“Never, ever, EVER ‘trust’ anyone!” This was a lesson given me by a trusted mentor of mine, probably about 10 years ago. When she first said it, I was struck by how cynical it sounded. But I had lots of respect for her, so I decided I’d listen to what she had to say. Turns out, she made a lot of sense.
“Why would you ever ‘trust’ another human being?” She asked. “There are only 2 you can trust: yourself, and the Creator.” She was starting to make sense. “All other people you should choose to have FAITH in, based on your past experience with them. You can judge how they’re most likely to act in the future based on what they’ve done in the past,” she continued to explain. “But for God’s sake, please DON’T blindly trust another human being! They WILL let you down!”
She’s right. It makes sense. As humans we’re fallible creatures, subject to making mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes hurt others, whether or not they’re done on purpose. I certainly would never want anyone to trust me implicitly. I don’t want that pressure, thanks. Neither would I trust anyone else other than myself, or my Higher Power.
I know myself, and I know what I am capable of doing, so based on that inner knowledge, I can trust that I will act in a certain way in any given situation. I also trust my Higher Power implicitly, because they have proven themselves to come through every time. Sometimes I may not act like I trust my HP, but deep down I do. That’s just my fallibility coming out when I’m not acting like it (a good reason why someone ought never to trust me: I’m fallible and make mistakes!).
What I need to do instead is evaluate people based on their past actions. What have they done in the past? How have they treated me – and others – in the past? Their past actions will largely predict how they’ll act in the future, so based on what I’ve seen – and experienced – with them, I can have faith in how they’ll act going forward.
I’ve seen too many people hurt because they trusted another person implicitly. You can’t. You just can’t. The time will come when they will let you down.
Here’s the first definition of “Trust” that comes up when you Google it: “The firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Sorry, but there’s nobody who can live up to that definition 100% of the time! They will fail us sometime. Nobody is immune from that reality.
And I’m better off if I realize that. How many people have I seen angry and upset because someone else let them down? Sometimes I want to ask “Why are you surprised?” Those people are human after all, and in many cases their past track records suggested that they would most likely act in the way that let the upset person down. They shouldn’t have been surprised.
Belief versus Faith
Having faith in someone is a big thing: it’s an honour to the person in whom the faith is placed. So what is faith, anyhow? Let me explain with an analogy that was given to me. I found helped to make sense of it for me.
If I move to a new town and find soon after that my car needs to be fixed, I might call up someone I’ve recently met in that town and ask them who I should go to for the repair. “Go see John over at his shop on Main,” they tell me. “He always does a good job at a fair price, and I feel like he’s not trying to sell me repairs I don’t need.”
Based on that recommendation, I BELIEVE that John is going to do a good job, so I take my car over and he fixes it. Sure enough, he’s done a great job, I didn’t have to break the bank to get it done, and the car’s running smooth again.
Now I have FAITH That John can do the job, because I’ve experienced it. Yet I still can’t TRUST that he’ll always do a good job, because he could make a mistake at some point. Even after I’ve taken my car to him time and time again and he has done a great job, I still can only have faith, never trust, because there’s always the chance he might not get it right. He’s good – great, in fact – but not perfect.
Be Slow to Have Faith
I’ve known many who are quick to “trust” (as they call it) or “have faith” (as I call it). Don’t. Be careful. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by choosing carefully whom to first BELIEVE IN. Then, based on your experience with them, as they prove themselves over time, you can HAVE FAITH IN THEM, but always only ever based on their track record. DO NOT AFFORD THEM YOUR TRUST, ever. You’re setting yourself up to get hurt if you do.
This might sound cynical, but it’s not. I watch too many people get taken advantage of too often. As a life coach and a weight loss coach, I’ve learned the value of teaching people how to set and maintain appropriate boundaries with others. It’s the key to happiness and success. Without appropriate boundaries, hurt and pain are both inevitable.
My next blog this week will be on boundaries: how to set them, and how to maintain them. Once you change your paradigm from that of “trusting” to that of “having faith,” the stage is now set for you to create – and maintain – healthy boundaries that work for you.
Having proper boundaries is essential to happiness, and to sustained weight loss. When we’re stressed because we’ve been hurt by another, it makes overeating that much more likely. We don’t want that. This is why I’ve made the distinction for you between TRUST and FAITH. Remember, you can have faith in others, but NEVER trust anyone other than yourself, or your Higher Power. Nobody deserves that pressure!
You might find this information to be challenging or even confusing. That’s ok. I’m here to help, if you need clarification. You can also consider taking my 10-week course “Where Winners Lose & Losers Win™: PERMANENT Weight Loss Made Simple!” It discusses these concepts in depth, and shows you how to apply them to create a happier life for yourself, and to help you lose weight.
You can sign-up for the self-study online version here, or you can contact me directly to either sign up for the online fitness courses, or better yet, you can do it face-to-face with me. In-person, on the phone, or via Skype, I’m your personal coach for almost 2 ½ months, walking with you as you learn the disciplines of weight loss and happier living.
The course 10 weeks of information, inspiration and motivation. If you’re interested, I can be reached at 647-677-6025. Give it a try: you’ve got nothing to lose except the weight!