On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you trust yourself? 

Don’t think too hard about it. What’s your first response?

Write it down somewhere.

Typically when we think about trust, we think about trusting people outside of ourselves. We strive to build trust with our clients and colleagues. We know that trust in the business world means getting more done with more ease and efficiency. Think about how long it takes to make a decision when you’ve already worked successfully with the team. It takes no time at all.

Apply this to yourself. Think of yourself as your own team. You’ve got cheerleaders, naysayers, doers and slackers all in one place: your head. If you develop trust with these voices in your head, expect to experience better results with more ease.

Let’s go back to that Self Trust number you wrote down just seconds ago. Where did you fall on the scale? What data did you use to score yourself? We don’t want to just count on our own opinions here. We want evidence.

In a nutshell, how often did you do the thing you said you would do? It could be the number of sales calls you planned to make or the number of words you wanted to write that day. What’s your ratio of saying you’ll do the thing versus actually doing the thing?

If you’re satisfied with your Say/Do Ratio, fantastic! Let’s look at different aspects of our lives: community, work, family, health to name a few. Oftentimes some areas of our lives have different ratios than others. We might find it easy to trust ourselves with our work, but when it comes to a personal project, maybe we can use a little assistance.

Here are three areas to consider when building Self Trust:

Desire vs Commitment. You may want to achieve a desired result, but how badly do you want it? You may really really want something, but until your desire turns the corner onto Commitment Boulevard, the risk of derailment is higher. Getting clear on what is a desire and what is a commitment focuses your efforts.

Saying No to Yourself. Self-trust comes down to one thing: our ability to say no to ourselves. When we can say no to ourselves, we’re able to create boundaries that serve us and our goals. It’s our capacity to exercise impulse control. We can feel the impulse and choose when to follow it and when we don’t. The when and the how of our no matter as much as where we are aiming our no. To illustrate this, I’ll share with you my very sophisticated and proprietary tool:

The Oreo Decision Matrix

  • Some people never eat Oreos (I don’t know these people, but surely they exist).  They’d say no even if you put the Oreos on a plate next to a glass of ice-cold milk.
  • Others can keep Oreos in the house without feeling the urge to eat more than 1 or 2 at a time (not even the full 3 cookie serving).
  • Some might choose to avoid the cookie aisle on their Target run. 
  • Still, others might not even go into Target to avoid any chance of an Oreo confrontation.

The above scenarios offer a variety of choice points. If your goal is to say no to the Oreo, you could choose any of the above opportunities to do so. You still accomplish what you set out to do. Only you know yourself well enough to know what option will work best for you.

Baby Steps. Self Trust happens one step at a time. It’s the sum of those steps that gets you where you want to go. As we all know it’s about the journey not the destination. The journey is what builds our Self Trust muscle. A strong Self Trust muscle makes for easier

  1. Pick your goal.
  2. Commit to it.
  3. Look at what might derail you.
  4. Decide when it works best for you to say no.
  5. Increase your Say/Do Ratio.

Building Self Trust is something only we can do for ourselves, but we can enlist the support of others to increase our Say/Do Ratio. Let’s Say and Do this. If you’d like to stay in touch via my monthly newsletter kicking off later this month, please subscribe in the box below.

To learn more about how Emotional Intelligence coaching and trainings could benefit you and your organization, click here.