Trusting Ourselves

By Greg Baer M.D.

November 19, 2012

In past blogs—Click Here for an example—we have talked about the importance of simply choosing to trust other people, rather than requiring that they earn our trust. I hadn't thought much, however, about a different aspect of trust that was brought up to me in a phone conversation today with a friend.

"You talk a lot about giving other people our trust," he said, "but I haven't read anything in Real Love books about trusting ourselves."

"Tell me more," I said, because I didn't understand exactly what he was talking about.

"As you know, I was raised in a home where nobody really loved anybody else, and just one element of that was that nobody trusted anybody else either. As an adult it's been the same for me. As I learned about Real Love and began to make decisions to trust people, I realized that I didn't trust myself. Nobody had ever trusted me, so how could I not conclude—unconsciously, for sure—that I was not worthy of trusting."

"Makes perfect sense."

"I didn't trust myself at all. I didn't trust that I was lovable, that I was worthwhile, that I could make decisions. For heaven's sake, I didn't even trust that I knew what I wanted, which made me subject to the desires of everybody else. I didn't trust my own opinion."

"I hadn't thought about that."

"Then you came along and loved me. More than that, it was obvious that you really trusted me. You trusted me to feel your love as quickly as I was able. You proved that by not pushing me to accept your love faster than I could. You trusted me to be as loving toward others as I could—on my schedule, not yours. You trusted me to grow as fast as I could, which you proved by not becoming disappointed when I screwed up. You trusted me, and because of that I began to trust myself. I trusted that I was worthwhile. I trusted myself to make the right decisions, as much as I had the information and experience to do that. Your trusting me opened all that up for me."

My friend opened my eyes. In so many situations, decisions, and relationships, we are hobbled by our lack of trust in—or belief in—ourselves: trust in our ability, trust in our lovability, trust in our worth, trust in our abilities, and more. As we love other people, passively wanting them to be happy is not enough. We need to trust them, in identifiable ways—many of which are detailed above—to the point where they begin to trust themselves. With that trust, they become more independent and happier.

Don't know where to start?

Start here:

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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