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Building Trust

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Do you trust yourself? When it comes to making important decisions, can you say with confidence that you will make the right choice?

Peter Lerangis wrote, “Trust is a fragile thing – difficult to build, easy to break. It cannot be bargained for. Only if it is freely given it can be expected in return.” When someone doesn’t follow through with a commitment, any trust you had with them will be reduced, maybe even broken. What about when you break a commitment with yourself?

All of us probably fall short when it comes to completing the things we wish we could do every day. What is the impact on the next day? Do you find that it is easier to fall short again? As soon as we miss a day, it becomes easier to miss the next day. Suddenly, it becomes quite obvious that we have broken our own trust.

trusting yourself

© Flickr user Franck_Michel

Whatever we want to achieve is easier when we trust in our commitments to ourself. When viewed from this perspective, the goals we set each day are critically important. We must stretch ourselves to achieve, but we can’t allow ourselves to overcommit. What a difficult balance! Try it. Whatever goal you are working on right now, think of it in terms of building trust.

What do you need to do to build the trust within yourself? What can you do that will prove you are committed to achieving the goal? If you never break your own trust, you will continue to grow and achieve great things. Building trust with yourself is important. Who should trust you, if you don’t trust yourself?

Trust plays an important role in nearly every aspect of our lives, but it takes on an especially important role at work. How many of you can say that you truly believe in your manager or the company as a whole? Alyssa Shea explored this topic in an article where she asked a very important question: Do your employees trust you? The answer was surprising.

If you’re in management, we highly suggest you take a seat and break out some paper to take notes. American Psychologist’s Association (APA) ran a survey that produced some pretty surprising findings. According to their survey, 25% of Americans don’t trust their employers. If that doesn’t rattle you a bit, think of it this way. It means 1 in 4 of your employees don’t trust you. Taking it a step further, the survey found that only half of those surveyed believe that their employer is being open and up front with them. That’s frightening. But you can take some solace in the fact that 64% believe that their employers are treating them fairly. They just don’t trust you. David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, and head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, had a lot to say on this topic:

“This lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers. Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance. The layoffs, benefit cuts and job insecurity that accompanied the recession put a strain on the employee-employer relationship and people aren’t quick to forget.”

In the end, there really is only one person you can count on the most – yourself. You will always have your best interests at heart. Don’t break promises to yourself. Take mental health days. Pick up a new book or start a new series. Indulge in cravings. Learn about that new item you’ve had your eye on. That thing you wanted to do on a whim but didn’t have the guts? Do it! Most importantly, make sure you take care of yourself first!

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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