Trust??? What Does it mean???

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From my observations of working with people, it seems that nobody really understands trust.

What does it mean to trust?

Most people leave reality and go to fantasy land (where everything is perfect) when they think of trust.  Instead of dealing with what is so, they pretend that things are the way they want them to be.

Let me give you an example from my own life.  Many years ago my wife and I bought a fixer-upper house that we were going to fix up and then sell.

Our contractor, Steve, repeatedly over promised and under delivered, lied to us and did poor quality work.

Instead of dealing with reality and firing him, I went to trust fantasy land.  This is a place where Steve really was a good guy, he would come around and treat us right, he would start doing what he said, he would get the job done well, on time and on budget.

Of course, none of this happened. Steve continued to be who he had shown himself to be.  I continued to have headaches, frustration and stress over this project.  And, instead of making money on this venture we lost money.

I see this all the time.  Instead of dealing with reality people go to trust fantasy land.  The consequences of going to trust fantasy land are usually painful.

So then, What does it mean to trust?

There’s an old Chinese proverb:  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

This saying captures what it really means to trust.

Trusting means paying attention and observing what is there.  People are creatures of patterns, programs and habits.  They will show you who they are and what they do over and over.

Genuine trust is trusting that person to be true to their habits and patterns, to expect them to repeat what they have already done.  Then processing this and asking yourself, "Does this work for me?"

If I had done this with Steve, I would have realized that he was going to continue to break his word, over promise and do poor quality work.  Then if I had asked myself if this works for me, the answer would have been "OF COURSE NOT!" and I would have fired him.

(Boy I wish I could have a do-over on that project!)

This is also true for self-trust.  We should expect ourselves, we should trust ourselves, to be true to our own patterns, programming and habits.

If you procrastinated today, you should trust yourself to procrastinate tomorrow.  Then instead of beating yourself up because you are a "bad person who procrastinates", you end up just dealing with reality – "Oh, I’m being true to my patterns and am procrastinating again."

Ironically, dealing with what is makes it easier to change because it removes pressure.

Life gets easier when we deal with reality, when we deal with what is, and then make decisions based on that.  Trust others and yourself to be true to patterns, programs and habits and your life will get easier.

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