We are born with an amazing capacity to trust. We literally come out of the womb with an innate ability and need to trust others. We trust our parents to care for us, warm us up when we are cold, and feed us when we are hungry, and provide our basic needs.
No one taught us how to trust. There isn’t a workshop that babies attend or a book they read. I believe that it really is a core part of our DNA.
When trust is broken
But somewhere along the way, trust is broken.
A parent leaves.
A business partner burns you.
A spouse seeks love in another’s arms.
Your first employee is a flake who doesn’t live up to his hype.
A friend betrays you.
And often we utter words like, “I’ll never trust again.” Or, “I’ve lost the ability to trust anymore.”
I sympathize with those who say those words, but they are simply not sure.
As I took a swig of juice straight from the bottle at 6:00 this morning, it hit me that I was placing an immense amount of trust in Bolthouse Farms, the maker of the juice. I was trusting it to not be poisoned. I was trusting it to have exactly what it said it has in it. And the amazing thing is, that in thirty-four years of drinking juice and other beverages, not once has one of them been poisoned or tasted much different than what was promised.
In other words, I trust them each and every time.
Every time I get on a plane, I trust the pilot, the engineers, the air traffic controllers, and the hundreds of people responsible for making the flight happen. I do this despite high-profile crashes and other horror stories.
There are countless more everyday examples of how I choose to trust without even thinking about it.
And I make a choice every day to do the same with people.
Trust is a choice
Yes, I’ve been burned (and I’ve done plenty of burning). I’ve been betrayed, lied to, mistreated, and cheated. But by only a tiny fraction of the people I’ve encountered over the years.
So I choose to trust the next person.
I do this because the next person might be the missing piece in my life’s puzzle. The next person might be the key to my business exploding or might be a spiritual mentor.
Yes, I will probably get burned again. I don’t wish that on myself, but statistically, it’s probable. But when I look back at all of the hurt and loss caused by broken trust, it pales in comparison to all that I have gained by choosing to trust. So I play the percentages and continue to trust others.
What trust is not
Trust is not blind faith. Choosing to trust doesn’t mean letting your guard completely down. It doesn’t mean not to use common sense.
If your trust radar is blaring at you not to trust someone, go with your gut. Keep your guard up with that person or break off the relationship entirely. If your radar goes off with everyone you meet, you have a problem, but if rare, it’s probably accurate.
Trust is first given and then continually earned. Start with trusting a little and then allow that person to gradually earn more.
You can trust again. You have the ability, you’ve always had the ability, and you always will have the ability.
Today, choose to be free from suspicion, free from fear, and free from going it alone. Today, choose trust.
Have you allowed mistrust to hinder your success? How can you trust more today?