When my [then] boss asked me to write one of the Weekly Messages about trust, I told him I couldn’t write about that. He stopped and looked at me in astonishment — I had never said that, no matter what topic, or what farfetched combination of topics, he threw at me. There is no trust in me, I thought. So how could I write a message about it. But I couldn’t let him down, and I actually could see our employees’ need for that message.
Feeling like I was doing an exercise in hypocrisy, I wrote the message about Trust. Along the way I remembered what I’ve already told you. In composing encouraging words for the staff, I was also encouraging myself. Here’s the message.
Do you think it’s important to be able to trust the people around you? Your managers? Your coworkers? Of course it’s important. I know it can fray our sense of trust when things are in a continuous state of change – but that makes it even more important to have trust.
Maybe sometimes you feel like you just can’t summon up another little bitty crumb of trust – is that you? Well, stop and think about it. Every day we exercise all kinds of trust, from the minor details of our daily routines to “major trust events.” For instance, if you travel, do you put trust in the person flying the plane? I’ll go ahead and call that one a major trust event. When you get in your car and head home, do you trust the traffic lights to be working properly – so that they aren’t green at all directions? How many times a week are you in that situation? When you get home and put your key into the lock, do you have any doubt that your door will open? When you get out of bed in the morning, do you trust that the floor is still going to be where it belongs when your feet touch down?
There, do you see? You exercise trust all the time. So why not put a little more trust in the folks around you? While you’re at it, put some more trust in yourself! Trust in your own abilities and accomplishments; in your ability to learn and grow. Trust that you are capable of reaching your goals.
Sometimes having trust has unexpected results. When I knew that I needed to write this message to you about trust, to be honest, I couldn’t think of where to even begin. I decided to sleep on it. Then I got up the next morning and noticed that a book had almost fallen from its shelf. I couldn’t figure out how it got that way. So instead of just pushing it back into place, I picked it up and started looking through it. Then I found a little passage about trust. Here’s the part that got my attention:
“Trust is a feeling of confidence or conviction that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity. We may not always understand what is happening to us, or to another, or what is occurring in a particular situation; but if we trust ourselves, or another, or we place our trust in a process or an ideal, we can find a powerful stabilizing element – embracing security, balance, and openness within the trusting, which, in some way (if not based on naiveté) intuitively guides us and protects us from harm or self-destruction…” Jon Kabat-Zinn
I liked that. It felt right to think of trust as a feeling of confidence; to think of trust as simply believing that things could do what they’re supposed to do, and in the right way. If the negative self-talk takes over, then we are in danger of convincing ourselves that nothing can turn out the way it should. That kind of attitude can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. But if you trust that the floor is going to be beneath your feet when you stand up, you’ve already started your day with confidence that it can go the way it should.
So you can see now that you’re using trust all the time. Does that realization help you see that you can work on and improve your capacity for trust? Developing your trust can help you reach long term goals, and it can just help you get through the day. Okay – I trust that everyone will have a great weekend. Do something that enriches you. Do something that helps someone else. Do something fun.