Cultivating Trust is Essential for Wholehearted Living
I recently watched a TED talk on this important topic and I thought I’d share my insights in this month’s blog post. Let me start by stating emphatically that I believe we all have the ability to cultivate trust in our personal and professional lives by being aware of three factors, namely:
- How we communicate our thinking (logic) to others,
- Whether we are willing to be truly authentic in our engagements with others, and
- Whether we are willing to take the risk and demonstrate true empathy towards others.
For me these really are the pillars of building trust when we experience empathy, feel that we are being heard and are able to communicate our views without fear of being judged. The question is how often do we create safe spaces where our families, friends and colleagues feel that we trust them on the one hand and that they can trust us on the other?
In the absence of these three qualities, a feeling of “I am not good enough” or “I am not worthy” may be very prevalent for many of us, or we may feel the need to emotionally disconnect in order to protect the essence of who we are. I’ve learnt that the ability to foster an environment where I could be trusted is essential for others to feel safe, comfortable and to share more of who they are. I’ve also recognized that the simplest way for me to achieve this in my life is to just ‘show up’ and remove the mask. Now I’m not advocating that this will work for everyone (because we are all on our unique spiritual journeys), however I truly value relationships and it’s important for me to connect with others. It’s because of this need to connect, that I intentionally take the risk to be vulnerable and I believe it’s the gateway to building trust.
As I share more about myself you will come to appreciate that I often refer to Brené Brown’s work. You may recall that I referred to her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” in my first blog post. I’m intrigued by Brenés work for many reasons, most notably because amongst her many roles as wife, mother, social worker, researcher, storyteller and business owner, she continues to research the human condition. Brené builds and tests her theories by conducting interviews with willing participants and in this manner her theories are also validated. It’s also become very apparent to me that there are always opportune moments for us to build trust with others and in this way also create a safe space for others to invite us into their world.
As I end this blog post I encourage you to be courageous and to share aspects of yourself with others without the fear of being judged. I’ve learnt that when I had the courage to show up in this way, it paves the way for some of the most meaningful conversations. I am also empowered to stand in my truth even if I didn’t necessarily agree with a particular view, but because I valued the relationship more than being right, I could respectfully disagree and stand in my integrity.