In my previous post, I discussed the five circles of trust and the five domains of trust. The core circle, self trust, is the foundation for your personal success, as well as for your ability to build trust in the other circles.
I love this quote by Golda Meir because she reminds us that we should not try to “find ourselves”. We must work to “create ourselves”. She challenges us to be the person we want to become, a person of high character and high achievement. And, she reminds us that we are stuck with ourselves….hopefully for a long time…..so we better create somebody that we like to be with.
So what does self trust look like in the five domains of trust?
Competence: Building personal competence through continuous learning with an open mind is putting fuel on your “tiny, inner sparks of possibility”. Learning, not just in the academic sense, but from everyday experiences, gives you the tools to succeed. Practice living mindfully to be present in the moment and expand your awareness. When your personal competence is high, your “gut feelings” or intuition will be well grounded and will be a foundation for strong decision-making. Next time you have a tough decision to make, write down your immediate intuitive decision before you do any research and put that in a drawer. Now complete the investigation and compare your studied answer to your gut feeling. How good is your gut?
Integrity: We each have personal values that guide our decision-making. Personal integrity is acting in accordance with those personal values even when it is hard to do. It’s walking the talk. Write down the five values that you live by and keep that piece of paper always within view. As you make decisions, ask yourself if the decision is in alignment with those values.
Openness: An individual who has self trust openly accepts themselves for who they are, really, without excuses. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is always right. Admit what you know. Admit what you don’t know. And, be sure you know the difference. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses. When I had my business I told all the employees I loved to watch Survivor. Every Thursday I hung out at the coffee machine and started a conversation about the show. I’m really not addicted to reality TV, but by asking the employees what they thought about the participants and the decisions they made we opened up conversations about behavior, trust, strategy, and loyalty. The show became a vehicle for open conversation about deep subjects.
Benevolence: Sometime we think that to be benevolent means to take care of someone else to the exclusion or detriment of ourselves. Wrong. It’s just like the airline safety crew tells you…if you are traveling with a dependent, put your oxygen mask on first then help others. Take care of yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Then as a whole and complete person you can effectively extend benevolence to others. What are you doing right now to be kind to yourself.
Shared Vision: It sounds a bit funny to talk about sharing your vision with yourself, doesn’t it? But have you taken the time to determine and commit to your personal goals? These are the goals that will bring you personal fulfillment and meaning. It is telling yourself that you will do something then following through. Write your personal vision and mission statements. Commit to them.
What will you look like when you have self trust? Like an individual who is the person you want to be, whose self assessment and self esteem are in balance. Self assessment is your belief in your abilities. Self esteem is your feeling of self-worth or self-pride.
When these are in balance you have an accurate view of your strengths and weaknesses. You are open to new ideas and challenges. In addition, you are creative, collaborative, confident, and have high emotional intelligence. Furthermore, you are community-minded and you are responsible to self and others. Pretty good stuff!
So, Golda, I’m a work in progress! And really, aren’t we all?
Next in the series: Building Trust Bridges in Family & Organization Circles