Category Archives: Trust

Being Transparent

Like a looking glass into our soul. Often it is something that isn’t done. It is a way to keep our true self from being seen by others. Being transparent and showing your inner light to others is not something everyone does.

Hiding self from others for fear of rejection, or because of a lack of self-confidence, or because there are deep scars, or because there is a smoldering wound, or because there is a broken heart, or because there is an unfilled void is not the path towards greater happiness. Living a transparent life is a choice that must be made. Living behind a veil will in many cases diminish the fullness of life.

How does being transparent help bring about a better life? When there are no secrets, no deep voids, no fear then power that was coming from others comes from within. Power from within is continuous, it is free, it is brighter and of better quality.

Transparency gives power away. Initially it takes power, courage and confidence to release the darkness that prevents being transparent. It takes time to test it … does it really release power or does it consume power?

Think about it from the perspective of a leader. Which leader has more power, the one that shows what is inside or the one who shrouds things in mystery? The transparent leader will acknowledge the faults, the foibles, the failures they have experienced. They will admit their shortcomings. What happens when a person reveals their inner-self to others? Do they become genuine and authentic? Do they become real people just like everyone else? Do they have the ability to relate to others?

If you want to find out what a big obstacle the ego really is, try to come together with other people in genuine transparency. Transparency means radical authenticity, free from ego defenses and impure motives. It’s the ultimate challenge to the ego. You could sit on a meditation cushion until you dropped dead and never have your capacity for radical transparency tested. The real test, for all of us, is in relationship. Come together. When there’s radical transparency and the ego steps aside, each single individual in that extraordinary collective context has access to the power and depth and clarity of the enlightened mind. And that’s when enlightenment really starts to take on new meaning and significance for us all.”

Andrew Cohen
London, March 2004

Transparency is sliding aside the curtains of the soul revealing its character. It is not easy or quick to do if there have been many years, many scars, many fears that stand in the way. The opaque window will neither let in light nor let light out.

Dostoyevsky wrote, “Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself in secret. But there are other things which man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”

Transparency reveals the character of a person. Transparency informs others of the integrity of a person. Information that threatens the self threatens self-esteem. Threats create anxiety and the anxiety transforms our character. The reason it damages the character is due to the nature of the internal self-talk that takes place – generally negative. Transparency will remove the need to hide from the issues which generate anxiety. The lack of anxiety will naturally result in self-talk that is positive – the self will not be talking down the self but rather acknowledging the self in a positive form.

The idea that the truth will set us free is an outcome of transparency. Working towards transparency might be better done with someone that can be trusted. Exposing the darkness will require a trusted relationship so that the surfacing of the negatives can be done safely and without repercussions.

Transparency allows one to shift from hiding behind pretense to genuine living.

In a journal write down those things that prevent you from living transparently?

What can you do to become more transparent?

What risks are you willing to take?

What benefits do you think you would obtain by living transparently?

true friend

“It is the best and truest friend who honestly tells us the truth about ourselves even when he knows we shall not like it. False friends are the ones who hide such truth from us and do so in order to remain in our favour.” R. C. H. Lenski

Trust

What about trust? Trust is something we all need to have exist but how do we earn it, display it and keep it? It seems as if trust is very fragile on one side and very difficult to construct on the other. We give everyone some basic amount of trust and if we desire more than we have to earn that trust. To earn more trust we have to be engaged in doing something, perhaps it is honoring a commitment, delivering on a promise or being reliable. Each time we do those things it is like earning interest on a bank account. We only earn a little and it takes a long time to accumulate a high level of trust.

It also seems that in one instant that trust can be wiped away. What we save can be lost or we can lose far more quickly than we can save it up.

Building a trust framework

The Pygmalion principle: “While we do well not to trust too little and not to trust too much, it seems better to trust a little too much than a little too little.” From King Arthur’s Round Table by David Perkins

How do we ever get to a point where we trust anything? Don’t we start off with the premise that things in this world deserve some amount of trust? We trust others as we walk by them not to invade our so called space. We trust people to drive on the right side of the road. We trust systems, governments, buildings, and others even if we have no reason to do so.

We begin to lose trust when something in a system violates the principles we believe the system was based on. Trust can be broken/reduced because of the “fundamental attribution error”, unreasonable expectations, unexpected expectations, overgeneralizations or selective processing of information.

The fundamental attribution error comes from the idea that others have character flaws while our own view of the world is based on the situation.

Unreasonable expectations about others can lead to a feeling that others are less trustworthy. Let’s say that we hold that someone else will do something and that thing doesn’t happen. Our disappointment with our expectation will erode the trust even though there is no real basis for it.

