Years ago, when I was first making the transition from energy healer to coach, I became the client of a world-class coach, Tama Kieves, so I could experience first-hand how good coaching is done. She used to have a tagline for one of her online courses, named A Course in Trust, which went something like this:
“Trust would solve every problem right now.”
I remember my initial reaction to that was mixed. On an intuitive level I sensed she was hitting on a profound truth, but on a more practical level I wasn’t totally buying it – it seemed like a bold marketing statement more than anything else. I wasn’t sure how trust could solve the problems I was facing at the time.
Over the years, as I’ve grown and evolved as a person and a coach, I have realized how profoundly true her declaration actually was.
Imagine what your life would be like if you fully, deeply trusted yourself. No more second-guessing, no more self-criticism, no more harboring of resentment toward people who have let you down. You’d be at peace and open to possibility, knowing you have what it takes to navigate the ebbs and flows of Life with wisdom and courage.
This particular state of being is something I’ve observed in countless successful people, and in fact it’s a hallmark of what I call fulfilled success:
Self-trust. The happy, successful people trust themselves.
Yet many people do not trust themselves. As a teacher and mentor I’ve witnessed first-hand how often the quality of people’s lives is diminished by a lack of trust in themselves or in the inherent goodness of Life.
Time and again I’ve observed brilliant, talented and passionate people struggle with bringing their dreams to life, and at the core of their struggle is doubt – doubt in their abilities, doubt about getting the support they might need, doubt in being able to succeed in what they see as a competitive world – or, most fundamentally, doubt in their worthiness to succeed or be fulfilled in a way that really matters to them.
As someone trained to perceive our universe as energetic or vibrational, I can literally sense their doubt as a dense fog surrounding them. And that fog interferes with their ability to experience their innate talents, passion and joy. It also interferes with their ability to recognize that life is on their side and that the universe wants to thrive through them.
To me that is the essence of trust – knowing that, regardless of what is showing up in any given moment, this is fundamentally a loving, life-giving universe. Trust isn’t a concept. It isn’t a “thing” you can earn or give to someone – even to yourself. It is not a test you have to pass, or anything you have to prove. Trust is not simply hoping things will go well, nor is it trying to control or manage things to force a particular outcome.
Trust is an intention. It is, in the world of energy and vibration, a state of being or consciousness arising from that intention. It is a choice to perceive that life is on your side, and that you are worthy of all the good life has to offer.
When you’re living from that state of being, you invest your trust in…
- What you want
- What you love
- Your talents and gifts
- Moments of peace, clarity, inspiration
- Inner guidance
- Life itself
I see these elements as expressions of the Divine within us, but you could think of them as expressions of your highest or best self. So trust arises from a willingness to open to the highest and best, to the Divine, to Source, to God, to the Universe – however you wish to name it – and to be guided by it.
This was brought home to me vividly several years ago. I was contemplating whether to sell my house in order to reduce expenses, and had exhausted myself with all the what-if scenarios my accountant brain was attempting to model on an Excel spreadsheet. One of those options was to move out of my house into a lower-cost apartment, and rent my home at a price that would cover my mortgage and other owner-related expenses.
The scenario didn’t appeal to me at all, but it looked good on paper. I happened to mention it to a friend of mine and, lo and behold, within a week she called to tell me about a colleague of hers from Europe who would be working in the U.S. for several years and was looking for a home to rent that was close to downtown Wilmington. She thought my home would be perfect for him and his wife.
I was stunned. My first inner thought was, “But my home is perfect for me!” I felt immediate sadness and panic at the idea of moving from my beloved home, and regret for having mentioned the idea to her. Still I thanked her for wanting to help me and told her I’d think about it and get back to her.
After finishing the call I brought my attention into the present moment and focused on the task at hand, which was fixing my breakfast. I breathed gently through the tangle of emotions until they quieted down. I became still.
And then I experienced a moment of Grace.
I felt as if I was suddenly in a new dimension, even though I was still standing in my kitchen, fully alert and present. It was as if I was living and breathing in a velvet field of trust. It was extraordinary. I felt more deeply at peace than I’d ever felt in my life, and in that profound peacefulness a single thought emerged: “This is my home.”
I knew my decision was made. I would stay in my home and focus on growing my business rather than trying to wring a few more dollars out of my monthly budget. And so I did. I chose to trust what I loved and what I truly wanted.
This is how we bring trust to life. It becomes an ongoing series of choices in what we trust. I learned that the moments of peace and clarity we have, like the one I had in my kitchen, are the moments we can and should trust if we want to live awake and inspired lives.
I’ll be the first to admit that trusting in those moments of exquisite peace and clarity can be challenging because they are infrequent. It’s easy to dismiss them as random or isolated incidents or maybe even to think we imagined them. Yet those moments are like a sparkling trail of diamonds, leading us one by one to even greater treasure.
The more we invest our trust in those moments, the more of them we have. I always tell clients, when they experience a moment of insight or clarity, to take a step in that direction. Any step. I encourage them to do something, however seemingly small, to demonstrate trust in that moment. It could be as simple as writing it down so as not to forget the potency of the insight. If and when the fog of doubt rolls in again, I tell them to be still until it clears.
This is how we learn to trust ourselves. We intend it, and when that intention inspires a moment of clarity, we acknowledge that moment. We step into it. When doubt rolls in, we pause. Over and over again – clarity, step forward, doubt, pause. A bit of a dance, to be sure.
As is all of life. You’ll do yourself a huge favor if you decide to dance with it rather than sit on the sidelines in doubt. And even if you don’t yourself consider yourself to be a good dancer, let me reassure you with one of my all-time favorite lines spoken by Billy Crystal years ago on Saturday Night Live:
Dancing is like standing still…only faster.
You can do it. Decide to trust yourself. Decide to trust Life. Take one step forward and begin your dance.