I can remember a time when I couldn’t trust myself. I could set an alarm in the morning, and there was always a chance — in that stupor of exhaustion — that I’d make some kind of deal with myself to sleep in.
And after a few swats at the alarm, I’d decide that whatever I was supposed to get up for wasn’t worth doing anyway. Whether it was class or work or a social obligation. Whatever.
I’d talk myself out of keeping my word. Of doing the responsible thing.
It was so easy to do, to convince myself to do something that was easier in the short term but could have long-term drawbacks.
And because it was easy to do, I did it over and over again. Predictably, this didn’t turn out well for me.
Other people generally liked me. Thought I had positive qualities. But they couldn’t count on me — so they couldn’t trust me either. And instead of really owning up to my part in things, I would instead get confused. I’d wonder why no one really trusted me. Which would make me have less trust in other people. I had already had some bad things happen to me at that point in my life, but if I’m looking back honestly, it wasn’t until I started to let other people down that I really started to develop trust issues.
And once that happened, the spiral continued.
I was several years of struggling and failing before I finally managed to get to a place where something inside of me had had enough.
The Worst Trust Issues Are the Ones You Have With Yourself
And then I stopped buying my own bullshit.
I got to a point where I didn’t listen to my own inner pleas to sleep in a little longer, call out of work, skip class, cancel the thing I had planned.
No, instead I dragged myself into whatever it was. I said to myself, “You’re doing this. I don’t care if you like it or if it’s comfortable for you. But you’re doing this.”
And it was odd and painful. Maybe a bit shouty and mean self-parent of me (to be fair, my parents weren’t nice, so it’s what I had for a model), but it worked.
I pushed myself a little too hard at first. But over time, I compensated and was able to trust myself a little. I took a gentler hand, and I still was able to be more responsible and reliable than before.
And after a while, I learned to actually trust myself. Once that happened, everything changed. Because I was able to count on myself, I had a way to cope with it when other people threw me for a loop. I found myself worrying less that other people would go back on their word because I trusted myself that I’d be able to cope with it if they did.
And I found that people trusted me a lot more than they did before, which I’m sure also helped.
It didn’t happen overnight. And it wasn’t easy. But I’m glad it happened.
Because the worst trust issues are the ones you have with yourself. If you can get those squared away, a lot of other things really do get more manageable.