Trust is Sacred. Are You Trust-Worthy?

Updated: Apr 4


IMHO, trust is the most sacred dynamic in every relationship, both personal and professional, and if broken, is often impossible to repair without a trace of the cracks in the foundation. Continuous cycles of the betrayal of another person's trust, followed by profuse apologies, only to see that pattern continue over and over again, can eventually wear out even the most patient and forgiving individual. As we get older, past hurts can make it difficult to grant trust to someone new, but on the flip side human beings have a basic need to trust that began from the moment we were born. This internal struggle can result in a multitude of secondary reactions when we attempt to bridge the chasm between the two.


Are you trust-worthy?

Although the subject of trust is too vast to cover in one short discussion, in this post I'm focusing my attention on self-responsibility and what we can choose to do to increase our own trustworthiness in our relationships with others. What is crucial to comprehend, that in terms of consciously cultivating trust between ourselves and another individual or group of people, our good intentions are not enough. Because of the fragility inherent in asking someone to take the risk to offer his or her trust, it must be treated with extreme reverence, for once it is lost, it may never be returned back to us.

Trustworthiness contains a multitude of virtues, and each one is a small candle that lights a corner of the dark, as Mr. Waters says in the song lyric illustrated on top of this post. Each of us can consciously choose to be bringer of light through leading by the contagious example inherent in each one.

What follows are some brief definitions and quotes about several dominant qualities of trustworthiness, followed by a short Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness skills building practice. I suggest doing these practices regularly in order to both establish and strengthen via repetition new neural pathways of response in your brain (also known as self-directed neuroplasticity), as well as in your mind. Although they are not one and the same, the brain and mind work in tandem with one other.

Self-Reflection Practices:


Honesty is communicating the plain, unsullied Truth, both verbally and non-verbally, which thereby can establish trust in the minds and hearts of others. Honesty implies a lack of deceit (intentional or not), and includes not lying directly or by omission, not committing fraud, not gaslighting others with "alternative facts" or applying "situational" ethics, not committing plagiarism, hypocritically not "walking your talk," and not cheating in any manner or form toward others and yourself.

"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful." - Edward R. Murrow
"Honesty is the best policy." - Benjamin Franklin
"The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving." - James E. Faust

PRACTICE:


Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of honesty. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with honesty in every life situation. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend honesty toward everyone in your life. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of honesty between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of honesty. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with honesty and trustworthiness from this moment forward.

Dependability demonstrates the reliability of a person toward others by proving they can be consistently be counted upon for exhibiting a variety of honorable behaviors toward self and others.


"You are already of consequence in the world if you are known as a man of strict integrity. If you can be absolutely relied upon; if when you say a thing is so, it is so; if when you say you will do a thing, you do it; then you carry with you a passport to universal esteem." - Grenville Kleiser
"A true friend never breaches the trust of his companion or stabs in his back. He is trustworthy and reliable. One should therefore always try to be a true and reliable friend. " - Sam Veda
"Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him." - Omar N. Bradley

PRACTICE:


Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of dependability. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with dependability in every life situation. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend dependability toward everyone in your life. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of dependability between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of dependability. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with dependability and trustworthiness from this moment forward.

Authenticity is the degree to which one is legitimately who and what they claim to be, regardless of the circumstances they are in or the company they are with. It means no disparity or phoniness between what they believe internally and how they act and behave externally; possessing responsibility for undisputed credibility and accuracy toward self and others. Now, someone can be an authentically rude, dishonest and self-centered person, or he/she can be an authentically kind, honest and giving person - but it's the latter one who is authentically Ethically Intelligent.


"No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway." - Mother Theresa
"There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do." - Freya Madeline Stark

PRACTICE:


Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of authenticity. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with authenticity in every life situation. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend authenticity toward everyone in your life. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of authenticity between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of authenticity. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with authenticity and trustworthiness from this moment forward.

Honor demonstrates a person's ethical character: whether or not the person's thoughts, choices, actions and behaviors reflect honesty, respect, integrity, character, impeccability, dignity and fairness toward self and others.

"Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong." - Thomas Jefferson
"A man has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so." - Walter Lippman
"Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people." - Wendell L. Willke

PRACTICE:


Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of honor. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with honor in every life situation. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend honor toward everyone in your life. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of honor between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of honor. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with honor and trustworthiness from this moment forward.

Loyalty is the act of transparent, unbroken allegiance, faithfulness, true-heartedness, and homage toward self and others.

"Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life." - Napoleon Hill
"The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty." - Zig Ziglar
"Loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I've ever thought I'd have." - Ernie Banks

PRACTICE:


There is a slight variation in this practice as you may not feel comfortable extending loyalty toward everyone until it is earned. Loyalty is never something that anyone should demand from another - especially if it is not reciprocated.

Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of loyalty. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with loyalty in every life situation you feel comfortable with. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend loyalty toward everyone you feel comfortable extending it toward. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of loyalty between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of loyalty. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with loyalty towards others (you feel comfortable extending it toward) and trustworthiness from this moment forward.

Conscientiousness includes behaving with an unwavering guiding commitment to a sense of right and wrong, standards, values, ethics, principles and scruples toward self and others.

"While conscience is our friend, all is at peace; however once it is offended, farewell to a tranquil mind." - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death." - Voltaire

PRACTICE:


Gently focus all of your attention upon the virtue of conscientiousness. For one minute and at least two more minutes today, simply yet deliberately visualize or imagine yourself behaving with conscientiousness in every life situation. Let yourself acutely feel what is like to consistently extend conscientiousness toward everyone in your life. Pay attention if this practice brings forth memories of when/where the quality of conscientiousness between you and others was an issue, and how that memory makes you feel. For recollections that evoke a positive response, allow yourself to take in that good energy, and for those that do the opposite, allow yourself to release and forgive yourself and others for the times when you thought, chose, acted and behaved in the past regarding lack of conscientiousness. Allow yourself to be constantly re-minded to lead by conscious, ethically intelligent example by acting with conscientiousness and trustworthiness from this moment forward.


A Trustworthiness Flow Chart (source unknown)


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