I will admit when I first read #4 on the list of “15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently,” I automatically read “Trust Versus Distrust” instead. It took me a minute to read the d-word that was actually written – “doubt.”
The dictionary definition of distrust basically says that when we distrust, we “have no confidence in” or “regard as dishonest.” When we doubt, we “have a lack of conviction” or “hesitate to believe.”
So distrust is basically doubt in a hurry.
And while it may not seem like a big step to go from doubt to distrust, that tiny window of hesitation is what allows trust the chance to apply for our consideration.
Probably my favorite line from the “15 Powerful Things” article on this segment is: “They [happy people] understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race.”
So many great people – Mark Twain, Marianne Williamson, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and others – have worked, laid down their lives even, to attempt to level the playing field between surface differences and give trust a chance to take root, bloom and grow.
I feel that I owe them – owe others – owe myself – the effort to do the same.
Conveniently, I happen to reside in a neighborhood that offers new opportunities to trust on a moment-to-moment basis. With the CEOs and the homeless, gays and straight folks, the old and the young, affluent and struggling, male and female, black and white (and every shade in between) all occupying the same block in practically every block of my community, it is easy to come face to face with doubt, distrust, and also the option to extend trust whenever I step out my door.
It is not an easy thing, I have discovered. And trusting ME is the hardest step of all. My mentor and I are working a lot on this very issue right now, and it seems to require endless back-in-time visits to a less trustworthy me by a present-day-me who still doesn’t want to trust her.
Awkward….to say the least.
But I am giving it my best effort in the only way I know how – to slowly, incident by opportunity, convert distrust into doubt, and in doing so offer trust enough of my own trust so that it might have a chance to change my mind.
Today’s Takeaway: If you, too, struggle with being able to distrust others or yourself, would it help to allow yourself to feel some doubt instead of an immediate distrust? It may be helpful to start in an area where you feel less afraid of being wounded again, working your way back to the really hard stuff so that when you get there you have more confidence you can win out over your own distrust in a way that feels both safe and empowering.