Mum’s death kind of cemented that as actual bonafide fact. I was not enough. I was not loveable. I also made it mean that life cannot be trusted. I felt incredibly unsafe and vulnerable in the world. I doubted there could be a God or a benevolent energy that was taking care of us – how could there be if Mum could be allowed to kill herself? And so my healing and transformation particularly within the last 10 years has been to come to a place of deep knowing that I am enough and that life is designed to support us. I know both of those things now to be true because I have built SO much evidence to prove it. That journey started with a willingness to believe it to be true and I healed my emotional scars and re-wired my beliefs with help from experts who do the kind of work I have gone on to do with my clients. We teach what we need to learn!
So that’s just four examples of experiences in my early years where I made something mean that I couldn’t trust myself or others. I wonder what you experienced at a young age that has affected your life up until now? And I wonder if you are ready to learn another way of doing life whereby you can start to build evidence that you CAN trust yourself and others and life.
> HOW TO TRUST
So, how do you learn how to trust yourself?
It’s about really really knowing yourself. It’s about making your relationship with you an absolute priority.
Regardless of real or perceived danger, when you really know yourself and what you think and feel you can for example make decisions about whether to speak or engage in a relationship on any level from a place of self honouring.
If your truth is to speak a message that can shift the consciousness of humanity the likelihood that you will be met with very real physical threat is probably quite high. At the very least, the verbal threat is almost guaranteed. When you really deeply know yourself, you know what your purpose is here in this lifetime and if that is to instigate or be a part of a wave of change, then you just know in your gut that you have no choice but to speak out loud.
The risk to speak is less than the risk to stay quiet because dumbing down is soul destroying when you know who you are.
You are here to be fully expressed and the route to that is self trust and that requires you to commit to having a relationship with yourself that is the most intimate relationship you have ever known. A relationship with a rock solid foundation gives you strength and courage. From that place anything is possible and you are able to heal any childhood experiences where you felt it wasn’t safe to trust another person or to speak your truth or dance your unique way!
> WHERE DO YOU BEGIN
Getting to know yourself is a journey and it starts with a willingness and commitment.
With regard to the practical steps, I take you through a step-by-step process in my book – ‘The Self-Love Affair – A Woman’s Guide To A Daring & Mighty Life’ (also relevant to men!). The book is available to purchase online either at Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Barnes & Noble or via our shop at The School of Self Love.