Live with trust
Over the next few weeks, Global Warrior’s will be releasing a series of articles exploring trust in the 21st Century: trust with ourselves, trust with others and trust in the wider world. Trust is the basis around which all of our human relationships revolve and when trust is high, our interactions flow with sensitivity, efficiency and ease.
So, how might a high capacity for trust help us to navigate our lives in today’s rapidly changing world? And how might it bring more depth and meaning to our lives? In this article we take it right back to the start and focus on ourselves. Because if you can’t trust yourself why should anyone trust you? Biba Binotti investigates…
I recently discovered the feeling of comfortably uncomfortable. That paradoxical moment of feeling comfortable with the simultaneous feelings of awkwardness and fear. I found myself on all fours, blindfolded in a rather edgy workshop that was really pushing my boundaries. This was my first experience of Tantra so I had no safe reference. I was in a room full of strangers and was being led by a teacher whom I’d not worked with before. Yet, in spite of the overwhelm of vulnerability, something inside me was telling me to keep going. I made it to the ‘other side’- stronger and unscathed- because I trusted myself. I trusted that I knew how to navigate the situation because I recognised the power of listening to myself.
“self-trust is a daily practice and something that I’ll be ….. striving towards for the rest of my life.”
Yet, this wasn’t always the case. Looking back, I can see how a lack of self-trust and a lack of self-listening has led me to bad business decisions, self-destructive relationships and poor health. So, what’s changed? Well, it’s important to point out that self-trust is an endless discovery. You never arrive: you just keep discovering and learning more about yourself and living from that place. Which is why self-trust is a daily practice and something that I’ll be struggling with and striving towards for the rest of my life. The difference is that now I have some simple strategies in place to help with the striving…and thriving. In an uncertain and volatile world, the certainty that you can fully rely on is yourself. So, in this article I am go to share 4 strategies I use to strengthen inner trust.
1. Looking over past patterns
“Cease trying to work everything out with your mind. It will get you nowhere. Live your intuition and let your whole life be Revelation”
’m sure many of you have experienced similar signals in relationships. All the signs were there, but somehow you didn’t see them. Or act on them. And on some level, you knew something was wrong but your logical, left-brain rationale talked you out of it. And you know what? That’s okay. It might have been what you needed at that time. And what you needed to get you to where you are today. We are human and we develop and grow because of our so called ‘failures’. It’s why toddlers learning to walk just keep picking themselves up and trying again.
“Whole Person Intelligence … leverages your whole brain (left and right), your whole body and your energetic awareness…..”
So, let’s forget the idea of failures and consider all of our experiences- good or bad- as life lessons. What happened? And what can I learn? When we look back objectively over our past experiences we can access what we call in Conscious Leadership, our Whole Person Intelligence (WPI), in order to change our future patterns. WPI leverages your whole brain (left and right), your whole body and your energetic awareness. From this place we can live and love with more awareness, flexibility and forgiveness in order to grow and evolve with each experience and encounter. I couldn’t have imagined myself saying this 10 years ago but I am now genuinely grateful for each of those so-called ‘destructive’ relationships and interactions because I recognise that they’ve brought me to where I am today. I’m now in a healthy relationship, which is built on a solid sense of self-trust. Yes, I trust my partner. But that was only possible because I learnt to fully trust myself.
It’s all too easy to mistrust this internal wisdom when almost everything in our world is telling us to do the opposite. We face a daily bombardment of noise from external resources telling us what we need to do/think/say/have, that it’s not surprising that our internal intelligence is being overlooked and forgotten. Nutrition is one of clearest examples of how we neglect to listen to what I am going to call the Body Brain, the system that offers live updates on how we are physically feeling (as opposed to how we think we are feeling). Your body is on your side. It wants to make you better and it wants to keep you fit and healthy. But more often than not we turn to an external resource for help or advice before consulting the world within.
In a society that places so much value on cognitive intelligence it’s not surprising that the Body Brain often gets overlooked. Sir Ken Robinson spent his life challenging the schooling system and argued that “Education needs to address the world around our learners but also the world within our learners.” The world within. The world that we so often forget to listen to in the “age of distraction” (Pico Iyer). Perhaps this is why three times as many people are dying of obesity than starvation and why “sugar is now deadlier that gunpowder”? (Yuval Noal Harari). But what if we were to reverse this and consider our overconsumption of sugar not as a cause- but as a symptom? A symptom of disconnection and unconsciousness. And a symptom of mistrust.
I am fully aware of how difficult it is to listen to the body, particularly in regards to dietary health. Five years ago, I went on my first 7-day juice retreat. Having been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, I was eager to reset my relationship with my Body Brain and I hoped that the retreat would offer me the space I needed to really listen to my body’s signals. After a few days I became aware of how much my brain was overriding the signs my body was giving me, often completely taking over and even wrongly labelling sensations. My brain might have been telling me “I want a pizza” but, what my body was really craving and needing was an early night! The retreat worked so well for me because it gave me the space to stop, listen and align myself with what my body needed, instead of allowing the 3 pounds of muscle in my scull (and with that, all of my conditioned and unchallenged beliefs) to dictate when and what the other 98% of my body should eat!
3. Creating Space
In his new book, ‘The World Beyond Your Head: How To Flourish In An Age of Distraction, Matthew Crawford describes silence as a “luxury good.” He argues that in a world of constant distraction and noise, silence and space have become rare commodities reserved for the few who can afford it. You only must consider the difference between the airport terminal and the business class lounge. One is an overwhelm of people, signs, shops and sounds whereas the business lounge offers a calming, peaceful retreat away from the crowds, typically plain, simple and advertisement free.
“you can- and should- be your own friend. And as with any good friendship, it requires a lot of love and listening.”
It’s much easier to find focus when there is less distraction and more space. But as our world becomes ever more digitalised, connected and constant these spaces are becoming far and few between. Many of us keep our digital devices with us at all times- in our pockets and by our beds- that it’s not surprising that we are struggling to find space. A space where we can fully focus on a piece of work or a person. But also, a space where we can tune in to how we are feeling. The moments where we build our relationship with ourselves to develop the deep bonds of trust that come from fully formed friendships. Yes, friendship because you can- and should- be your own friend.
And as with any good friendship, it requires a lot of love and listening. How regularly do you check in with yourself? I hear and say “How are you?” multiple times a day and yet I rarely direct that question inwards. Which is why it is so important to create time for yourself, in whatever way works for you. You might do this by meditating, practicing yoga, painting, or as I like to do- running. While I meditate for 10 minutes each day, some of my most meditative and self-reflective states are found on a long run. So, it’s not about what you do, or when you do it. It’s just that you do it. Make time to consciously tune out the world in order to tune in to yourself because self-care isn’t selfish: it’s nurturing and growing the friendship and trust you have with yourself.
My final piece of advice is to accept that building trust with yourself sometimes takes time. If you’ve been doubting your own wisdom for most of your life, then it’s unlikely that a deep sense of trust will develop overnight. And accept that there will be many more moments of mistrust. It’s not like climbing up a ladder, falling off and having to start again. Building trust with yourself is, in many ways, a spiral inward. There will be moments of trust and mistrust, causing you to spiral up or down, but you will always be moving inwards as you evolve and grow.
So, as hard as it sounds: trust in trust!
Best wishes and much love