We all possess some level of this important emotion already. Even if there are trust issues currently in your life there are certain things that you can continue to trust. You trust that the sun will rise in the morning, you trust that the traffic will stay on the other side of the road when you are driving and you trust that you’ll have to pay your taxes.

Of course there are different levels and types of trust. There are trusts that we need for different context of our lives. If you go to a doctor, you have to trust that that doctor will give you the right medicines. When in a relationship it might be important to you to trust your partner will be faithful. If you jump out of a plane with a parachute you have to trust that it will open!

There is a great deal of external trust that human beings have. This is both useful and important to understand.

It is useful because the external trust allows us to continue with our day to day lives without worry about the sun falling out of the sky or our alarm clock failing to wake us up the next morning.

Having this external trust is important because it means that we can worry less and not concern ourselves about what might go wrong all the time.

Sometimes people’s external trust doesn’t work properly. They might start to have problems such as anxiety or OCD. When these problems show up, the person has doubt about things that in the past they had trusted. Instead of mentally ticking the box that says “That’s taken care of” they run images in their minds of the in-completion, of the act in some way becoming undone. They think of the worse case scenario and feel bad as in their mind they experience that worse case scenario.

External trust is important but it only fails when the internal trust is not working effectively too.

Internal trust, trusting in ones self could mean trusting your instincts and gut feeling. It could be related to having self-belief and self-confidence. If self-belief and self-confidence do not exist then it becomes a challenge to trust ones own thoughts, ideas, abilities and instincts. The evidence that an internal trust issue is occurring, may be that a lack of trust in the external world begins to occur. It is much easier for us to place the faults outside of ourselves than to look within.

If you have ever experienced lack of trust in a relationship, this was an internal trust problem too. Your point of reference (the partner or your internal voice in your head) said everything was ok and you were being daft but your gut feeling told you another thing. There was an inconsistency and this caused the feeling of lack of trust. But most people instead of focusing on and fixing the inconsistency, will place the blame upon their partner for their behaviour (external). The internal inconsistency needs to be rectified too or the mind may continue to seek evidence of the differences between the point of reference and the internal feelings again and again in the future. Your mind likes what is the same, but notices what is different. Unless you fix the internal trust issue you will continue to look for external evidence that the issue is still happening.

Quite often trust feelings comes from the gut feelings we have and not from our logic. There is usually something that has caused a lack of trust feeling to occur in the first place and even if the external cause is removed or happened long ago, a small similar trigger can cause the lack of trust feelings to resurface, despite a weighty logical argument.

Gut feelings will almost always override logic as we are more driven by emotion. Doing things that we know are logical but that go against our emotions can be done but will probably feel uncomfortable to do.

Knowing that the external world can (and will at times) let you down and fail you is part of challenging and strengthening your trust in it. However if your internal trust is functioning in a way that it only alerts you to relevant, current problems and is strong and produces self-belief and self-confidence, then the failing of the external world will be much easier to manage.

By Gemma Bailey

4 Replies to “Trust”

  1. Really interesting and has brought some thoughts together for me. It fits really nicely with the concepts behind the Leadership Programme I’m running at the moment.

  2. Gemma thanks for this timely article. We have clients arriving shortly (we work with couples and their relationship issues) where there is definitely an internal trust issue for him. This is manifesting itself on the rest of the world and particularly on her! We have some plans for the sort of exercises we might run to loosen his model of the world. The problem here is that his current model is always finding evidence to prove itself right, and of course ignoring evidence that proves it wrong. We need to get to the secondary gains and find something more positive for this ‘part’ to do in his life. We always work from the presuppositions of NLP and just know e has all the resources he needs and that his behaviour is driven by a positive intention, if only we can help him find it!!

  3. Thanks for your comment Nigel, it’s definitely true that looking for the reality he believes will continue to get verified for as long he keeps deleting everything else.

    Perhaps “part” of the problem is that in letting go of the current reality he is experiencing and accepting an alternative reality he is moving into an area of uncertainty.

    After all, you only really need trust in order to believe in that which is not definitely definite. Right now he is certain he is right and that certainty can provide a great deal of comfort. However the comfort he gains from his certainty is preventing him from experiencing the certainty in his relationship that he desires. So I’d say “lets find your certainty in the rightness of the relationship instead of being certain that something in the relationship isn’t right!”

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