In front of him, lays a vast gulf. The next building is over a thousand feet away, yet somehow he is being goaded on to cross this barrier… with a leap of faith, literally. Neo, not fully self-actualized as the savior of mankind, watches in amazement as Morpheus tells him to “free his mind” and make a jump that most would call impossible. The moral of this little reference to super popular movie The Matrix, is the obvious fact that Neo’s subsequent fall from the top of a skyscraper, was not because he couldn’t make the jump, but that he didn’t trust himself enough to do it. He was limited by the rules and laws of a world he knew no longer existed. Often, so are we.
There are many beliefs and ideas about the very idea of “trust”. It is deeply rooted in the social mores of friendship and love, it’s caused friction between countries, fights between friends, caused doubts and secured many a long lasting relationship. We as a people often feel that people around us aren’t “trustworthy”, or only certain close people deserve that sacred T word from us.
Despite the way that we feel about others or ourselves, we exist and function in a world that relies on an active thought process of trust in our day to day matters. Boarding the train to work, one must trust the train operator to be in full control of his or her faculties and not send us careening to a quick, subterranean death.
We trust our banks to deliver our checks on time and the clerks at fast food restaurants not to poison our food. We trust the man slowing down in his car at the streetlight to stop, or else we die. We trust the idea of trust itself; that everyone is somewhat aware of the rules that govern most things and follow it. Without this trust, we could not function as a society.
Without believing that people are going to do implicitly what they are supposed to, every day, we wouldn’t be able to move very far. A red traffic light is but a symbol, a person who has never seen one will not stop their car for it, and I will have trusted them with my life, all based on the fact that I trust that most drivers know what a red light is. This sort of trust we could refer to as implicit; slightly under the surface, even subjective, but it’s there.
In fact, without realizing it, several times everyday you often trust your life with someone you have never met.
Fear and trust are happy bedfellows, and many of our self-imposed limitations are related to these two things. People wake up at the crack of dawn most days to fight tooth and nail to eat, toiling away in cubicles and under the hot sun, unhappy about their lack of potential. Yet often when an opportunity arises that could significantly change their lives, without massive risk to health or happiness, many times they curl up like a snake under a rotting barn. They don’t trust themselves enough to do it.
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I can’t do that.”
“I’m too young.”
“I’m too weak.”
We will trust the man across the road not to slam into us with his car, but we cannot trust ourselves to take a leap of faith towards our dreams. We fall asleep on the highway bus, trusting the driver to stay calm and alert as we drift off into dreamland, but we cannot trust ourselves to invest in our own self-development. Many of us operate at a marginal level based on our actual potential, because we are afraid of being better. We cannot trust ourselves to grow, to achieve, to be.
But this story has a happy ending. The fact that we exercise and practice trust subconsciously everyday means it’s not that hard to shift the self-trust within you. People that trust their dreams, ambitions and beliefs generally attract more of what they want. One step towards your better mind starts with T.