THE BLOG

Ask Maddisen - How to Build Strong Trust Muscles

04/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Dear Maddisen:
When I run into a challenge, mostly in my personal life, I often lose faith. I often don't trust the outcome or that I'll be ok. Then, to make matters worse, I get down on myself for that, and basically drive myself and my friends crazy. How do I maintain my trust during challenging times, and remain true to myself?

Thank you, MHH

Dear MHH,

Thank you for sharing so honestly. Not trusting life is a fairly common pattern, and one that can make difficult situations feel so much worse; causing deep discouragement, a loss of hope or faith, and a feeling of being stuck or even paralyzed. The answer is right there in your question, because it is precisely all about practicing a new pattern of trust and being true to yourself. My intention here is to offer a simple and effective practice for building strong trust muscles that will hold you during even the most difficult times.

You know what doubt or mistrust feels like. On top of that, add self judgment or 'getting down on yourself' for feeling that way, and you actually increase the suffering to the point of feeling trapped in it, like there's no movement or way out of feeling bad.

What is trust? And how can you make trust your new pattern, your deliberately chosen direction?

The word trust comes from Middle English truste, perhaps from Old Norse traust, which means confidence. To trust is to be confident, to expect with assurance, to believe, and it can imply a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, and character of your self, another person, a higher power, or a situation.

Let's get you going with your two-part trust strength training program!

Part One - Set Your Intention To Trust
Having a clear intention is one of the most powerful ways to manifest your heartfelt and deepest desires.

Step 1
Set your intention to trust. For example: "My intention is that I am confidently trusting myself, my integrity, and my life, expressing my truth in service to my highest good and the highest good of all." Or, "My intention is that I am trusting the integrity and purpose of my life, and I am seeing the integrity and purpose in everything that happens." Or, "I trust my life."

Take a few minutes to craft your intention. It may help to sit quietly, close your eyes, center your attention on your heart, take a few deep belly breaths and then open your eyes and begin to write. You can always refine your intention as you go along.

Step 2
Write down your intention and keep it displayed or handy so that you can refer to it frequently. Read it every day for 30 days, and longer if it inspires you. Try speaking your intention aloud and chanting it silently throughout the day. If it helps, carry or wear a symbol that reminds you of trust and your trust intention. Through repetition, trust can be your new pattern, your automatic reaction and your default response.

You will also write down your trust intention on the first page of your "Trust Pattern" journal, which is described next.

Part Two - Trust Pattern Journal for 30 days
Keeping a pattern journal can be a highly enlightening method for catching and releasing previously unseen patterns, especially undesired ones.

Step 1
Designate a notepad or binder as your "Trust Pattern" journal. Write down your intention for trust on the front cover and/or first page.

Step 2
At the end of each day, for 30 days, record the following in your Trust Pattern journal: Every situation from the day when you did not feel trust; when you doubted yourself, others, life, a higher power, or a situation. And, every situation from the day when you did feel trust.

Step 3
In both cases, write about the events, what happened, who was involved, and how it felt to trust or not trust.

As you record and review what you've written about, notice if you have any repeating patterns related to doubt or mistrust. To support your liberation from unwanted patterns, you might state this intention: "I am releasing all doubts and patterns of mistrust that no longer serve me, for my highest good and the highest good of all concerned." Acknowledge yourself for doing this self honoring and healing work.

Your New Habit of Trust
Once you complete your 30 days of trust pattern journaling and practicing your new intention of trust, you may follow these guidelines:

Guideline 1
After 30 days, discard the pattern journal
At the end of the 30 days, you may shred and discard your Trust Pattern journal. Do not re-read it. Do not share it with others. Release it into the loving ethers from whence it came.

Guideline 2
Read/Recite your Trust intention daily
Keep your trust intention handy. If it supports you in maintaining your trust muscles, you may want to continue reading, reciting and chanting your trust intention daily. Notice if trust is becoming more of your automatic response, especially during challenging times.

Guideline 3
Practice self forgiveness
If you move out of trust and into doubt, and then judge yourself for that, forgive yourself for judging yourself, center in your self and your knowing, and simply restate your intention and practice of trust. Remember, self judgment can actually keep us stuck in doubt or mistrust, and self forgiveness is a surefire way to get us unstuck.

Intermittent experiences of doubt or non-trust are completely natural, but if you can hold yourself with love and non-judgment during these times, it should be easier for you to move out of the doubt or mistrust and get back on track.

More Inner and Outer Peace
When you intentionally trust your life and your integrity, and consistently respond with trust, especially to personal challenges, you may feel and experience more clarity, balance, gratitude, and deep joy, a stronger sense of inner and outer peace, and even appreciation for the challenges themselves.

Can you imagine this level of trust? Can you imagine feeling confident in yourself and your integrity? Can you imagine expecting with assurance that the highest good for you and others will always be served? That's what it feels like when you strengthen and maintain your trust muscles. And trusting your self is being true to your self!

I thank you, dear MHH, for your valuable question, and hope that this column provides you with useful answers. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Self-trust is the first secret of success." And as Maddisen says, trust is a natural state, and one that reminds us of who we truly are -- divine beings who have ultimate dominion over our emotional, mental, and physical states.

Your Coach, Maddisen

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Copyright 2010 Maddisen K. Krown