BIG QUESTION: Do You Trust You?
It doesn’t surprise any of us as leaders that it’s necessary to have the trust of the people who follow us in order to influence them. When asked about what they want in a leader most people will say something to the effect of “integrity” they want honesty, sincerity and authenticity. We know that leadership is influence and in order to influence others they must trust us.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
– STEPHEN R. COVEY
Our culture and society seems to continually preach the message that we have to do “whatever it takes” to succeed. Which in modern terms means, lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate. However this kind of success leads to major problems including a culture of distrust and worse, possible jail time. It just doesn’t work long term, and isn’t real success. People, no matter what they have experienced, still want their leaders to be honest. They want their leaders to be credible.
HOW DO WE BECOME CREDIBLE TO THOSE WHO FOLLOW US?
Know the Characteristics of Credibility:
Honesty – Just tell the truth. Not partial truth. Not a “version” of the truth. The actual upfront truth. When we are consistently honest, it gives us credibility. Which leads to the next characteristic of credibility.
Consistency – Be consistent. Let your words and your actions match. Be the same person in every situation. Be able to be counted on.
Accountability – Surround yourself with wise counsel, and make yourself accountable to them. Anyone who is honest and has pure motives is not afraid or averse to accountability, they welcome it.
I think as leaders, we all know this. We don’t want to follow a manipulator, cheater, or liar. We want to follow someone we can, with good conscience, believe in.
The Big question today however, is…
DO YOU TRUST YOU?
You may ask, “why does that matter?” It matters because before you can lead someone else, you have to be able to lead yourself, and if you don’t trust you, then why should anyone else?
I work with people, who often times are trying to reach or attain goals, and for whatever reason they get stuck. One reason, and they may not consciously realize it, is they don’t trust themselves.
Example of trust: If you were trying to coach someone, and you set up an apppointment to meet them at a coffee shop, and they show up but you don’t, the first time, they will likely assume the best, and think, “something must have happen, they wouldn’t have just not shown up.” So you realize you forgot and you call them, and you say, “I am so sorry, it won’t happen again, can we set another appointment?” They say, “sure.” So you make another appointment but you forget again, and they are stood up again. Now they’re wondering, does this guy really care. You set another, you miss another, now its not worth it. They stop showing up, because you have made it abundantly clear….YOU ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY.
I give that as an example because we have all experienced a person who can’t be trusted. They can’t be counted on. It is one of the more frustrating things in working with people. You want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but burn me once shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.
So, if being inconsistent and regularly not showing up, puts others in a position where they can’t trust you, wouldn’t that same kind of behavior, work the same way, with yourself?
How many times do we find ourselves setting goals and then not achieving them? It’s like setting an appointment with yourself and not showing up. We’ve all done this from time to time. For example if you’re trying to lose a certain amount of weight and you make a plan to exercise and eat a certain way, but you get distracted or stressed and you default back into old habits. Isn’t that the same as not showing up? So, what happens is, you stop trusting yourself. You get in that downward spiral of distrust. You become hopeless because you have a pattern of not being trustworthy with yourself. You come to a point where you set a goal and it doesn’t take long before your saying in your mind, I really want that goal, but I know I’m not going to do what is necessary.
Many of us are stuck, not reaching our potential simply because we don’t trust ourselves to do it. This may sound crazy to you, because its you not trusting you, or you breaking trust with you. But why would it be any different than it is with others. Its the way we work.
SO HOW DO WE REGAIN OUR OWN TRUST?
Be Honest – Be accurate and clear about where you really are, and where you would really like to be.
Set Goals – Not just gigantic outcome goals, but small bite size, daily goals. Input goals. Most of the time we can’t control outcomes, but we can control inputs.
Daily act – Do something every day to achieve a win. Accomplish a small goal that relates to your larger goal.
Celebrate the win – Take a moment and celebrate what you accomplished. No matter how small, you are regaining trust with yourself. You showed up, and you did it.
Daily move forward – acknowledge the failures of the past, learn from them, MOVE FOREWORD.
Before long, you will find your confidence building. A realization that you do keep your word to you, and that you can achieve your goals. It is possible for you to play to your full potential. It is possible for you to reach your goals, no matter how lofty, if you will will give yourself a reason to trust yourself, and then do it.
Daily wins, equal weekly wins, which equal monthly and yearly wins, that turn into a life time of victory. SO THE QUESTION IS: DO YOU TRUST YOU?