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"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

Trust has been a challenging thing for me. When I was in my teens and early adult years, I “trusted” everyone. I would share (often overshared), and my words would return to haunt me. I found that I would share, people would talk to each other about what I had said, and the response was often criticism, which would crush me. I would loan money to someone and never see it again. (It was my stupidity to think the person would pay me back.) During this time in my life, I learned not to trust others. I also struggled with trusting that I could succeed, so I didn’t try many things.

I am no longer so trusting. I do what I think is the right thing. I question myself, and I wonder if that person will come through or if I will be hurt. I am learning to let go and trust.

How do people define trust? In psychology, trust is believing that the trusted person will do what is expected. According to the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, the development of basic trust is the first stage of psychosocial development occurring, or failing, during the first two years of life.

As I have grown spiritually and mentally, I am succeeding in areas and gaining trust in God and myself.

Earlier this week, I had an amazing experience. I was a participant in a retreat for Leadership Fresno. It was a team-building retreat. I have never experienced anything like it and probably will not experience it again.

I was with a group of people that I did not know. We had met each other at orientation but had yet to develop relationships. A month after we met, we were together to learn to work as a team.

We had a superb facilitator for the retreat. She started the day on a positive note, kept our attention, and continued to encourage our endeavors. She facilitated trust exercises, and I learned I needed help to complete everything. I need a team.

I am the oldest person in the group and have some physical issues. The most debilitating one was that I could not get on the ground. So, the team had to devise ways to complete the exercise using a table. Several of the activities required us to be blindfolded. It is overwhelming to be sightless. You have no choice but to depend on others.

One exercise was “the snake”. There were six of us on a team, and five were blindfolded. The sighted person was at the back of the line and needed to steer the rest of the group without talking. The object was to pick up all the golf balls on the floor. We were given two minutes to devise a plan for communicating with each other. Then, the exercise started. We worked well as a team, and then it was my turn to be the sighted person, and I ran everyone into a table. I learned some things about myself. First, I need to be confident with directions and not second guess myself; others trusted me, and when I messed up, they did not get mad; we laughed.

We were told to bring something that had meaning to us, and in the evening, we sat in a circle in a dark room with lanterns and shared. People shared from the heart and were transparent. I felt privileged to be a part of the evening.

The weekend was a great experience. I went in with some trepidation. Before I went, I decided to tackle the weekend with confidence. I participated in all activities with a positive attitude and found myself enjoying them. I did not allow myself to feel less than and was not intimidated by others.

I am learning the blessing of trust; however, you cannot trust everyone. I am learning to be discerning and research things before jumping into them. I am also learning to be cautious yet wise and trust others to carry out projects and meet my needs. I don’t have to do everything myself.

Ten Reasons Why Trust is Important:

1. Creates psychological safety – The ability to be yourself without fear of negative consequences.

2. Encourages questioning and risk-taking.

3. Encourages fast decisions.

4. Improves communication.

5. Promotes self-confidence.

6. Increased productivity.

7. Facilitates meaningful connections.

8. Reduces stress.

9. Increases feelings of optimism.

10. Good for communication.

I “trust” this has helped you in some way.

Have a great week.

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