Unexpected expectations occur when we think don’t establish real commitments in dealing with other people. We think they might do something with urgency (the urgency exists in our mind) and they don’t. Unclear expectations can lead to trust erosion.

Overgeneralizing trust happens when we trust people in some areas and not in others.

Finally, the selective processing of information is when there is a view that as an individual you can do no wrong or you can do no right. If an instance proves that you are trustworthy you may be trusted in all situations or if one instance proves that you are less trustworthy in the eyes of some you will always be untrustworthy.

Trust is an important element in a relationship. Both sides should work to establish honest expectations at the beginning of the relationship building process. Being authentic and genuine admitting flaws as well as strengths will help establish a framework of honesty on which trust can be built.

What areas of trust are problematic for you? Why?

The hearT of Trust

“In the end trust is about the heart, and someone making an investment in you from his or her heart.” Dr. Henry Cloud from his book Integrity

Is that what trust is all about? Is it about our sincere desire, effort and willingness to be open, genuine and authentic with another person with the goal of compassionately understanding their life, issues, struggles, and times of joy?

If we can truly take on the posture with intention of granting another human true compassion about all circumstances they are willing to share in their life without judgment we can begin to build some trust momentum. What holds us back from sharing our fears? In some respects we are exposing vulnerability in our character that we don’t necessarily want to share with others. In a relationship based on trust that sharing can take place if the person knows that what was shared is truly going to be held in confidence.

We live in a society that doesn’t do well in keeping things that shouldn’t be shared confidential. Those stories illuminate headlines, grow in gossip circles and begin a life all their own. If we are unfortunate enough to be the subject of a trail of gossip our ability to trust is not going to be very high.

When we can cross over into the world of another person and truly understand their problems, issues or concerns we begin to build a bridge of trust. When we are honest and authentic while demonstrating a character of integrity we build a bridge of trust.

The Tao te Ching number 33 presents a model that would be useful for becoming a trustworthy person.

“Knowing others is intelligence;

Knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Mastering others is strength;

Mastering yourself is true power.”

We first have to become as master to self, we have to become a genuine and authentic person that is filled with integrity. When we can do that we have the tools to build bridges. Bridges link people together in relationship.

Are you able to trust others? Can others trust you? What can you do to become more trustworthy?

Building trust

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” Marcus Aurelius

What does that have to do with trust? Trust that tomorrow will bring what is good into being rather than the opposite.

Trust based on thick and thin would signify that there is something there that is tangible and solid in good times and bad. What would the relationship be if things were only good in good times? That would not be a strong relationship and one certainly not based on trust.

Think of trust as being intentional vulnerability? Are you willing to open your heart to someone else and believe that what you say will not be held against you? How many people can do that? I’m sure it is a small number of people who feel they can trust fully those around them.

In our workplaces does trust between a manager and employee exist with vulnerability? Is there that willingness to accept risk and help each other over obstacles? If there is, then real trust must exist.

Honest communication takes trust and the trust must be more than a superficial level of trust. It takes time and effort to build a trust that accepts without judgment the bruises of the soul. Too often we take what others say and use that against them rather than using what they say to help build them up so they can chart a new path or strengthen the path that they are already on.

If you think you would like a coach – openings are available.

Elements of Humility

What about trust? Trust is something we all need to have but how do we earn it, display it and keep it? It seems as if trust is very fragile on one side and very difficult to construct on the other. We give everyone some basic amount of trust and if we desire more than we have to earn that trust. To earn more trust we have to be engaged in doing something, perhaps it is honoring a commitment, delivering on a promise or being reliable. Each time we do those things it is like earning interest on a bank account. We only earn a little and it takes a long time to accumulate a high level of trust.

It also seems that in one instant that trust can be wiped away. What we save can be lost or we can lose far more quickly than we can save trust up.

It is almost like saving up money to put a down payment on a house. We can save and save and save and when we get enough we can make that big down payment to purchase the house. Then in an instant we can lose that house. We save and save and pay and pay and it can be gone in instant. If that happens how do we feel? Doesn’t it take a long time to really time to go out and purchase a new home? Isn’t there a lingering fear that something else will happen and so we don’t fully trust the purchase or the home?

These same things happen in personal relationships as well and we have to work very hard at building and maintaining trust amongst our friends and family.

Sometimes that is where a coach can come in and help. A coach can help you design some solutions to rebuild trust. If you want a coach you also want one you could trust as well.

What would you be looking for in a coach?