If I told you to believe in trust, not faith, what would you say?
We’ve been talking about the 12 Laws – or Truths explored in my book, The Art of Significance.
Today, let’s touch on the Fourth Law: Trust Predictability Instead of Hope and Faith.
It’s time to lean on trust, not faith.
How Do You Lean On Trust, Not Faith?
I know what you’re thinking:
How can I discount the power of hope and faith?
Well, because hope and faith are only meaningful when they’re rooted in trust.
Learning to trust leads to a life of significance.
Faith does not give us perfect knowledge of the things around us. Faith leads to hope for things that are not seen but are true.
Too many people live their lives hoping to be happy. And whether you want to believe it or not, most people who hope do just that – hope.
They rarely take action.
When you hope, you forget to stand on your own two feet.
Too many people of faith drop to their knees to pray and pray. They forget to stand on their own two feet and do their part in facilitating an answer to that prayer.
Hope and faith amount to mere optimism and a positive outlook. They rarely have anything substantive to back them up.
The fact is, hope and faith are empty concepts.
Trust, on the other hand, has an entirely different meaning on its own.
Trust is a form of optimism that’s grounded in something. It is grounded in a deep and abiding knowledge of ourselves and the people we’re trusting.
Our knowledge isn’t perfect, and we sometimes wind up with our trust betrayed.
But when we trust, whether in ourselves or others, it is because we are aware of who we are.
We can take assurance in the predictability of our lives. We can empower ourselves by trusting ourselves.
Learning to trust is a calculated risk
Unlike hope and faith, trust is earned.
Trust means something.
Hope and faith allow us to speculate on possibilities. Trust is founded on actual knowledge. It enables us to calculate the probabilities.
Hope is blind and, often, a reckless risk. Trust is a calculated risk.
It’s time to let go of hope and faith. To walk the path of significance, we must embrace trust – in ourselves, our colleagues, our relationships, and our world.
The Four Myths of Feeling & Five Theories of Action
Myth 1: I can make you feel good.
Myth 2: I can make you feel bad.
Myth 3: You can make me feel good.
Myth 4: You can make me feel bad.
The logic is flawed, though. As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely observed: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
As soon as we hand our happiness over to an outside influence, we abandon our journey towards significance.
You, and you alone, choose how you feel and how others make you feel and think. The power is within you – not some nebulous force beyond your control.
The Trap Of the Five Theories of Action
Here’s where we trip up. We fall into the trap set by the Five Theories of Action:
1. The “It’s Not My Job” Theory
If it’s not in your contract or someone hasn’t asked you explicitly, you’re not going to take action or contribute. You’ll only stay late if you’re getting overtime or a pat on the back.
2. The “Gene” Theory
Some people are “just born into success.”
You can’t do anything about your genetic makeup. You’re stuck with a negative personality, lousy temper, slow motor skills, and lack of imagination simply because your parent’s personality is deficient.
3. The “Cosmic” Theory
The universe is unfolding, and life is just happening to you. It is what it is.
4. The “Astrology” Theory
You’re born under a particular sign of the Zodiac, and it’s imprinted irrevocable traits on your personality. The stars control your destiny.
5. The “Meant to Be” Theory
You have no free will, choice, or agency to affect the outcome of your life or your destiny. You are a pawn in our Creator’s chess game.
Are you pursuing significance, or are you waiting for it to find you?
All of these theories have one key ingredient: you’re not in the driver’s seat.
I can assure you, though, that nothing of significance will change in your life if you don’t find your drive from within. You can’t blame outside forces for your lack of progress.
Here are four action steps you can take in your pursuit of significance. They hinge on learning to trust in yourself and your abilities. They don’t leave room for excuses.
1. Find five people
Make a list of five people you trust and determine why you trust them. Commit to emulate their character traits, attributes, and qualities.
2. Find a platform
Look for and secure an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills so people can see that you are responsible, accountable, dependable, and trustworthy.
Give those around you opportunities to prove they’re reliable as well.
3. Practice thinking before you talk
Take time to write down what you know and believe about specific issues before you share your views.
Focus on saying what you mean, meaning what you say, being consistent by always following through on every one of your responses, and always doing what you say you are going to do.
4. Do something that frightens you
That’s right. Leave your comfort zone.
Take a trapeze course, go bungee jumping, ride an extreme zipline, try sky-diving.
These high-adventure activities require that you have a total stranger strap you in a harness.
You have to trust the person and the equipment.
After the adrenaline rush, you’ll understand that learning how to trust comes from predictability.
You trust that you’re safe in someone else’s hands.
Now, you’ve transcended hope and faith.
Take the leap, but not a leap of faith.
It’s time to lean on trust, not faith. Learning to trust begins with unconditional love and nonjudgmental acceptance, which is how we put faith and hope into action.
Don’t just close your eyes and toss yourself into the wind.
Learning to trust ourselves means becoming brutally honest in acknowledging who we are, even the parts of ourselves we might not like. We must know and accept the absolute truth regarding our origin, place, and relationship with the universe, staring our failures and shortcomings in the face.
If you want to lead a life of significance, you have to pursue it. You have to have the perseverance and drive to chase life from within. Read more in my best-selling book: The Art of Significance – Achieving The Level Beyond Success.
Do you want to begin that pursuit? Dan Clark is a motivational speaker and keynote speaker who offers executive coaching. One call to get started.